Inside Bobby Flay's Relationship With His Daughter, Sophie

Most Food Network fans are pretty familiar with celeb chef Bobby Flay. The man not only knows how to cook but also has a stunning TV personality that always leaves viewers wanting more. Given his fame, it's no surprise that people know quite a bit about his life and his daughter, Sophie Flay. Sophie might not be a chef, but she's made plenty of television appearances alongside her dad, and there's no doubt that the two of them have a beautiful relationship.

Sophie was born on April 16, 1996, to Bobby and his then-wife Kate Connelly. The couple divorced in 1998, when Sophie was a toddler. Despite this rocky start she had with her family, Sophie and her dad remain close, and they often collaborate on projects. However, despite her dad's fame and the fact that plenty of people probably expected her to follow in his footsteps, Bobby has encouraged Sophie to forge her own path — and she's done exactly that. 

She attended the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication and then landed a job as a community journalist for ABC7 (via People). "I always had an interest in telling stories, and I've always loved watching the news and reading the news," Sophie told Parade. Despite their different career paths, the father and daughter still find ways to combine their talents to entertain the masses, and so far, it's been a raving success.

Sophie and Bobby are very close

Those who have seen Bobby and Sophie Flay together on screen know just how well they get along, and it turns out that it's definitely not an act for the cameras. Sophie and her dad have a very special relationship. While Sophie says that she definitely won't classify herself as a daddy's girl, their bond is pretty strong. "My dad and I are very close, and I am lucky to have such a close relationship with him," she told Parade, adding that the two of them share many interests. They love watching the same shows on TV and even like similar podcasts. 

Outside the world of digital media, the father-daughter duo also enjoys watching horse races together. "Being able to share that bond has been great because he got his love for horseracing from his grandfather and it has now passed down to me," Sophie told the outlet, adding that she and her dad make a point of attending horse races together, and when they can't make it to a race in person, they opt for watching it together on TV.

Even though Bobby's always been a busy man, he made an effort to spend a lot of time with Sophie when she was young, and that often meant that he brought her to restaurants with him. This is likely one of the reasons they are so close. According to Sophie, she basically grew up in restaurants. "His restaurants feel like a second home to me," she told Parade.

Bobby revealed that Sophie was easy to parent

Bobby and Sophie Flay's father-daughter relationship is about as fuss-free and uncomplicated in real life as it appears on screen and, apparently, that's largely thanks to the fact that Sophie was a really easy kid to parent.

When Sophie made her talk show debut alongside her dad in 2013 on "Rachel Ray," she was, in many ways, a typical teenager. However, it seems that Bobby didn't have the typical teenage daughter experience. Instead, he sang Sophie's praises when asked what it was like raising her. Ray asked Bobby if he was a tough dad or a bit of a pushover when it came to Sophie, which had both father and daughter erupting into giggles. "In some ways, I'm a pushover, and she kind of knows that," Bobby replied. "But I have to say, to her credit, she makes parenting a lot easier than it could be. She's a great kid," he said.

Sophie added that her dad isn't entirely a pushover. When she does something wrong, he would be very serious about it and she would feel pretty intimidated. "I would say you're a pretty strict parent, but I still get some freedom," she said. She also mentioned that she knew there were some non-negotiable rules she had to follow, like never getting on a motorcycle.

Bobby was pretty nervous when Sophie started to drive

There's probably not a parent out there who doesn't feel absolutely terrified when their child starts driving for the first time, and Bobby Flay is no different. He might be fearless in the kitchen, but when it comes to his daughter, he has the same fears as any other parent out there.

While appearing on "Rachel Ray" alongside daughter Sophie, he revealed how nervous he was when she got her first car — especially because she had a few mishaps early on. 'She's had a couple little, tiny little ... events, shall we say?" Bobby joked before he turned serious and said that he was nervous about how texting while driving has become so commonplace and that some kids didn't realize the true responsibility of driving a car. "It's just dangerous in general," he added and proceeded to explain how he ended up taking Sophie for another lesson after her little mishaps to help her regain her confidence on the road. For Bobby, the most important thing was that Sophie felt confident when she got behind the wheel.

Sophie adopted her dad's discipline and work ethic

Becoming a famous chef is no small feat, and staying at the top of your industry requires constant work and discipline. Bobby Flay clearly got that down and, in the process, he passed on his work ethic to his daughter. Being a community journalist definitely requires plenty of hard work, and Sophie Flay's got it down to a T, according to her dad, who couldn't help but gush over his daughter in an interview with People

Bobby told the outlet that he is incredibly proud of Sophie. "I'm a lucky dad because I have an ongoing flow of pride watching Sophie do so well in her career," he said. "She has this great work ethic. I'm watching her just rise to the challenges of being in her own career, and she's doing it through basically what I did, which was hard work." He continued, saying that he can't help but feel a great swell of pride every time one of Sophie's stories is published.

Bobby wasn't entirely surprised when Sophie took after him when it came to building her career, however. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, he said that Sophie had always been someone who was enthusiastic and enjoyed learning and discovering new things. He recalled her childhood days hanging out at his restaurants, watching him and those around him give their everything to the job. Now, she does the exact same thing. It's no wonder her career is thriving.

Sophie gets along well with her dad's girlfriend

Bobby Flay has had a bit of a rocky love life, but despite a few failed marriages, he hasn't given up on love just yet. And Sophie is supporting him all the way. Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in August 2022, Bobby revealed that Sophie and his girlfriend, Christina Pérez, get along incredibly well. He seems madly in love with Pérez, telling the outlet, "Christina, she's just a light in my life. She's so sweet. She's so smart. She just enhances everything that I'm able to participate in with her. I mean, she's fantastic."

Sophie clearly loves seeing her dad happy and has fully embraced Pérez as a member of the family. Bobby revealed that the two of them have developed a beautiful relationship, adding that it was important to him that Sophie likes the person he's dating.

Sophie has had only good things to say about Pérez. Speaking to People, she revealed that the two of them actually have a lot in common. "Christina's so sweet and she's also a fellow journalist, so it's really cool to be able to learn from her too," Sophie told the outlet. Bobby also revealed that Sophie and Pérez have become good friends in the time they've known each other and that Perez is someone Sophie can have conversations with about virtually anything.

Bobby Flay supports Sophie's love life

When the father-daughter duo appeared on "Rachel Ray" back in 2013, Ray asked the then-17-year-old how her dad was handling her romantic relationships, and she revealed that he wasn't chasing away potential love interests from their doorstep just yet. In fact, he was being incredibly supportive.

"This is weird to say because he's my dad, but he's very cool about it," Sophie said. Bobby added that Sophie's boyfriend at the time was a really great guy. "Again, I'm lucky," Bobby said. "She's lucky, and I'm lucky too, and he [the boyfriend] is lucky," he added jokingly. He also revealed that given Sophie's age, he would step in if it was ever needed, and that he was pretty sure the boys in her neighborhood knew this all too well. Bobby might not have been chasing every romantic prospect away with a baseball bat, but those boys probably knew how good he is at handling several sharp kitchen tools.

As of this writing, Sophie is dating entrepreneur Jesse Baer, who Bobby described as "a very good kid" to People. He added that Baer is intelligent and also respectful towards him and his daughter. He also made it clear that he's not the type of dad who would interfere in his daughter's relationships; instead, he's always rooting for whoever she's dating because he wants to see her happy.

Sophie enjoys cooking but isn't planning on becoming a chef like her dad

Many may have expected Sophie Flay to follow in her dad's footsteps and become a wiz in the kitchen, but she had other plans. In addition to working as a community journalist, she took on the role of an adjunct professor. "I'm teaching visual journalism at my alma mater USC Annenberg this semester," Sophie revealed in a LinkedIn post in September 2022.

While she may be busy, she occasionally spends time in the kitchen. However, when she was younger, she didn't have much of an interest in cooking at all, ironically. In 2019, when asked by Parade if she likes to cook, Sophie was honest. "I'm kind of new to it in a sense. I didn't really like cooking until I was getting ready to graduate from college. I do leave most of the cooking to my dad, though." We would leave the cooking to Bobbly Flay too, to be honest.

Leaving home and going to college made Sophie realize how much people expected her to be like her dad — her friends thought she knew how to cook everything. She told Entertainment Tonight that she is usually her dad's taste tester and didn't have much of an interest in cooking when she was younger because it seemed pretty boring. "I'm much more interested in cooking now than I was growing up," she told the outlet. Bobby chimed in that he tried to teach Sophie how to cook on multiple occasions, but he never really managed to spark her interest. Now, Sophie enjoys cooking but mostly gets her recipes from TikTok like the rest of us.

They've teamed up on several projects

Sophie Flay may not want to be a chef for a living, but she enjoys teaming up with her dad for projects every once in a while. Back in 2019, the two of them launched a TV show on the Food Network titled "The Flay List", which showed the father and daughter restaurant-hopping to find the best local dishes. "My dad and I are always talking about and trying to find our next great meal, and that's exactly what you see in the show," Sophie told Parade at the time, adding that making the series didn't feel like work at all. This was Sophie's first time starring in a TV series, and she seems to have found a lot of fulfillment in it because she and her dad teamed up once again to launch another show on the Food Network titled "Bobby and Sophie on the Coast" in 2022. This series shows the father-daughter duo exploring various restaurants across Los Angeles (via Deadline).

Sophie also took on another project in collaboration with her dad that she announced on Instagram early in 2022. She inspired a cookbook titled " Sundays with Sophie: Flay Family Recipes for Any Day of the Week," which is chock-full of her favorite recipes from her dad. It includes, among other things, a recipe for shrimp pasta, Sophie teased in the caption of the post. "[It's a] beautiful mix of my favorite meals and recipes, created by my Dad of course! she revealed. The book was released on October 11, 2022 and has received positive reviews.

They started the Always Hungry podcast together

While Bobby and Sophie Flay clearly enjoy having fun in front of the camera, they've also ventured into the world of podcasting, launching their very own show titled "Always Hungry" in 2021. Bobby took to Instagram to announce the new podcast, sharing that he was very excited to finally be able to share yet another special project he worked on with his daughter. Fans were absolutely elated at the news.

When listening to the podcast, it's clear that Bobby and Sophie had a blast creating it — and the name is extremely fitting too. Who isn't instantly hungry when they hear about Bobby Flay's creations? Speaking to the Food Network, Sophie revealed that the name is actually a bit of a nod to her. "Growing up with a chef, you could say I'm 'Always Hungry,'" she joked. Sophie continued, saying, "My dad and I launched this new podcast because our love of food has only strengthened our connection." 

Sophie also revealed that she and Bobby tend to have their most important conversations while seated at the dinner table. Thanks to the podcast, listeners could finally be a fly on the wall during those conversations. Sophie promised plenty of humor, laughter, and a glimpse into their lives. "You'll get a peek into our relationship and we'll talk about things like where we get our recipes and whether or not people are still dressing up for dinner," she teased.

Sophie helped Bobby trick fans into thinking he went surfing

While filming "Bobby and Sophie on the Coast," Bobby Flay and his daughter made some time to do other activities aside from food tasting, and to all the world it appeared that Bobby finally tried to take up surfing.

In a video the Food Network posted on Facebook, Sophie and Bobby are seen frolicking around on a Malibu beach while Sophie tells him to practice his squats before he gets on his surfboard, to which Bobby jokingly replies that he has nothing to worry about. "As a native New Yorker, this is something I did my entire childhood," he claimed. Avid fans, however, know the man has never been on a surfboard, but the father-daughter duo put on quite the show. 

Sophie took to the ocean first, riding the waves with ease, Bobby observed. When it was his turn, he barely managed to stay upright on his surfboard. During a question and answer session on his Instagram, a follower asked if Bobby was actually surfing or if he had a stunt double — to which Bobby replied, "I definitely don't surf. I'm a city boy all the way." Well, they definitely had us fooled for a moment!