On the Line with Bobby Flay at Bar Americain

At the restaurant that inspired his latest cookbook, Bobby Flay shows Food Network Magazine his other life as a working chef—and his unlikely rise to the top.

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Something is wrong with the biscuits at one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants. Usually they’re light and flaky, but today they’re dense and too cakey. Bobby, who has been at Bar Americain—his busy midtown Manhattan brasserie—since 8:30 a.m., is on biscuit patrol. And he’s determined to solve the problem before lunch.

“I’m like the repairman,” the chef says, tying a crisp white apron over his jeans. “People take shortcuts all the time without realizing it. You have to constantly test things.” In Bobby’s case, this means regularly visiting 11 restaurants—two Bar Americains, three Mesa Grills, one Bobby Flay Steak and six Bobby’s Burger Palaces, in four states, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas—for quality control. After today, he’ll make a pit stop at his Las Vegas spot en route to a two-week shoot in Los Angeles for Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, his new grilling show. Bobby can’t be at all of his restaurants all of the time, but he’s at them often enough to catch something like a less-than-perfect biscuit before it’s smothered with gravy and sent out to the dining room.