The Heartwarming Reason Bobby Flay Has A Theme For Thanksgiving Dinner

Cooking up Thanksgiving dinner can be enormously stressful — even if you are a pro like Bobby Flay. The celebrity chef recently took to his podcast "Always Hungry," which he co-hosts with his daughter Sophie, to share that Thanksgiving is "undisputedly" his favorite day of the year (via iHeart). He shared with Sophie and listeners that he "wakes up hungry" on the holiday, also known as the "Super Bowl" for chefs. "You gotta bring it," he said. But even Flay is no stranger to a little family criticism when someone doesn't enjoy his dishes. "I've had people say to me, 'The mashed potatoes were unbelievable but the cauliflower wasn't my favorite,'" Flay told Thrillist about his past Thanksgiving feedback.

Because Flay only had three people (including himself) to feed on last year's holiday in the thick of the pandemic, he's very excited about this year's celebration. Typically, he likes to host 30 to 40 people, half of whom he doesn't know, he joked. Flay also shared that every year during Thanksgiving prep, he always thinks to himself, "'I'm going to do this a few times a year,' but it never happens." After all, he is a mere mortal, and cooking Thanksgiving dinner just once is "exhausting." Finally, the super chef has one more tradition on turkey day: He always comes up with a theme, and the reason is really heartwarming.

Thanksgiving needs to be truly about giving thanks, Flay says

Flay shared with Sophie on the "Always Hungry" episode, available on iHeart, that he likes to reflect on global events when he is creating his Thanksgiving theme. He said, "I remember the first time I thought about theming a Thanksgiving was just after the devastating hurricane and floods in New Orleans." Flay went on to explain that he decided to flavor Thanksgiving with Creole and Cajun flavors to represent New Orleans and Louisiana. Flay said, "I wanted to think about them while we were having this very sort of indulgent meal."

And what a meal it was: blackened spiced turkey, black pepper and green onion gravy, gumbo, crawfish-flavored everything, and fun types of cornbread, all of which represented New Orleans "through and through." Before anyone dug into the feast, Flay encouraged his guests to have a thought or a prayer in their heads for the hardships that the people of New Orleans had gone through. As for this year's theme, Flay told his daughter that there are so many world disasters and hardships going on right now, he is unsure what it will be. It's safe to assume that it will definitely place giving thanks at the front and center.