By Raiza Giorgi


Not many chef’s have the honor of saying they “Beat Bobby Flay”, but Chef Anthony Endy earned that title when he was on a recent episode of the Food Network’s popular cooking competition show. Even though the episode just aired in June, it was taped more than a year ago in April of 2019. Endy said it was super hard to keep tight lipped until after it aired. 

Chef Anthony Endy’s signature tri-tip sandwich he made to “Beat Bobby Flay”.
Photo contributed

“This was a great way to showcase our local area and signature style and I am so grateful for that opportunity. Bobby Flay had a lot of influence on me as a young chef, and getting to cook along side him was so fun,” Endy said. 

He said the timing couldn’t have been any better as the Alisal Guest Ranch opened Thursday and people have been calling since the show to book reservations. 

The Santa Ynez Valley native returned home to become the executive chef at the Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort in 2017. He combines the essence of California cuisine with the depth of flavor and heartiness of Western ranch cooking.

Endy said a coworker loves “Beat bobby Flay” and encouraged him to sign up. Within a month, Endy and his wife Bethany were in New York City at the end of April last year to tape the segment. 

“I am pretty competitive but I’ve never really watched competitive cooking shows. This was definitely a unique experience and I had a lot of fun. I would do it again,” Endy said. 

Each half-hour episode begins with two chefs competing to create a dish using an ingredient chosen by Flay. Endy and Chef Ian Rough from Ocean Prime and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants were both given walnuts as the ingredient. The winner of that challenge — as determined by a special guest judges Pioneer Woman Rea Drummond and NFL star Eddie Jackson– went to the second round, in which they do battle against chef Flay. Endy won that challenge with doing a walnut crusted chicken and walnut pomegranate sauce. 

“Chef Rough gave me a run for my money and he is an excellent chef, but I am glad I won,” Endy laughed. 

Endy said that Flay is kept in the dark who the chefs are he is competing against, and in the dark about the recipes they will be challenging him with. 

“It’s very true to the show that he is surprised with the dish and has to come up with a menu on the spot. I know that grilling is his wheelhouse, but so is mine,” Endy said. 

Endy has spent years perfecting the oak barbecue and Santa Maria style way of cooking. He often hosts barbecue bootcamps at the Alisal for people to learn grilling techniques. 

Chef Anthony Endy combines the essence of California cuisine with the depth of flavor and heartiness of Western ranch cooking.
Photo contributed

“Being able to grow up in the best wine country and the best area for culinary arts was to my advantage. We have so many amazing styles of cooking and I, like most others in the area, grew up on Santa Maria style cooking,” Endy said. 

Endy said that he felt confident in being able to get his food prepped and cooked within the 45 minute time. As he was cooking he was talking with Dummond and Jackson and said that they were very nice. 

“I only was able to plate for the three blind judges so Ree was sad she wasn’t able to taste my sandwich. I sent her one after the taping and we have been in contact ever since,” Endy said. 

Endy said after the episode aired he has been barraged by phone calls and emails from former coworkers, longtime friends and family. He was so thankful people watched the show and even more thankful that he is now back at work with his staff. 

“Since COVID-19 shut us down, I did barbecues on my own with my wife helping, but I definitely missed having my staff and being in my kitchen,” Endy said. 

The past several weeks have been incredibly busy as Endy and his team have been retraining for COVID-19 protocols and ensuring safety of their staff and customers. He also enjoyed spending time at home teaching his kids cooking skills and coming up with new recipes to try. 

To watch the episode on the Food Network it is it Season 25, Episode 05 “So Much Shade”. 

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