Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is leaving his longtime TV home The Food Network after nearly 30 years of partnership, likely due to contract negotiations. Flay has been a part of the network since It began in 1994, and his latest three-year contract under the Discovery+ umbrella is over at the end of the year. While there has been no official statement from the chef or Food Network, negotiations are allegedly falling apart and Flay's team is playing hardball, Variety reports. However, when asked for a statement, they told Variety that they do not comment on active negotiations.
Flay is best known for shows like Beat Bobby Flay, Brunch at Bobby's, and Grillin' and Chillin'. Not only that, but Flay has also been a mainstay on shows like Chopped, Iron Chef America, Worst Cooks in America, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and The Next Food Network Star. Flay has also diversified beyond television, operating several restaurants — the most recent is an Italian restaurant in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace — around the country, and he has written more than a dozen cookbooks.
Flay and fellow celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis launched a show, Bobby and Giada in Italy on Discovery+ earlier this year, giving their fans a new taste of classic foods. The show followed them around in Italy as they cook and eat throughout the beautiful countryside, testing out new flavors and improving old ones. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com back in February, Flay detailed why he was smiling from "ear-to-ear" throughout each episode and revealed to fans his favorite cheat meal.
"I'm completely obsessed with Italy. Like, I always say Italy has my heart and it has my soul. It's the place that when I wanna get on a plane and go somewhere, it's someplace in Italy, whether it's Rome or Tuscany or the Amalfi coast," the chef said while discussing his then partnership with Verizon and teaming up with Discovery+, adding how "great" Italy is.
At the time, Flay said that when he received texts and calls from friends and family who watched his new show, they couldn't help but notice he was "smiling from ear-to-ear" throughout all four hours; he says it's because of the wonderful food and atmosphere the historic places have to offer. "For somebody like me who cooks for a living and food is such an important part of not just my career, but my lifestyle and my social life, as well, when I'm able to eat a Porchetta sandwich and then have a Campari soda and then go to Tuscany and make fresh fettuccine with wild boar, then Giada make some beautiful, fresh fig salad, it's just constant," he explained. "You're just consuming all this incredible food and wine, and there's just an aura of, take a breath and enjoy life."