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Bobby Flay Remembers Fifteen-Year-Old Paella Disaster

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Bobby Flay answered a bunch questions last week from Twitter users on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (this is connected to his appearance on the show). One of the questions was about his "worst cooking disaster," which turned out to be a lobster and duck paella at his now-shuttered New York restaurant Bolo.

We're talking 1994, here! Bobby Flay doesn't forget his mistakes. Flay said, "All my friends told me it was terrible, including my staff at my restaurant. I was like 'You guys don't know what you're talking about.' But then finally the New York Times restaurant critic came in and just crushed the dish." That would have been then-critic Ruth Reichl. She wrote:

Paella with lobster and roasted duck also seemed like too much of a good thing. Ordinary paella is a well-conceived dish, but here it becomes a lot of mushy rice garnished with sweet duck and some poor lost lobster that looks as if it fell into the dish and wonders how it is ever going to get out. The dish never comes together in any sensible way.

Similarly, New York Magazine critic Gael Greene liked it but recommended Flay "call it risotto and just enjoy." Well, at least that wasn't since 1994?

Also, when asked for advice about cooking steaks, Flay erroneously mentions one should get them nice and crusty on the outside to "seal in the juices," thus becoming yet another of the many reasons Harold McGee can't sleep at night.

Bobby Flay Answers Your Twitter Questions

· Bobby Flay Answers Your Twitter Questions [Hulu]
· Ruth Reichl: Bolo Review [NYT]
· Oil of Ole [NYM]
· All Bobby Flay Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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