From "Iron Chef" to "Throwdown," Bobby Flay is one of Food Network's biggest stars. But if you think you know everything about this fiery red-haired chef, think again.
Here are a few fun facts about this restaurateur who just happens to be one of the world's first celebrity chefs.
1. He’s a high school dropout
Flay reportedly despised schoolwork so much as a teen he decided to ditch the classroom for good, dropping out of high school at the age of 17. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Flay said his disappointed father urged him to get a job and that’s how he ended up in the restaurant business. His first gig was a bus boy. Soon after, he signed up for some professional training at the French Culinary Institute. He opened up his first restaurant, Mesa Grill, at 25.
2. He loves horse racing
When this well-known chef isn’t in the kitchen or on TV, you may find him at the horse track. As a child, his grandfather used to bring him to the races at Belmont Park, N.Y. where he developed an interest in horses. Now, he is actively involved with a variety of racing organizations. In 2010, the horse Flay owned in a partnership with others clenched the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Churchill Downs. He has also served on the New York Racing Association Board of Directors.
3. He’s been married three times
Flay hasn’t quite found the perfect recipe for marital success. His personal life made headlines following a messy divorce from actress Stephanie March. The couple finalized the split in 2015. It was Flay's third marriage. He tied the knot with fellow chef Deborah Ponzek in 1991 but the divorced two years later. He wed Kate Connelly, a former television host in 1995 but they divorced in 1998.
4. His daughter loves to cook
Flay’s teenage daughter Sophie shares her father's love for the kitchen. The pair recently teamed up to cook up some chocolate chip pancakes for the Food Network’s Snapchat Discover Channel. The daughter-father team can often be spotted on Instagram taking in a Lakers game, drinking coffee and eating gelato while vacationing together in Italy. Mom is Flay’s second wife Kate Connelly.
5. He’s a longtime fan of the Easy Bake Oven
Flay says that he started showing an interest in cooking when he was just a kid and begged his parents for an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. He told the Associated Press that baking cakes with his mother got him interested in the food world and he credits the simply toy with sparking that interest. In 2012, Flay joined the fight to urge Hasbro Toy company to create a gender-neutral Easy Bake Oven and include boys in the ad. The toy company eventually agreed, and started selling a black and silver Easy Bake Oven in Dec. 2012.