Inside Chef Bobby Flay’s New Los Angeles House
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay has purchased an extremely Zen-like retreat in Los Angeles, California, for $7.6 million. How Zen is it? So Zen that there's a 100-plus-year-old olive tree smack in the middle of the house.
The Hollywood Hills home in the Bird Streets neighborhood is a great place to unwind for the former "Iron Chef" after 17 years of being on a chaotic "Iron Chef" schedule.
Want to see more? Come take a tour. Just don't touch the walls.
It's Brand New
Flay purchased this super modern estate in early February 2021. It's a new build located in the ever-exclusive Hollywood Hills neighborhood with 5,764 square feet, four bedrooms and five bathrooms.
What used to stand on the nearly half-acre of prime real estate was a "very forgettable 1990s house," Michael Martin, managing partner of the design studio OSKLO, told Architectural Digest.
The House Was First on the Market for $9.775 million
OSKLO is the company behind Flay's new digs. Martin and his wife, Arya Mohammadi Martin, purchased the property for $3.8 million in 2017 and built their dream home, where they stayed for a few years. They relisted the new house for $9.775 million in the middle of 2020.
Flay, undoubtedly charmed by the super-luxe property and all of its expensive outfittings, picked it up about 18 months later for a couple of million dollars less.
There's a 100-Year-Old Olive Tree Inside
Of course, the most striking thing about this ultra-modern, minimalistic midcentury home is the centenarian olive tree that is situated in the central atrium.
The olive tree dates back to the late 1800s and is displayed via floor-to-ceiling pocket glass doors.
This Place Has Luxury Furnishings
According to Architectural Digest, in its profile piece on the house while it was still on the market, the daybed here has been reupholstered by Cavallini olive pony hair from the luxury leatherworking company Edelman.
Look But Don't Touch
While there's oodles of luxury, there's also one design element that would keep any buyer with small children away from this property — the walls and surfaces smudge easily.
"We only used ultra-matte paints and surfaces, to the dismay of visitors that are often reprimanded for touching them by Michael," OSKLO cofounder Arya told Architectural Digest.
A Far Cry From His Easy-Bake Days
That might sound impractical for many people, but most people aren't Bobby Flay.
Flay was born and raised in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. When he was 8 years old, he asked his parents for an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas.
His father, who thought the lightbulb-powered kids toy might be too unmanly for his son, rounded out the gift with a G.I. Joe figure.
A Home that Baskin-Robbins Money Can't Buy
While the Easy-Bake Oven might have been Flay's first foray into the culinary world, it wasn't an immediate lifelong dream.
Flay dropped out of high school when he was 17 years old and took up jobs delivering pizzas, scooping ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins and then making salads at the Joe Allen restaurant in Manhattan's theater district.
It was there that Flay developed his love for cooking and was also given his first big break.
The Bar Is Made of Marble
The business owner, Joe Allen, told Flay he would pay the tuition for the French Culinary Institute.
Flay's father was a partner at the restaurant, and Allen clearly saw something in his friend's son. He was right.
Also, how cool is that marble bar?
A New Kind of Shangri-La for Flay
After getting his GED so he could go to the Institute, Flay graduated from the culinary school in 1984. During this time, his friends were making a killing playing poker.
"They owned their one-bedroom apartments," Flay said in an interview with Inc. "That, for me, was like Shangri-la."
Those apartments assuredly looked nothing like this house.
The Ceilings Are 13 Feet
Flay went on to work at various restaurants, but ended up leaving the restaurant industry to work as a clerk at the American Stock Exchange. He lasted about six months.
"There was no creativity to it. It was all about the dollar," Flay told Inc. "I went back to the kitchen."
That was a good move. If Flay stuck in Wall Street, he probably wouldn't have made the kind of money he makes now, which can afford him 13-foot-high ceilings.
$1,319 Per Square Foot
Back in the cooking game, Flay caught the eye of restaurateur and former New York politician Jerome Kretchmer, who owned the Gotham Bar and Grill.
The two went into business together, with Kretchmer handling the business and Flay making the menu. Mesa Grill opened in 1991. The NYC location stayed open for 22 years, until 2013, when Flay says they shuttered the shop because the landlord "quadrupled the rent."
We wonder what the price-per-square footage for his restaurant was like back then. At this house, it's $1,319 per square foot.
Capitalizing on an Opportunity
"All of a sudden, it was like I was playing at Yankee Stadium," Flay reminisced about the time Mesa opened.
Two or three years later, a fledgling channel called the Food Network came calling. It was a unique opportunity, and Flay capitalized on it.
"They had no money to fly people in, so if you could get there by subway, you could get on a show," said Flay. "A lot of chefs didn't want to do it. I'm like, 'Well, you guys are missing the point, because every time I'm on TV, I'm gonna get people to understand that I own a restaurant, and I'm gonna put more a--es in the seats.' I came up with my own show ideas. I created 'Throwdown' and 'Beat Bobby Flay.'"
'Iron Chef' Is in the Kitchen
The heart of the home — and undoubtedly a huge selling point for Flay — is the kitchen.
The range hood was custom designed by OSKLO, and the stone used to create the countertops are from Stoneland.
The Kitchen Is Dvine
Flay appeared on the Food Network for the first time in 1994, at the age of 30. He's had several TV shows on the network and was a mainstay on "Iron Chef," until his somewhat controversial departure.
In the middle of a summertime taping of the show in 2017, Flay took off his apron and revealed a shirt that read, "THIS IS MY LAST IRON CHEF BATTLE EVER."
Maybe he role-plays it here?
A Look At the Master Bedroom
"Iron Chef" is taped live, so there would be no way for the cameras to cut around it. "That's the point," Flay reportedly told the producers. They weren't happy.
After the news broke, Flay tried to backtrack, telling People that he was just having "a little fun" and that "it was probably not the best decision" and insinuating that it was a joke.
All Kinds of High-End Furniture
The master bed is a custom one and is outfitted with Ralph Lauren cashmere, while the two nightstands/side tables are handcrafted pieces from West Coast Modern LA.
Although this bed probably went away with the Martins. It would be kind of weird for Flay to buy this item.
A Stonework Master Bathroom
The tub is a custom one made by OSKLO, while the stone used in this bathroom is from Stoneland and the hardware is from Euroconcepts.
The wood stool is a Roger Tallon folding stool from 1stDibs. They retail for $550 each.
No More 'Iron Chef' fFor Flay
Flay later announced that he indeed had left the reality cooking competition because they "are exhausting physically but, even more so, they are exhausting emotionally."
"I wanted everyone to know that this is my last 'Iron Chef' battle," he said. "And my objective, though it was probably not the best idea, was that that’s what would be filmed. When the camera’s on you, that’s what the viewer would see. So I did it."
He said they had to "black out" the shirt for airing but he was still on good terms with the channel. "Beat Bobby Flay" celebrated its 26th season in 2021.
Bobby Flay Is Worth a Lot of Money
Aside from all those Food Network shows, Flay has several restaurants, including Bobby’s Burger Palace, a chain with 19 locations, and has authored 13 cookbooks. His net worth is estimated to be $30 million to $60 million.
And if that sounds like a lot, consider how much he has dropped on real estate in the past year or two.
Moving to the West Coast
Flay first bought property on the West Coast in 2019, snapping up a $6.5 million home not far from this one.
It doesn't look like he has sold that home, either, meaning he has spent $14 million on real estate in Los Angels in less than two years.
The Bedrooms are Beautiful
Prior to his real estate moves in Los Angeles, Flay listed a three-bedroom unit in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan for $6.5 million in 2017, two years after divorcing "Law and Order: SVU" actress Stephanie March.
At the time, the place also could be rented for just $22,500 per month.
Not a Great Relationship Track Record
Flay has been married and divorced three times. He married March in 2005, and they acrimoniously divorced in 2015.
The two were married under a prenup, which stipulated $5,000 per month alimony and a $1 million buyout for their family home.
A Bitter Divorce
According to TMZ, March's lawyers said Flay also canceled March's credit cards and alleged that he cheated on her for three years with his assistant.
March also claims Flay got busy with actress January Jones.
There's a Unique Fountain
March sued Flay over $110,000 in damages related to Food Network videos showing her likeness and moving fees. She ultimately lost the case.
Above, an architectural feature houses a small fountain.
The Pool Is a Matter of Perspective
From this perspective, the pool looks to be triangular.
"We like to create visual experiences, so that if there were 30 people in one room, they would each sit somewhere different and experience a different visual," the Martins told Architectural Digest.
There's An Outdoor Kitchen Now
After Flay bought this home, he persuaded the Martins to build an outdoor kitchen for him.
"We are combining all the cooking requirements a truly iconic chef has but in a sleek and modernist outdoor setting that befits the style of this incredible house," the Martins told People.
Surely that had to be extra, right?
The Views Are Great
The house is located on a private drive in the Bird Streets neighborhood, an enclave that has been home to celebrities like Matthew Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jodie Foster and Keanu Reeves.
It's called the Bird Streets because of the many streets with avian names, although you also get a bird's-eye view of the surrounding area.
That's probably a coincidence, though.
A Pricey Neighborhood
The neighborhood is, predictably, rather pricey.
According to realtor.com, the median listing price is $2.95 million, making Flay's new house 158 percent more expensive than other houses nearby.
The Driveway Is Short But Sweet
The house comes with a cobblestone motor court that is short but also looks great.
The bending white walls serve both functional and privacy purposes.
The Gate Is Cool, Too
The gate to the home is certainly worth noting.
The large electronic door has geometric patterns and a prominent video camera to let would-be visitors know they're on camera.
What's Next for Flay?
Flay hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.
In early 2021, Discovery+ released "Bobby and Giada in Italy," a travel show based in Italy starring Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.
Think "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," only in Italy instead of Flavortown.