The Change Bobby Flay Wants Easy-Bake Oven To Make

Chef, cookbook author, and Food Network personality Bobby Flay knows his way around an oven and a grill. It appears that his interest in the culinary world started at a very early age, too. At just eight years old, he put in a Christmas request for an Easy-Bake Oven from his parents (via Insider). Come Christmas morning, young Flay's dream was fulfilled and he had the culinary toy to play around with. As Flay told Today in an interview, he was utterly fascinated with the contraption and the possibilities it held, saying that " I couldn't believe that you could bake a cake with a lightbulb and I had to see it for myself."

However, there is one change that Flay wanted the brand behind the miniature oven to make — removing the female-focused marketing and making the product more gender-neutral (via Time). The quest for more gender-neutral Easy-Bake products was actually kicked off by a New Jersey teenager who found herself frustrated. After attempting to buy the product for her younger brother and finding only pink or purple ovens available, she started an online petition that caught the attention of several big names in the culinary world, including Flay himself. 

Flay didn't simply sign the petition, though. His PR firm Bullfrog + Baum (via Institute for Culinary Education) put out a video in which several prominent chefs shared their support for the gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven.

The evolution of the Easy Bake Oven

While celebrity chefs like Flay weren't the first ones to propose the idea of a gender-neutral Easy-Bake Oven, their outspoken support for the idea eventually made the manufacturer, Hasbro, pay attention. Just months after the petition, Hasbro announced the launch of silver and black versions of the pint-sized culinary tool (via CNN). They had allegedly been in development for well over a year at that point. The colors of the oven have varied over the past few decades, but the addition to the line-up certainly provided a more gender-neutral alternative to the previous pink and purple hues.

The beloved children's toy has gone through quite a few aesthetic changes over the years. It first debuted in 1963 in a teal color, with a body that actually resembled a miniature stove (via Good Housekeeping). Its appearance responded to the decor trends of the time, with an avocado green model complete with 1970s-style wood paneling, while a sleeker shape designed to resemble a microwave debuted in the 1980s.

The current design came onto the market in 2011, and though the colors and patterns on the body of the toy changed over the past decade, the Easy-Bake Ovens available today still have that same slightly futuristic shape (via Hasbro). And don't worry, kids aren't restricted to simply whipping up sweet treats with this toy. They can craft everything from soft pretzels and cheese pizza to whoopie pies and layer cakes.