Bobby Flay has been whipping up scrumptious dishes on the Food Network for the past 27 years, but he might soon be hanging up his apron. Sources tell Variety that the TV chef is expected to jump ship after a breakdown in contract negotiations with the Discovery-owned network on which he initially appeared in 1994—its first year on the air. While Flay's representatives are keeping mum, citing a policy of not commenting on active negotiations, sources say the network has ended the discussions "as the sides were far apart on financial terms." The Hollywood Reporter confirmed with its sources that contract negotiations between the network and Flay were ended Thursday.
As Flay's current three-year contract expires at the end of this year, that could mean the end of "a 27-year run that has made the restaurateur and businessman one of the country's most recognizable culinary figures," per Variety. The 56-year-old Flay has hosted numerous shows during his tenure including Grillin' & Chillin', which debuted in 1996; Boy Meets Grill; Beat Bobby Flay; Food Network Star; Throwdown! with Bobby Flay; Brunch @ Bobby's; and Iron Chef America, per People. The breakdown comes after Food Network signed an exclusive deal with host Guy Fieri to see him stick around through 2024. Fieri will receive $80 million over three years—"a $50 million raise from his prior agreement," per Forbes. (Read more Bobby Flay stories.)