Update, November 22, 2021: This just in on the Flay play-by-play: at the eleventh hour, Bobby Flay has reached a three-year deal with the Food Network’s Discovery outlet, Deadline reports.
Deadline confirmed the deal with Food Network president Courtney White, who explains that the new agreement includes “development of new content for Food Network as well as for elsewhere within the Discovery portfolio.” That includes a few projects slated to begin in 2022, including a show featuring Flay and his daughter.
Flay reportedly admitted that the deal “took a little longer than expected,” which is Flay code for “I asked for a King Midas-level contract and these buffoons dragged their feet.” For more information on Flay’s Midas-adjacent demands, see below.
Update, October 13, 2021: Last week, Variety reported that Bobby Flay was leaving the Food Network after 27 years because Flay’s team and the network were “far apart on financial terms.” Well, now we know how far apart they were: PEOPLE reports that Flay was seeking a deal that would go above and beyond Guy Fieri’s recent $80 million contract. That contract reportedly made Fieri the highest-paid chef on cable TV, but Flay wanted more.
How much more? “Bobby wanted a contract in the ballpark of $100 million,” a close source told PEOPLE. However, the source did clarify that comparing Fieri’s contract with Flay’s is “not apples to apples,” explaining that Flay’s terms “were gravely different than just cash.” The source added: “The terms were longer, the scope of work was different and thus the dollars were different. It’s not just $80 million to $100 million.”
Ultimately, the network wasn’t having it, but the source claims there are no hard feelings. “Regardless, it was really much more amicable than you’d think,” they told PEOPLE. “It was strictly business.”
Original post, October 8, 2021: All Flay things must come to an end: celebrity chef Bobby Flay is ditching the Food Network after 27 years, Variety reports. Apparently Flay’s been attempting to negotiate his new Food Network deal for quite some time, as his most recent three-year contract expires at the end of this year. And while representatives for both Flay and Food Network declined to comment, Variety sources say the split comes as the sides were “far apart on financial terms.” Looks like Bobby plays hardball, baby.
Anyway: damn, Bobby! This news is a pretty huge deal, especially for Flay fans who’ve enjoyed his programming since he joined the network in 1994, its inaugural year. Since then, Flay has been a constant presence on the network, heading up shows like “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Brunch at Bobby’s,” as well as Flay’s premiere barbecue hullabaloo, “Grillin’ and Chillin’.” Flay’s tenure has also included a laundry list of game shows including “Chopped” and “Iron Chef America.” He’s even brought his family on the air, hosting “The Flay List” alongside his daughter, Sophie.
So, what’s Flay’s next move? He’s certainly not lacking in opportunities; Flay owns and operates restaurants nationwide, and he’s penned cookbooks aplenty. In 2015, he even became the first celebrity chef to score a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now that he’s got some time away from the network, maybe he’ll design some fancy cookwear and/or aprons. Maybe he’ll focus on relaxation, taking the opportunity to unwind with his cat, Nacho. Maybe he’ll read this article, enjoy my prose, and come to work as my personal chef for exactly zero dollars. Bobby, if you’re reading this: I can’t pay you in money, but my grateful smile will make it all worth it. Sashay this way, Flay!