Bobby Flay Isn’t a Fan of Food Bloggers Trading Snark for Clicks

The Food Network star says NYT still reigns supreme for reviews


Specs
Who Bobby Flay
Age 50
Claim to fame Chef (restaurants include Gato, Bar Americain and Mesa Grill); host of Food Network series such as Beat Bobby Flay, All-Star Academy and Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction
Base New York
Twitter @bflay

What's the first information you consume in the morning?
It's usually The New York Times, the actual newspaper. I'm a die-hard home delivery person. The first thing I do after waking up is I go to my door and get the newspaper. Then I watch news programs, which varies from The Today Show to CBS This Morning. I like Morning Joe a lot.

What social media do you use?
I use Twitter, but not really much else. I've used Instagram sparingly, although I am going to start doing it again.

Do you read any food blogs or sites?
I like Food52 a lot. I use the Bon Appétit and Food & Wine sites a lot, and America's Test Kitchen because they're incredibly thorough in terms of recipe development. I love the guys at The Infatuation. I feel like they're really cool and hip, and they don't use their pen, so to speak, to show off how mean they can be or take somebody down. I think that they're good critics; they go into restaurants looking for the positive, which is such a departure from what a lot of these other blogs are doing.

Do you think that some food blogs intentionally write negative reviews in order to get more attention?
Absolutely. I've talked to people who run these food blogs or write for them, and they say, "I know if I'm mean to a restaurant, I'm going to get more clicks." Well, that's not very professional in my opinion. These people have dedicated their lives to cooking food and opening restaurants and put basically everything in their life on the line, and you're worried about looking for negatives so you can get more clicks. It's kind of infuriating.

What's your favorite app?
Besides Uber? I use a lot of apps to keep my life straight—financial apps, things like that—and of course Twitter, sports apps like ESPN and CBS Sports, my Starbucks app. I use the Zagat app a lot. I grew up in the restaurant business where Zagat was the second most important tool that people used to go to restaurants, after The New York Times, and the book was always by my bedside. I have to say, in their new digital form, they're very informational.

What TV shows do you watch?
I watch those epic series like Homeland and Mad Men, and I love House of Cards. That's not even really TV though, is it? Two of my favorite series of all time were The Wire and The Sopranos. We're in a golden age of television. It's interesting that we have shows like that, which are so well-written and well-acted, and then you have the opposite end of the spectrum, with the garbage reality shows about people who don't do anything.

Speaking of HBO series, you appeared in the final season of Entourage as the new boyfriend of Ari Gold's wife. Are you going to have a cameo in the movie?
No [laughs]. But the thing about that show is you never know when your name is going to pop up. So I'm certainly not in the movie, but I could get a reference. I don't know.