Controversial Dallas chef John Tesar will be on the season premiere episode of Beat Bobby Flay on Food Network on Thursday, Jan. 28. And no offense to Tesar's long list of TV appearances, which includes Top Chef, but he says the 30-minute Beat Bobby Flay episode is "probably the best show I've done to date."
Beat Bobby Flay is a competition show. In the first round, two chefs compete against one another; here, it's Tesar versus a caterer from Atlanta named Terry Sargent. In the second round, the winner cooks head-to-head against TV personality Bobby Flay. Chef Tesar and Food Network couldn't share who wins Round One; that would classify as a spoiler. But it's safe to assume that both Tesar and Sargent want the opportunity to cook against Flay.
Tesar has known Flay for 30 years, back since they were both chefs in New York City. He calls Flay "the ultimate television competition chef."
'He is just as controversial as I am, even moreso maybe,' John Tesar says of Bobby Flay.
Tesar seems to know nearly everyone on the set, as his buddies Jet Tila and Simon Majumdar (both Food Network TV personalities) will serve as judges during Round One. Interesting, still: Tila is the executive chef at Pakpao, a sibling restaurant to Dallas restaurant Oak, where Tesar serves as chef-partner.
So, is that fair? Tesar says he was still plenty nervous. "You're not in your own kitchen," he says, "and there's an audience. ... You're as vulnerable as can be."
For Tesar, shows like Beat Bobby Flay are yet another way to market his restaurants to diners both inside and outside Dallas.
'Television is just really a vehicle for a broader audience,' Tesar says. 'It's up to you to be more interesting and different than anybody else.'