What It's Like To Beat Bobby Flay Twice, According To Viet Pham - Exclusive

There are hundreds of chefs out there, from all walks of life and all culinary backgrounds, who share one thing in common — they've put it all on the line to try and achieve one of the ultimate kitchen feats, beating Bobby Flay. And the hard truth is that most of them walk away without success. According to Showbiz CheatSheet, Flay comes out on top roughly two-thirds of the time.

But all those odds fly out the window when it comes to Chef Viet Pham. With his global influences, fine dining background, and flair for unique flavors, Pham has proven to be Flay's Achilles' heel, the one chef he can't seem to beat. And it's not an accomplishment that Pham takes lightly. "I am the only chef with the distinction of beating him at 'Iron Chef,' 'Beat Bobby Flay,' and then beating 'Bobby's Triple Threat.'" While that last show didn't involve Pham cooking directly against Flay, he did go up against (and defeat) a culinary titan hand-picked by Flay himself, and we can all agree that's almost as impressive, and certainly only adds to his winning streak.

So what does it feel like to be the chef who continually outcooks Flay? We got the inside scoop. Speaking exclusively with Tasting Table, Chef Viet Pham shared the story of their first-ever matchup, sparking a friendly culinary rivalry in which Flay is yet to emerge the victor. Pham also opened up about what it's like for him to compete against such an esteemed chef with such high stakes.

Competing against Flay is the dream Pham didn't even want at first

Unsurprisingly, Chef Viet Pham views his success against Bobby Flay with adoration and humility. "It's amazing. ... To be able to beat him, not once, but twice, is awesome," he told Tasting Table. For Pham, it means so much to get to compete against "one of the few chefs on TV that I truly respect because he understands cooks."

Pham's winning streak against Flay began a decade ago, when the two competed on "Iron Chef." Funnily enough, Pham didn't even want to cook against Flay on the show. As he explained, "I grew up watching 'Iron Chef Japan,' the original one, so it was a big part of my childhood. When I heard that I was going to be on 'Iron Chef America,' ... Originally, I wanted to go against Morimoto." Pham said he didn't even know he'd been paired with Flay until the day of filming when "we were actually walking into the kitchen." Pham admitted, "I was disappointed, but now that I look back, Bobby Flay was more of a household name at that time."

It turned out to arguably be one of the best things to happen to Pham's career. He's gone on to beat him a second time on "Beat Bobby Flay" while also putting his signature Nashville hot chicken recipe on the national stage. "Bobby is very cool, calm, and collected," he said. "... [He] knows his [stuff]. At the same time, he makes you feel welcome." Here's hoping Flay might welcome yet another face-off with Pham in the future, if only to see if he can break his losing streak.

Learn more about Chef Viet Pham's restaurant, Pretty Bird Hot Chicken, and keep up with the latest from him on Instagram.