Bobby Flay and Michael Symon don’t keep their adoration for one another a secret. They’ve been friends for more than two decades, rose to fame together, invaded the culinary world and have been slaying it ever since. Despite being very different in style, the two chefs still find ways to take their friendship on-screen. For their first time (if you don’t count Michael giving Bobby a hard time on Beat Bobby Flay), the two face off in a barbecue competition like no other.
In BBQ Brawl: Flay v. Symon, the chefs mentor a team of world-class pitmasters, and go head to head to gain advantages throughout the competition — despite stating in 2015 that they “don’t cook against each other.” But no need to fret, things never get too heated between the two. Yes, there’s some gentle ribbing (see what we did there?), but with a friendship that’s this strong and has lasted this long, the only fire coming off of Bobby and Michael is from their bromance.
That look you get from a homie who knows how skilled you are but doesn’t want to admit it.
Bobby showed his “boy” some love by sporting some sweet Mabel’s BBQ swag. The original restaurant opened in Symon’s hometown of Cleveland in 2016; the grand opening of the second location, much closer to Flay’s heart in Las Vegas, was in December 2018. Both spaces are named for his business partner, Doug Petkovic’s late mother.
In 2015, Bobby received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the first chef ever to do so, and Michael was there to show his “man” some support and say a few words. Aw.
Bobby knows how to keep his pal in check and jokes that even some of the best chefs around need a little schooling every now and again. (Sorry, Michael.)
Symon gets a bit of revenge, by teasing Flay about his age who, at 54, is nearly six years older than Michael.
Michael and Bobby take their friendship (and cooking skills!) on the road with Chef Marc Vetri in Philadelphia.
Sometimes it’s the differences that make a friendship work, as Symon points out.
Nothing says bonding like two dudes golfing. And, yes, virtual golfing counts.
What’s a little love tap between friends?
A striking pose and a little shimmy and shove from Bobby prove these guys have nothing but love for one another.
Tune in to BBQ Brawl: Flay v. Symon on Sundays at 9 and 9:30 PM E/T.
Need more proof these guys know each other well? Laugh along as Bobby and Michael take a Match Game-style quiz.