Bobby Flay Shows Off His Pantry and His Secret Go-To Ingredient He Puts in 'So Many Things'

·6 min read
Bobby Flay
Bobby Flay

Misfits Market Instagram

Bobby Flay is opening the doors to his enviable pantry, which is packed with specialty ingredients and cooking staples, of course.

The Food Network star, 57, gave online grocery service Misfits Market a tour of where he stores his grocery items in a video shared to Instagram on Sunday. "People always ask me about my pantry, which I love my pantry because it opens up lots of ideas when it comes to cooking," Flay, who is Misfits Market's chef-in-residence, explained in the clip. "I'm kind of proud of my pantry!"

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Flay's pantry is supremely organized, starting with a robust section of Italian ingredients including "an array of dried pastas" in "different shapes, different sizes, and different flavors."

"I buy a lot of pasta from Italy 'cause I love the flour that they use there," Flay explained. "This is like, a spaghetti, we have some bucatini of course. I actually have some elbows you can use for a cool version of mac and cheese. This is some squid ink pasta, shells that I use when I'm cooking shell fish and stuff like that. It's also black pasta so it's very cool. Good flavor, a little briny."

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His Italian section has "tons of canned tomatoes — good quality, San Marzano, Italian-style tomatoes" which Flay insisted was a necessity for any good sauce.

He also uses a pre-made sauce called Simply Sugo. "It's already made for you and then you can embellish upon it," Flay said. "If I want to eat literally in a few minutes, I throw on a pot of water, fill the pasta in there with a bunch of salt, get some tomato sauce going then I'll take out some Calabrian chilies or some crushed red peppers, fresh basil, or some oregano — or whatever kind of herbs I have — some Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and you have pasta and it's perfect."

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Elsewhere in Flay's pantry is a section dedicated to chilies, like his signature Calabrian chilies. "People make fun of me for using these so much, especially on Beat Bobby Flay, but in my restaurant in Malfa, we use a ton of these," Flay said. "It adds great flavor to food."

There's also other kinds of Southwestern and Mexican-style chilies, like Guaillo chili powder, chipotle, and a jar of roasted, peeled, and seeded red piquillo peppers from Spain that are packed in olive oil. "Open them up, chop them up, you have roasted peppers," Flay instructed. "They're not much different from a sweet bell pepper. It has a little bit of a bite to it but don't think of them as spicy."

In his Asian ingredient section, Flay has coconut milk, soy sauce, sesame oil, and another type of spice: Gochujang, a Korean fermented hot chili paste. Oh, and red and green curry paste, which he calls "a really good pantry hack" when it comes to quickly making up a curry. "Take some red curry paste, toast it in a pan, throw some coconut-milk over it, and you literally will have a red curry or a green curry sauce literally in 15, 20 minutes," Flay said. "You can put it over some chicken or some grilled salmon. It has so much flavor and it's so easy."

Another Flay hack? Chickpeas! "I always have cans of chickpeas because I can make my own hummus," he revealed, explaining he adds in some tahini, lemon, some garlic, chili, olive oil, and a little bit of water. "Then you have hummus!"

But Flay's biggest "secret go-to" ingredient, he said, is anchovies. "I put anchovies in so many things and people don't know it," Flay recalled. "Especially when I'm cooking seafood, I crush up a bunch of anchovies, put it in the sauce. It just enhances it so much more."

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Scott Gries/Food Network

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The rest of Flay's pantry is broken into clear sections like oils and vinegars (red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, chili oil, extra virgin olive oil, and canola oil), baking ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, hazelnuts, almonds, and walnuts), cornmeals and flours, nut butters (almond butter, peanut butter, etc.), sweeteners (like molasses, honey, and maple syrup), and coffees and teas.

He has a whole section dedicated to dried ingredients, like dried mushrooms. "I can rehydrate them, put them in pasta or a rice dish," Flay said. And a whole section dedicated to Mediterranean flavors, like saffron and capers. "I always make a piccata at the last second — like a chicken piccata or some sort of fish piccata, which is basically lemon and capers and some butter," Flay added. "My mouth is watering thinking about it, I love it!"

And of course, seeing as Flay owns burger chain Bobby's Burger Palace, he's got plenty of condiments including ketchup, hot sauce (specifically Frank's RedHot and Cholua), barbecue sauce (he calls out Bone Sucking Sauce), and an array of mustards. "I have Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, old-style mustard — which is really grainy mustard. I even have yellow mustard because sometimes people don't like Dijon mustard especially on their burgers or their fries or their hot dogs, whatever. I have a honey mustard here as well," Flay said.

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bobby-flay.jpg

Ethan Miller/Getty

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Don't worry — there's also plenty of snack food, like tortilla chips and crackers. "I like making cheese plates a lot," Flay admitted, holding up a bag of Al Burro di Bufala crackers. "I buy these sometimes from one of my favorite Italian importing stores. [They're] basically buffalo butter crackers, so it has a little tang to them, which is really good. It's kind of a specialty, not easy to find, but I like messing around with stuff like that."

Oh, and there's some sweets too, "I love these cherries, the Amarena cherries — these are those Southern Italian cherries in the syrup," Flay said. "They're good in cocktails. Like, if you're going to make a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned or something like that. But I put these on ice cream sundaes. I'll buy a gelato, have a chocolate sauce, melt the chocolate sauce, some whipped cream, and then some Amarena cherries. Ridiculous. So good."

Finishing off Flay's panty? A section dedicated entirely to his cat Nacho, and her very own branded cat food.

"It looks like I'm running a cat food store, which we kind of are," Flay joked. "I mean, this is Nacho's company, so he does eat his own food, everybody. And so this is all Nacho's made by Nacho. He's taking over the cat food world, one cat at a time."