Bobby Flay—who owns six restaurants and stars in numerous cooking shows including the Emmy Award winning Boy Meets Grill as well as Iron Chef America and the infamous Throwdown with Bobby Flay—is an East Hampton fixture during the summer months. So when Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson was released last month, I was eager to see how he might interpret some local bounty.
“Bar Americain” refers to Flay’s popular New York restaurant and bar of that name. Many of the recipes in this, Flay’s 11th cookbook, are for items featured on Bar Americain’s menu.
According to this book, when Flay looks at a map of the United States, he doesn’t see states—he sees ingredients. Flay writes, “My eye seeks out those truly American ingredients and the regional dishes that could only be American.”
The only dish in this book that Flay credits with an East End origin is his Wild Striped Bass Montauk Style. This includes a recipe for lobster broth, which serves as the medium in which to cook the accompanying corn kernels and clams. Yum.
Though not credited with any East End connections, one can’t help but wonder if Flay’s Littleneck Clam and Sweet Potato Chowder, Lobster Club Sandwich, Oyster and Lobster Shooters, Lobster Potato Salad or Barbeque Duck first sparked Flay’s imagination at this end of Long Island. His “Barbeque Cocktail” of jalapeno vodka, vermouth, tomato juice, lime juice, salt and sugar sounds like just the thing to have in hand at a Hamptons summer party.
This book offers easy-to- follow, clear recipes and instructions. (I made his Smoked Chicken Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust. My family loved it, though my crust was a lot thicker than the prescribed 1/8 inch and the turnip could have used more time in the oven.) The photographs by Ben Fink are gorgeous and artfully arranged. Unfortunately the gorgeous, artful layout has rendered the page numbers very difficult to read at a glance. I appreciate the pantry supply lists printed in the back of the book.
Flay’s other cookbooks are best sellers and this latest effort is set to join that storied group. In fact, Jack McKeown at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach tells me that sales there have been “very brisk.”