Following stalled negotiations, New York-native celebrity chef Bobby Flay has signed a new three-year contract with his longtime TV home, Food Network.
"I'm thrilled to extend my relationship with Food Network and [its parent company] Discovery," Flay, 56, said in a statement Monday. "Although these talks to renew took a little longer than expected, the important thing is that both sides are happy that we can now build on an already rock-solid foundation. Stay tuned for some incredibly exciting new shows as I promise to take food and cooking to places we've never imagined before."
"Here's THE bell from the Beat Bobby Flay set," he added on Facebook, posting a photo of the boxing-match bell used on that Food Network culinary competition, which has run on the network since 2013. "Just when we thought we taped the last episode ever … Guess I’m gonna have to bring this back."
A shorter version of this post on Flay's Instagram account prompted a supportive comment from fellow celebrity chef Michael Symon, who wrote, "Don't call it a comeback."
Flay, whose first Food Network series, "Grillin' and Chillin'," premiered in 1996, told Variety in a story published Monday, "I have an amazing family at Food Network and a great foundation. And I have a sizable library of food television here." He added, "I'm a lucky person. I grew up in a time when this country finally decided that food was important."
The chef-restaurateur, who formerly had Bobby's Burger Palace locations at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove and the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, will host a new show next year with the working title "Bobby and Sophie on the Coast," featuring his daughter, Sophie Flay, who also is his "Always Hungry" podcast co-host.