Bobby Flay  Bon App├ętit

If there was a Mount Rushmore honoring those who ushered in the era of celebrity chefs, unquestionably Iron Chef Bobby Flay's face would be on it, as his role in putting Food Network on the map can't be denied. But during a taping of new series Iron Cheff Showdown, Flay wore a T-shirt that seemingly stated he was done with the franchise, so that legacy could be coming to an end, with rumors swirling around whether or not the chef is actually quitting the show. Presently, that answer is technically unknown, but it appears Flay was just goofing around.

The drama began over the summer at the final taping of Iron Chef Showdown. In the midst of the episode, Flay tore open his apron and revealed a shirt which read "THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER," and kept the shirt in full view of the camera. Because the competition is timed and filmed in front of a studio audience, producers couldn't stop things to tell Flay to cover up; but afterwards, they approached and informed him they would not be able to edit around his shirt. Flay acknowledged to producers that was the point of him doing it, and thus sparked the news to the world and Food Network that Flay might be attempting to exit the show.

The drama only intensified when Bobby Flay did not appear at the Food Network-hosted New York City Wine and Food Festival two weeks ago, despite him being seen at dinner with Lucy actress Scarlett Johansson in town the same day. Now, a day after all this drama hit the web, Flay has issued an official statement regarding the initial incident that occurred on Iron Chef Showdown:

This past summer when I was in production on Iron Chef Showdown, I wore a T-shirt to have a little fun during my last battle this season. In hindsight, it was probably not the best decision because it's just creating confusion. Food Network has been part of my family for over 20 years and will absolutely continue to be, and though there is a talented bench of Iron Chefs to tap, if I were asked, I'd be excited to return to Kitchen Stadium, whenever my schedule allows.

Either Bobby Flay and most individuals have different ideas of what passes as fun, or there's something behind the scenes that transpired in those months that has Flay choosing his words very carefully. The response is diplomatic, mentioning his love of Food Network while still giving no concrete form of commitment as to whether he'll be back with the Iron Chef franchise. Perhaps this means a deal is still being worked out between the two parties that will give both sides what they're looking for if Flay is under some form of contract that prevents him leaving the show completely.

If the latter is true, that means we'll have to wait for an official answer as to what's going on with Bobby Flay and Iron Chef. Until then, Alton Brown is coming back to television, and Anthony Bourdain was not a big fan of Baby Driver. For less on celebrity chefs and more on great television, be sure to bookmark our fall premiere guide to stay on top of all the hottest shows of the next few months.

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