The Food Network star is returning to television in a capacity you might not have expected.
People have been letting Bobby Flay into their living rooms for more than ten years now: He’s appeared on Iron Chef and he’s a staple on the Food Network, where he has around eight different shows to his name. America has decided that if they want to watch someone cook food, more than likely, they want that person to be Bobby Flay. But Flay will be making a much different appearance on your television screens this weekend, and it won’t have anything to do with food.
As it turns out, Chef Flay is actually an avid horse racer and breeder. NBC is taking advantage of this area of expertise by bringing the chef on as horse racing analyst for the Whitney Stakes in Saratoga this Saturday, according to a report from Newsday.
“I’ve done things like this before, but not on NBC Sports at this magnitude, being surrounded by people who are incredibly professional at this,” Flay explained to Newsday. “That said, I have been doing television for 20 years, so that’s not really going to be the issue.”
Despite his humility about the racing scene, Flay is a well-qualified pick for the job: He’s a member of the board of directors for both the New York Racing Association and Breeders’ Cup, acted a chef for the Kentucky Derby this year, and his horse, Creator, won the Belmont Stakes in June 2016.
Flay is happy to be returning to Saratoga, the track where he first became enamored with horses and racing.
“There’s that old-world charm. It’s a beautiful town. Everybody is walking around smiling. You can get very close to the horses no matter who you are…It gives you a very intimate look into a sport that’s always in some ways been sort of a little hard to get close to,” he said.
Flay explains that he’s been a regular at tracks since high school, so the progression to actually commentating on races is a natural one for him. It might be a departure from the food world, but one thing is for certain: Whether it's for racing or cooking, Flay is pretty comfortable on television.