The One Iron Chef Moment Bobby Flay Wishes We All Forgot

There have been a lot of shocking moments on Iron Chef, from major upsets to incredible culinary feats. However, few moments have been as shocking as the day in 2018 when chef Bobby Flay announced he'd be leaving the franchise, after being a mainstay on the show for some 17 years. The real reason Flay quit Iron Chef has never been revealed, although there are plenty of rumors that it was due to his tumultuous personal life or strained relationship with the Food Network.

Regardless of the reason, it wasn't the first time Flay has caused on-air controversy. Along with accusations from other chefs that Flay is a jerk behind the scenes, there was one episode of the popular cooking competition that the Iron Chef star likely wishes he could erase. It was back in 1999 when Flay went head-to-head with Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto in one of the most heated — and what turned out to be one of the most scandalous — battles in Iron Chef history. 

He disgraced Chef Morimoto

In the 1999 battle, everything was going as planned until the final few seconds of the cooking competition. As Chef Morimoto rushed to put the finishing touches on his meal, Flay finished first — and without even waiting for the judges (or for the timer to sound), immediately declared himself the winner. Not only that, but he actually climbed up onto his cooking station and stood on his cutting board, raising his hands in victory as the crowd cheered.

This naturally didn't sit well with Morimoto, who, while usually subdued and reserved, angrily said Flay "is not a chef!" He later explained that the cutting board is very sacred in Japanese cooking, so Flay standing on top of his board was very disrespectful in Morimoto's opinion (via Variety). That wasn't even the worst of the controversy. After Flay dubbing himself the winner, the judges tasted the cooking of each chef and disagreed. In a humiliating turn of events for Flay, Morimoto was crowned that evening's Iron Chef champion.