Food Network fires up the second season of “Bobby’s Triple Threat” Tuesday, treating fans to the return of host Bobby Flay and the three “titan” chefs he’s once again relying on to do the cooking competition for him: Tiffany Derry, Michael Voltaggio and Brooke Williamson.
The trio will face off against chef Michael Symon as a team, going for three head-to-head rounds full of surprise ingredients and evaluated by a mystery judge on the Season 2 premiere Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on Food Network. Flay roots for them from the sidelines in his speakeasy-style kitchen.
Don’t worry about Flay feeling left out, he’s the one who wants to be in the audience: “I’m totally fine with it,” the longtime Food Network staple told Variety in a joint interview with his “Triple Threat” stars. “I have cooked in so many competitions, I think I’ve probably competed the most maybe of anybody on food television over the years. And so it’s really nice to watch. I feel like these guys are the best of their generation, so to have them under one roof and basically matchmake them against some great chefs from around the country, it’s really fun for me to be able to do that.”
Meanwhile, Flay’s titans return to the battle field possessing the wisdom — and slight trauma — sustained in the first season, which aired last fall.
“Season 1 was a blur and watching it I was like, ‘Oh, I was there,’” Derry said. “But I just remember not being able to sleep at night and waking up in the middle of the night, like, I wish I would have made this.”
Some dish decisions from the first season still haunt the “Triple Threat” stars, including an attempt from Voltaggio that did not meet judge Marc Forgione’s standards based on two tiny details.
“I was making beans out of pine nuts when I was making a dish called cassoulet in Season 1. But I guess I had burnt like two pine nuts in the entire batch. And Marc managed to taste those two pine nuts and that defined my entire career in two nuts,” Voltaggio said. “Why didn’t you eat the other 100 pine nuts that were on the plate! You decided to find the two burnt ones and basically read me to filth over two burnt pine nuts.”
“Clearly we’re going to have to have Marc Forgione compete on the show,” Flay says. (Note for Forgione: Voltaggio says you are “welcome to come” compete against him.)
For Williamson, her Season 1 regret is “overthinking things and dissecting your dish” during the plating process.
“I had a moment where I was like, this sauce is on the edge of being too salty, so I’m going to balance it out by not over salting the fish and then in turn I potentially undersalt the fish,” Williamson said. “And then it doesn’t eat well all together. And then I’m like, ‘Well, apparently that undersalting of a few flakes of salt was good, potentially detrimental, and it turns into a whole thing. You think about that for days.”
As Derry mentioned, she still mulls over her first-season choices — but Flay teased that the dish that gives Derry the most grief in “Triple Threat” Season 2 involves tortillas.
“I’ve made it 1,000 times now and I guarantee I’m gonna make it again. Just FYI!” Derry said. “And no one will be nervous on the couch. Okay, y’all faces don’t help either,” she said, calling out her giggling co-stars. “If it’s not going the way you want it or the time is going down, you look up and Brooke and she’s on the floor. Michael is just shaking his head. I’m afraid. That’s normal, normal day for us.”
Watch a sneak peek of the Season 2 premiere episode of “Bobby’s Triple Threat” in the video above.