Bobby Flay on Dieting, Running Marathons, and His Must-have Kitchen Tool

Bobby Flay
Jim Franco

Superstar chef Bobby Flay is as close to a guy’s food guru as there is.

He’s fit, he loves barbeque, and he’s a grilling whiz.

So we gave him the third degree on everything from eating healthy (and dieting) to his favorite food town, and the meals men need to master to the most important kitchen tool.

Men’s Fitness: You just ran the London Marathon. How did it go?

Bobby Flay: It was more challenging than [the] New York [Marathon], which I’ve run three times. Every ache and pain you ever had just comes back. But it was something I really wanted to do—I even stopped drinking for 4 1⁄2 months.

How do you stay fit?

Cycling classes, Barry’s Bootcamp, and running. I’ve always been a runner. I ran competitively in high school.

How do you feel about diets?

I don’t like diets. They work for a very short period of time. I eat anything I want, though not processed or fast food. I eat three-quarters of what’s on my plate. And I don’t eat late at night anymore—as a person who’s in the restaurant business, that’s a hazard.

You’re a New Yorker—so how did you become such an inveterate griller?

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my family would rent a house on the Jersey Shore. We’d cook outside—hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled corn, lobsters, and stuff like that.

Where do you stand on gas vs. charcoal?

I have both in my house. If I’m gonna cook an elaborate grilled meal, I’m gonna use charcoal. If my daughter’s like, “Dad, can I get a cheeseburger?” I’ll turn the gas grill on—it’s just easier.

What are some dishes every guy should know?

He needs to be able to make five dishes: a steak, a chicken, a pasta, a fish, and definitely a salad. If he can master one in each category, his repertoire will grow.

What’s one tool everyone should have in their kitchen?

A cast iron pan. You can use it to cook eggs, steaks, potatoes, vegetables. And it holds the heat really well.

What’s the best food town in the U.S.?

New York always and forever. But there are some really good things happening in Albuquerque, too, which interests me a lot ’cause I play so much in that Southwestern pantry.

What would you pick for your last meal?

A cheeseburger with extra cheese and an ice cream sundae. No question about it.

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