Bobby Flay

Bobby FlayChef Bobby Flay has a lot of credits to his name. He has been the host of several hit TV shows, his restaurants are top dining destinations and in June 2013 he even manned the kitchen for President Barack Obama and his esteemed guest, Chinese President Xi Jinping. Flay also added a new feather to his cap in the summer of 2013: Universal Life Church minister.

Like a lot of great artists, Bobby Flay’s interest in his medium blossomed early. In 1972 when he was just 8 years old, young Bobby asked for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. Though his parents worried that the oven, traditionally thought of as a “girl’s toy,” might not be an appropriate gift, they fortunately agreed to give it a shot. By the time Bobby found himself at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, all expenses paid by his boss at Joe Allen Restaurant, the Easy-Bake proved to be the right choice.

Bobby Flay got his formal education at the FCI, but his real education happened in the challenging world of the New York restaurant business. If it’s any indication how much pressure that entails, Flay briefly took some time off to a work a much more relaxing job on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The kitchen kept calling, though. Flay’s flair for southwestern cuisine catapulted him to executive positions in the back and front house of many acclaimed restaurants, including several ventures with the legendary father/son team of Jerome and Laurence Kretchmer. In this period, Bobby Flay also became a TV cooking personality, hosting shows on Lifetime, Food Network and NBC. He also famously crossed paths with the Iron Chefs of the original Japanese cooking competition show and was involved in bringing the Iron Chef phenomenon to American audiences.

So, Bobby Flay definitely wears a lot of different hats. Most of the time it’s a chef’s hat, but there’s still plenty of room for his roles as a TV executive, an author and, yes, a Universal Life Church minister. Now he can officiate weddings, though the happy couples wouldn’t be blamed for wanting a little catering to go along with the ceremony.