The world knows Bobby Flay as the unbeatable chef whose big flavors helped build an even bigger restaurant empire. But America’s biggest culinary star is as busy in the bedroom as he is in the kitchen. Flay has a reputation as a ladies’ man, and the relationship history to prove it.
Flay has had multiple marriages, girlfriends, and flings. Find out if he has is in a relationship or if he’s enjoying the single life.
Is Bobby Flay Married?
Good news for celebrity chef groupies: Bobby Flay is on the market. In a 2019 episode of Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay, guest judge Fran Drescher got the star of the show to admit to his relationship status.
“What’s your situation?” asked Drescher. “You’re not wearing a wedding ring. You have a girlfriend?”
“I’m very single,” said Flay. “She kicked me to the curb.”
Upon hearing his response, The Nanny star made her move and asked if they “should look at art together.” (Flay is said to be a fan of contemporary art.)
“Are you asking me on a date?” he says. “I’m kind of blushing right now.”
There’s no confirmation that they ever spent a day of gallery-hopping, but it’s unlikely. After all, Drescher ultimately voted against Flay, and he lost the episode to competitor Shelby Sieg.
“I’ll date him, but I’m rooting for you,” Drescher told Sieg.
Bobby Flay Has Actually Been Married Three Times
Flay might currently be single, but he’s got a heck of a romantic history. The chef is a three-time divorcé, and one of his previous relationships was stained by a public scandal. Here’s a quick history of his past wives:
Flay met Debra Ponzek at a Meals-on-Wheels charity event in 1990. At the time, he was a 26-year-old chef working at the casual Manhattan restaurant Miracle Grill; she was a chef at the highly-regarded fine-dining destination Montrachet.
Within weeks of dating, he proposed. They were married before 225 guests on May 11, 1991 at the Rainbow Room in New York City.
“I think we’re going to keep our careers separate,” Ponzek told the New York Times days before the nuptials. “We do two totally different types of food.”
It was a wise decision, even if there were some awkward moments. The newlyweds’ careers grew in tandem, and in 1992, following Flay’s big splash as the chef of Mesa Grill, both chefs were nominated for the same James Beard Award (Rising Star Chef). Flay tried to withdraw his name from the race, but his request was rejected. Ponzek took home the medal, and Flay won the following year.
But the marriage was over in 1993. Ponzek has since relocated to Connecticut, where she owns Aux Delices, a fine foods chain and catering company. She is now married to her business partner, Gregory Addonizio, and has three children.
On October 1, 1995, Flay married his second wife, Kate Connelly. The chef was riding high on the success of Mesa Grill and Bolo—two of New York’s hottest restaurants at the time; Connelly was a co-host of Robin Leach Talking Food, which aired during the early days of the Food Network.
A New York Times wedding announcement painted the picture of an unlikely match. Flay was described as a man “living in an apartment with white furniture, white carpets and modern art on the walls.” Connelly was “an unmarried mother whose apartment was decorated with the kinds of rugs and chairs that camouflage peanut-butter-and-jelly stains.”
“For both, there was an instant attraction, yet instant danger signals,” said the bride’s colleague and confidante, Robin Leach. “She was warned that he was a real bachelor, and he realized he met the woman he was going to give up bachelorhood for.”
Connelly gave birth to Flay’s only child, Sophie, in April 1996. But by 1998, People reported that the couple had already separated and were sharing custody of Sophie. The cause for their split was never made public, and Connelly slipped into a life of relative anonymity.
Regardless of his failed relationships, Flay seems to take his parenting duties seriously. “I was a little scared about being a dad, but now I think I’m really good at it,” he said. In 1998, he told People he had “10 tea parties a day” with her; in 2017, for her 21st birthday, they celebrated with macarons and creme brûlée at a swanky brasserie in London.
Sophie appears to love both parents equally. Check out this Instagram post from May 2020, where she calls Connelly “the best momma out there”:
The third time was not the charm for Flay. On February 20, 2005, the chef married actress Stephanie March. At the time, she was best-known for playing assistant district attorney Alexandra Cabot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
The marriage lasted ten years (a record for Flay), but it also blew up in spectacular fashion. In April 2015, TMZ leaked a few reasons for the couple’s demise. Among them was Flay’s decision to abandon March when her appendix burst the prior year (the outlet reported that he offered to send an assistant in his place). The chef also ditched the couple’s 10-year anniversary to attend a food and wine festival in Florida.
But infidelity appeared to be among March’s chief concerns. According to Page Six, March moved out after learning that Flay was having an affair with his former hostess and then-personal assistant, Elyse Tirrell. Not that it was the first time he was caught cheating! In 2010, actress January Jones was involved in a car crash in Los Angeles. An investigation revealed that Flay was the first person she called. Flay denied any wrongdoing, telling TMZ that they had recently exchanged numbers to talk about kitchen design. He claimed he had no idea why she chose to call him first, “but nonetheless, he drove over to help her… just wanted to make sure she was ok.”
However, court papers filed by March claimed that he had slept with Jones on multiple occasions. His ex-wife also said Flay had a third mistress, whose identity is unknown.
March has since married tech investor Dan Benton, and according to her rep, “They are both overjoyed to begin their next chapter together.”
Are Bobby Flay And Giada De Laurenitis Dating?
Given Flay’s love for the ladies, some might wonder if mixing business with pleasure is a regular thing for the chef. Fellow Food Network personality Giada De Laurentiis divorced around the same time as Flay, and her marriage was also tainted with cheating allegations. (De Laurenitis allegedly had an affair with singer John Mayer.) Is the duo’s on-screen chemistry a sign of a blossoming romance?
The two have never confirmed a relationship, and it’s a safe bet that they are just friends. As recently as October 2020, De Laurentiis told People that she was going strong with her boyfriend of five years, Shane Farley.
Does Bobby Flay Currently Have A Girlfriend?
For now, it looks like Bobby Flay is single. His last long-term relationship was with actress Heléne Yorke, whom he dated between 2016 and 2019. Yorke even appeared on a 2017 episode of Beat Bobby Flay, where the host revealed that he had met her at a Knicks game. Check out the former lovebirds after their one-year anniversary:
Alas, it looks like she’s the one “who kicked him to the curb,” as he told Fran Drescher. Perhaps Flay is currently taking time to enjoy being single. We only hope that if he ever decides to commit to a woman again, it’s for the long haul.