Bobby Flay is the ultimate New Yorker. But transport him to Kentucky, where he owns Thoroughbred racehorses, and he seems even more at home. Here, his story and his feel-good food.
When I was 17 years old, I dropped out of high school and got a job working the salad station at Joe Allen in the Theater District," Bobby Flay says on a misty, raw morning in Kentucky, looking around at bluegrass pastures that couldn't be any farther from that restaurant in midtown Manhattan. He is stroking the nose of the Thoroughbred stallion Giant's Causeway inside one of the immaculate gable-roofed bluestone barns that make up the Ashford Stud farm in Versailles, just outside Lexington.
"A couple years before that," Flay continues, "my grandfather took me upstate to Saratoga Springs for the first time. I wasn't into riding—look, I was a city kid—but I just loved the races. I always thought it would be fun to own a small piece of a horse one day."