One Person Figured Out How To Win Beat Bobby Flay Using Data Science

Simone Biles may be the proverbial G.O.A.T. of gymnastics, but in the world of cooking competitions, it's Bobby Flay who owns the title (even if you don't want to admit it). The 56-year-old has spent a large portion of his career battling head-to-head against hundreds of skilled chefs on various Food Network programs like "Beat Bobby Flay" where, despite its name, the chef holds an impressive 63% win rate over his competitors.

With a record like that, one naturally has to wonder if there's any method that can guarantee a win against the New York native. Many of Flay's fellow Food Network stars have offered some guidance, like Alex Guarnashcelli, who suggests that chefs stay true to their cooking style when competing against her pal. Even Flay's mentor Jonathan Waxman has put in his two cents, advising chefs to stay calm and keep things simple in the kitchen. This, of course, is all sound advice, but what if there was a specific set of parameters that competitors could follow to ensure a victory over Flay? As it turns out, there is. Ph.D. student Alex Cates took time to analyze the data from "Beat Bobby Flay" to determine the exact scenario that would set the notoriously cocky chef up for a rare loss at his own game. Here's what his research found.

The best way to beat Bobby Flay, according to science

Earlier this year, Ph.D. and self-proclaimed "data jock" Alex Cates took it upon himself to find a strategy to beat Bobby Flay using data from the show. Per his blog, Cates analyzed the records of the 316 episodes that had already aired for trends that pointed to wins for the contestants. His first finding? Have Valerie Bertinelli and Giada De Laurentiis as the guest judges on your episode. "No idea how you could arrange this, but they have a knack for winning," Cates explained. He also found that the Iron Chef often chooses a meat, fish, or vegetable as the star ingredient for round one of the competition, so it's best practice to spend a bit more time preparing for those types of foods than others.

The ball is in your court once you make it to round two, and data shows that there are a few components to your signature dish that can guarantee a win more than others. According to Cates' findings, Indian dishes seem to be a major downfall for Flay, as competitors with a signature dish from this cuisine earned a victory 73% of the time. Lobster and vegetarian dishes were two excellent protein choices, while dessert was another clear winner with a 50% win rate when chosen as a signature dish. Of course, Cates notes that you'll still need to be an "excellent chef" to beat Bobby Flay, but hopefully with his findings, you'll have an easier time securing an elusive win.