ROOST CHEF KEVIN NADERI WILL SHOWCASE his culinary prowess for all of America to see on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay! on Thursday, July 28 at 9 p.m.
8th Wonder Brewery will be hosting an admission-free, open-to-all viewing partyfor the episode entitled “Stop, Drop and Roll,” starting at 7 p.m. on July 28, where the first beer is on Naderi.
The seventh episode of Beat Bobby Flay’s ninth season features the Roost chef going head-to-head with Polish-Italian chef Mark Vecchitto of Blue Shallot Gourmet in Niantic, Conn. Television personality Donny Deutsch and Food Network chef Geoffrey Zakarian are special guests in the episode, along with Maneet Chauhan, Franklin Becker and Dorothy Cann Hamilton judging the dishes to see who will get to face off against Flay.
How exactly does one beat restaurant mogul and Iron Chef Bobby Flay? Two chefs face off against each other with spectacular dishes, which have to incorporate the special ingredient that Flay chooses himself. The special guests, in this case Deutsch and Zakarian, with extensive knowledge on Flay’s strengths and weaknesses in the kitchen, strive to choose the chef who will beat Flay in his own element. The winner will then get to challenge Flay himself with their signature surprise dish, the identity of which is unknown to Flay until he steps into the kitchen.
“I’m the host, this is my house. So I have to give the competitors, you know, a tiny bit of an advantage,” said Flay.
The two dishes are then judged by a blind taste test by three judges who determine the winner. If the guest reigns victorious, they can say truthfully and triumphantly on national television “I beat Bobby Flay.”
Naderi found his way on the show after being on Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Grocery Games in 2014. After winning second place on Games, he was put into the casting pool, filled out a questionnaire, and was sent to a warehouse in New York (that supposedly used to be home to the old set of the Maury Show) to start filming at 7 a.m. in front of a live studio audience.
No stranger to competition, Naderi has won Houston Press’ Iron Fork cooking battle four times in a row. “I don’t think anything can really prepare you for a competition especially when you’re by yourself, I just kind of get in there and see what happens. It worked out well… I just went on there and did what I usually do,” said Naderi.
Not too starstruck by the celebrity chefs, Naderi does look up to Bobby Flay. Since both started out in their culinary careers fairly young (Naderi opening his first restaurant when he was 25, Flay opening up Mesa Grille when he was 26), Flay congratulated Naderi on his restaurant’s success. But according to Naderi, just because it’s a TV show, doesn’t mean Flay can’t hold his own.
“At the end of the day, just know it’s for fun,” advises Naderi. “Go in there knowing you’re going to be throwing down with a world-class chef. There’s no gimmicks, there’s no feelings that he has, he really brings it and gives it his all… Remember that it’s just food.”
Originally published in Houstoniamag.com on July 20, 2016.