Bobby Flay made his name with over 15 years worth of Iron Chef showdowns, but his Food Network competition days came to an abrupt end back in October after he made a dramatic exit from the show.
On-set sources revealed to Vanity Fair that during the taping of the new Iron Chef Showdown, Flay took off his apron and revealed a shirt that read, “THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER.”
It was definitely not something the show’s producers were expecting, and when they rushed the stage to tell Flay that it would be hard to edit out his shirt, he reportedly said, “I know. That’s the point.”
After the incident, Flay tried to say it was a joke, but at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival this weekend, he confirmed that he indeed is done with Iron Chef, saying:
“I’ve done over 100 Iron Chef competitions and frankly they are exhausting. When I do a season, I do between 6 and 8 [battles] in a week and it crushes me because it’s 60 minutes of pure energy, creativity and execution. So at some point I was like, ‘I’ve been doing this for a long time and I want to go out on a high note.'”
Flay then went on to say that he wanted it to be a surprise, and boy was Food Network surprised, as Flay said they were a little peeved at him for the shirt stunt.
Still, Flay said no bridges were burned and he’s still proud of his time on Iron Chef, but it’s a young man’s game now, and he seems at peace with that.