No. No, it was NOT a well-rehearsed or staged event when world famous chef and Food Network star Bobby Flay walked into our Buffalo Grove restaurant recently and challenged me to a “Throwdown.” We had been filming what we believed was a segment for a new Food Network show in production called “Pie Nation.”
I was doing a demonstration for about 100 of our loyal customers that had gathered to be part of the episode’s studio audience when Flay suddenly appeared. It turns out that the “Throwdown” crew of chefs had holed up at a hotel down the street days prior to the shoot, trying to develop a dough that would compare to Malnati’s. When the competition began, Chef Flay tried to produce a product with spicy sausage and broccoli that could out distance our famous, yet simple, cheese and sausage pizza.
If you had a chance to see the show, which aired in December, you already know how the pizza judges ruled at the end of the day. It was indeed a thrill for me and for our staff to compete at this high level, and to prove that nothing compares to authentic Chicago pizza! Marc Malnati