Bobby Flay
Courtesy Photo

Chef John Cox, who opened The Bear and Star in Los Olivos last year after running Big Sur’s famed Post Ranch Inn, recently added another feather to his toque: competing against celebrity chef Bobby Flay on this season’s premiere episode of the Food Network’s popular television series Beat Bobby Flay. While no one will divulge the outcome, Cox was able to tell us a little about his experience.

Did you ever dream of being a chef who competes on TV? I think every chef in my generation watched the original Iron Chef series and thought about how cool it would be to cook in a kitchen stadium. I wouldn’t say cooking on television was ever a dream or priority, but it’s fun.

Were you nervous or well prepared? You really can’t ever be well prepared for this type of show. There are definitely variables you can’t plan for. Being recorded from every angle can definitely be intimidating, so it takes some getting used to.

How was Bobby Flay as a competitor: cutthroat or a nice dude? Chef Flay is a gracious host and wonderful chef to work with. I really enjoyed spending the day with him in his kitchen.

Do you have any plans to go back on the screen for another food fight? We will see. There have been a few opportunities come up, but right now my focus is on The Bear and Star and all of the amazing events we have coming up over the next few months. —Matt Kettmann

The Bear and Star is hosting viewing parties for John Cox’s Beat Bobby Flay episode on Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Half-price beer, handcrafted cocktails, and Cox’s competing dish will be served. See


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