What Would New York City Look Like Under Mayor Bobby Flay?

Tomatillo salsa for everyone!

Photo: Food Network

Photo: Food Network

Proving he might just be primed for politics, celebrity chef Bobby Flay gave a classic non-answer to Bloomberg’s Betty Liu last night when she asked if he’s actually considering running for mayor of New York City.

Saying the buzz is a “rumor” and that he loves New York, Flay neither confirmed nor denied setting his sights on Gracie Mansion. Leaving aside the question of whether he actually wants to run or not, we had no idea there was even a rumor about his candidacy (although he’d hardly be the first entertainment personality to go into public office). Here we were thinking Anthony Weiner was this election’s surprise candidate.

But let’s just imagine that Flay actually runs and, improbably, actually gets elected—what would a Flay administration do for New York? Would it be a Bloomberg Nanny State 2.0, or more aggressively pro-business a la Giuliani? Here’s our vision for what one of the Food Network’s heavyweights might have in mind for the culinary capital of the country:

  • Civil suits decided via Throwdown: Saving everyone time and money and making the nuts and bolts of city government much more telegenic. Throwdowns will also be used for liquor licenses, traffic court, building permits, all other non-criminal legal proceedings.
  • 24-hour Food Network programming on all taxi cab TVs: It’s not like anyone actively watches them anyways; Flay might as well toss out all the Broadway promos and up his brand recognition while he’s at it.
  • New York Restaurant Week to be expanded yet again: Eventually, it’ll just be the majority of the calendar year. Mesa Grill will always have the best deals, of course.
  • Ketchup at hot dog carts swapped out for tomatillo salsa: Because tomatillos. Also, Bloomberg’s raised the bar so high for street-food regulation that most people won’t bat an eye.
  • Press conferences given over cooking demonstrations: At this point, Flay’s so used to public speaking while he’s cooking that it’s become something of a crutch. Bonus: free food for reporters = softball questions.

[via Grub Street]

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