St. Pete chef David Benstock beat Bobby Flay on Food Network last night

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St. Pete’s David Benstock, owner and executive chef of award-winning Best of the Bay restaurant Il Ritorno and St. Pete Meat & Provisions, is the latest local chef to head to the Food Network to “beat Bobby Flay.”

And beat Bobby, he did, winning the episode with a remix of his popular short rib mezzaluna. Luckily for us, the winning dish is on Il Ritorno’s dinner menu for a limited time (see below).

In the episode that aired on Thursday, May 20, Benstock had to beat chef, food stylist and cookbook author Nicole Karr before getting the chance to take on celebrity chef Flay.

Benstock filmed his episode titled “Mission: Impastable” in October 2019; it featured him cooking Italian, something Tampa Bay already knows is really good.

“Almost two years have passed since my episode was filmed and one year has passed since the restaurant industry was turned upside down during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Benstock said in a statement. “This is a major moment in my culinary career, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with the St. Petersburg community as restaurateurs continue to get back on their feet.”

Recently, Cena’s chef Michael Buttacavolli had the same opportunity and went all the way – beating Flay with a meatball sandwich with parmesan pecorino sauce. Before Chef Butta, Chef Rosana Rivera did it in December 2019.

Benstock is no stranger to culinary stardom — he was invited to cook at the legendary James Beard House in 2017. Find out how to watch Benstock’s “Beat Bobby Flay” episode via Food Network.

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