He launched his restaurant Mesa Grill at the tender age of 25. The author and TV chef, now 42, is known for his Southwestern dishes with their spicy, robust flavours. They often feature blends of chillies that achieve varying degrees of heat, smokiness and fruitiness on the same plate.
He has opened five more restaurants including two other Mesa Grills, one in Las Vegas and one in the Bahamas, and his seventh book, "Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook", has just been released.
"This is a memoir of Mesa Grill," Flay said. "The restaurant just needed some time to grow before putting its recipes into a book."
Q: How has Mesa Grill grown up?
A: "The food has gotten subtler and simpler. When the restaurant first opened there were a lot more components on the plate. Now the food has become much clearer. There's more clarity and balance to it, such as chilli pepper enhancing rather than being the focus of a dish."
Q: How has Bobby Flay grown up?
A: "Hopefully I've matured a little bit. I look at the restaurant much differently now than back then. The restaurant has mellowed along with me."
Q: What do you think is your contribution to American cuisine?
A: "My contribution I hope is to get people to eat full-flavoured food. If I could come away with that alone, that would be a fantastic accomplishment. I'm also very proud of being a very American chef. The food of America is some of the best in the world. I don't think it gets the credit it deserves."
Q: What more do you want to accomplish as a chef?
A: "I don't consider myself as someone who sets trends. I take a look at what people are interested in and I try to give people a version of that. So if people want to eat more comforting food, I can turn my attention to that. Of course I can do it with my style. I much rather follow the trail than to be a trailblazer."
Q: Outside of the kitchen, what would you like to accomplish?
A: "I have a couple of goals. With television, I love news and current events. I would love to be in news in some way and talk about things that are not just food. I'm a proud native New Yorker. After my restaurant career I would like to go into politics at some point to help the city."