How Bobby Flay Has Changed His Thinking About Cooking Vegetarian

Few celebrity chefs can cook like Bobby Flay. According to Food Network, the chef started his career at the age of 17 and trained at The French Culinary Institute. He went on to work at a variety of high-end restaurants, where he discovered the bold flavors of the American Southwest and used them at his eateries across the U.S. Eventually, he opened up Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City in 2006. Unsurprisingly, this meat-centric chef knows his way around a side of beef and can cook up protein with the best of them.

Historically, Flay has approached vegetarian options with caution. CNBC reported that the chef rejected embracing Impossible Burgers back in 2019, citing its cost. As the host of shows like "Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction," it makes sense that this chef might not fully embrace vegetables as an entrée, but recently, Flay admitted to the opposite.

On a recent episode of "Always Hungry with Bobby Flay and Sophie Flay," the chef admitted that his veggie burgers comprised one-third of recent sales at his restaurant's latest location in Yankee Stadium. Flay laid out that his way of thinking about meat alternatives like vegetables, meat substitutes like tofu or seitan, and meat imitators like Beyond Meat. These new ingredients caused Bobby Flay to think about protein alternatives in a new light.

Bobby Flay sees meat alternatives in a new way

Thanks to the increasing popularity of protein alternatives, Bobby Flay now appreciates the ingredients in a whole new light. "It's made the world a much more interesting place in kitchen and restaurants," he said on "Always Hungry with Bobby Flay and Sophie Flay." "It wasn't that long ago that a vegetarian would come into the restaurant, and that person would be singled out. 'What's he gonna eat? Steamed spinach, obviously.' As chefs, we didn't think about the vegetarian diet whatsoever, forget about vegans."

Flay went on to explain that he has started work developing a plant-based frozen dessert that compares to traditional ice cream but lacks dairy. Additionally, the vegetarian and vegan diet has turned Flay into a much more creative chef, as he now sees the limitation as a way to explore new flavors and ingredients for a whole new crowd of diners. Even if you don't see Impossible Burgers at the chef's restaurants anytime in the near future, expect Flay to embrace more and more plant-based meals. When this barbecue fanatic can embrace protein alternatives, you know a delicious culinary sea change could happen soon.