The 1 Thing Bobby Flay Won’t Serve on Thanksgiving

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay is famous for his culinary talents, television shows, and restaurant ownership. As one of today’s top chefs, fans expect the Food Network star to have his Thanksgiving meal planned far in advance. While he may not always be sure of everything he’ll serve on the food-laden holiday, Flay knows one item that he’ll be avoiding.

Food Network's Bobby Flay
Food Network’s Bobby Flay | Lloyd Bishop/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Host with the most

According to Food & Wine, Flay welcomes the opportunity to host the annual holiday each year, inviting 40 to 50 guests into his home for the special dinner. Flay consistently tries to communicate a central theme related to current events through his menu.

“It might sound corny, but I always try to do something as a conversation piece, giving thanks and taking a moment to talk about something that occurred over the year,” he said. “Some people say grace at the table, and we just talk for a couple of minutes about people who are in a less good place than we are at that very moment. Then eating ensues.”

A challenge all cooks face

For anyone hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, keeping all food items warm is always a challenge. Heating and reheating dishes is often eschewed (pardon the pun) by seasoned chefs since it tends to dry food out, so Flay has his own method to prevent the star of the meal from getting cold.

“The most important thing to my Thanksgiving is having warm chicken stock on the stove to reheat things, like the stuffing and turkey,” he told Food & Wine. “I break down the breast, then I take all the meat off the legs and thighs so it’s a pulled, dark turkey meat, like carnitas. The breast is sliced and put on a tray. I have hot chicken stock on the stove, and then I just hit the meat with it, and it brings it back to life.”

His trick also works for stuffing. “I make indentations in the trays of stuffing with a spoon,” he said. “I put the hot chicken stock in it, and it keeps it warm.”

A Thanksgiving no-no

The Food Network star has some definite items and actions that are off limits year round. For instance, when he dines out, there is one thing he will never do. “I won’t send food back to the chef. Never,” he told Popsugar in 2017.

Yet the culinary king has no problem if a dish is returned to him at one of his restaurants. “It happens in all my restaurants for one reason or the other,” he said. “I want my customers to be happy, and I will try to the end of the world to make them happy,” Flay said.

Flay has proven himself as a master in the kitchen, and his loyal fans know he is also an expert mixologist. From hard lemonade to bourbon-infused root beer floats, Flay knows his way around the bar. Yet there is one concoction he now refuses to serve on Thanksgiving.

“I used to make cranberry martinis, but I don’t anymore because people get f**ked up on those,” he said, according to Food & Wine. “It’s basically just red vodka. It’s a bad idea. By 6:30 p.m. people are like, walking into walls.”

As a replacement on the turkey-themed holiday, he’ll often offer coquito as a beverage since it’s rich and can’t be consumed in large quantities. Flay will also assign his guests specific types of wine to bring to ensure variety, as well as dessert. “I don’t want to make dessert; it’s just too hard with everything else going on,” he said. “When you’re the chef, the pressure is always on.” 

Read more: Who Are Bobby Flay’s 3 Ex-Wives?