The Legend of Bobby Flay

By: Eliese Lissner

ROME, ITALY – I was standing on line at Leonardo da Vinci airport in Rome, reluctantly leaving a country with some of the most incredible culinary offerings found anywhere. Despite the famous Italian flair for food, I was surprised to spot one of the world’s most creative and recognizable chefs: there behind me at the security line was Bobby Flay.


Having recently seen him on the Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America,” I figured I would relate much more to the hapless contestants, rather than the virtuoso guiding their way. But with Flay and I wedged into the same transcontinental marathon back to New York, it was the perfect chance to go one-on-one about a lesser-known passion of his: golf.

Flay once said in an interview that if his busy life as a chef and restaurateur never panned out, he would love to pursue a career in golf. So after enduring the type of on-flight food one would never see in his restaurants like Gato and Bar Americain, he took some time to chat about his “other” pursuit.

What’s Your Handicap? I’m an 8

Who is Your Favorite Golfer (dead or alive)? Jack Nicklaus, for sure

What is your Favorite Course? Shinnecock out in Southhampton (Thank you Bobby for the spelling assistance!)

And most importantly, what’s your favorite thing to eat on the course? Bacon egg and cheese…if I choose to be healthy, however, it would be a banana.

There’s a bit of humor in a world-renowned chef opting for a simple bacon egg and cheese while playing golf. But hey – if it works, it works. As any golfer will know, the game is a great equalizer among those from any walk of life. Whether you’re a scratch golfer or a 30-handicap, there’s always a mutual respect for that constant pursuit of a better round.

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