At first glance Beat Bobby Flay seems pretty straightforward. Chefs get challenged by Bobby Flay, and they go head to head. The goal is to make better food (or drinks) than Bobby. Fans love the incredibly talented and charismatic Flay, and it’s exciting to watch him take on the whole world of cooking. We certainly enjoy the highs and lows. Plus, he’s not afraid to lose, and he does, though nowhere near as often as he wins of course. With season twenty-two underway this month some folks have to be wondering just how long it can last.
Why Are Cooking Shows So Popular?
What makes Beat Bobby Flay so wildly popular and long-lasting? Indeed, the man himself has an undeniable charm. Watching Bobby on screen and in the kitchen is delightful. He’s funny and clever, plus there’s no denying the level of skill Flay brings to the table. Watching Bobby operate, you get a sense of what a true professional who knows his way around flavors, as well as the equipment of the trade, can do.
We don’t always appreciate the level of raw talent and trained skill that goes into a great meal. Chefs can go unseen, and as a result, they get glossed over and somewhat forgotten about. We’re grateful to the food network, and the pioneers that came before them. Not just for bringing public attention to shows like this, but also for helping expand palates and recipe books everywhere with all the wonderful cooking shows available now.
People eat first with their eyes, or so the old saying goes. What that means is that we enjoy more than just the flavors and smells of our food. People look at what’s on their plate to assess whether or not it’s safe and how likely they are to enjoy it. A well-plated meal brings something extra to the table beyond nutrition. We may not get any nutritional value from beauty, but it affects us deeply. We need visual appeal in our lives to be our happiest selves.
Shows That Last
When it comes to longevity in America, our longest-running programs are news and sports. There’s even a daytime soap opera that’s been on for almost sixty years. Guiding Light is the oldest soap on TV, and before that, it was on the radio. Oddly Law and Order and the Simpsons also routinely make the top of the list for longest-running. Though there are news and sports shows that have been running for decades longer.
Regardless of who’s been on longest, there are some incredibly resilient game shows or cooking shows. Truth or Consequence, for example, has been on and off the air since 1950. Likewise, The Price is Right has had a thirty-five-year run. The popularity of gameshows is universal because everyone enjoys seeing average people win in spite of the difficulty. Everyone can see themselves winning big on a show like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune, though it’s not as easy as it looks. This ability to see ourselves reflected on the screen gives people an emotional tie to their favorites. We want them to succeed because it makes us feel as though we’ve won as well. The excitement, lights, confetti, and prizes draw us in.
The longest-running cooking show is Ciao Italia. For thirty years, the hostess Mary Anne has been sharing her insight into the world of everyday cooking. She also runs the Mary Ann Esposito Foundation, which helps aspiring chefs reach their dreams. Mary has been sharing her recipes and wisdom with audiences for so long. It’s hard to imagine a world without her on the air. It’s no surprise her recipes are so popular. In addition to her lifetime of effort to protect the legacy of Italian cooking, she also comes from a family of talented female chefs. Both of her grandmothers worked as chefs, and they’ve passed on that love of great Italian food to Mary.
Ciao Italia isn’t the only cooking show that’s been on the air for ages, but it is unique because of it’s lengthy and unbroken duration. Internationally the honor goes to Mexico’s Hasta La Cocina, which has been airing every day since it began in 1960. That’s an incredible run for any show, let alone one that features cooking as the main event. What can we say? People love to eat!
Bobby Flay Forever
Because Bobby Flay combines a game show with a cooking show, he’s been incredibly successful. It’s a formula that works well for many. Iron Chef has seen similar popularity both in the US and abroad. Unlike Iron Chef, contestants on Beat Bobby Flay don’t just compete against each other. The first round a pair of contestants do face off in an attempt to impress the judges and win their shot at the game’s king, Bobby himself. Much like Iron Chef, they have to use a pre-chosen ingredient as the star of their culinary show.
For those who are wondering why we mentioned IC, Bobby Flay used to be on the show. He did as many as eight competitions a week and famously quit on air. Food Network may not have been too thrilled with his choice, but they didn’t hold a grudge because fans love to see him. Plus he gave them outstanding ratings when he announced suddenly that it was his last ever Iron Chef competition. Bobby knows how to build the drama. Doubtless, being on his own show is a slightly less hectic pace.
Those who still want to beat him at his own game have to make it past the first round on his show to get a chance. The second round features Flay and the flavor-of-the-day chef going head to head to determine the true mastery of each dish. While he has an astounding record, Flay only actually wins about two-thirds of the competitions, proving that you can indeed Beat Bobby Flay.
Final Thoughts: How Long Can It Go On?
How long will the show last? That’s hard to say, but what we can tell you is that we don’t think he’ll be quitting anytime soon. We all enjoy seeing his colorful, positive personality on air. Bobby Flay is very good at what he does, so ratings probably won’t be the issue. It seems like Bobby Flay will be on the air for exactly as long as he wants to, and perhaps not one day longer.