Chef from downtown Tampa restaurant Cena defeats Food Network's Bobby Flay

Chef Butta beat that ass.

click to enlarge R.S.B.P. EVENTS+PR
r.s.b.p. Events+PR

Channelside restaurant Cena was closed for dinner service on Thursday for a very good reason—staff was celebrating Chef Michael Buttacavolli's appearance, and win, on the Food Network’s competition show “Beat Bobby Flay.”

The party started at 6 p.m when the Best of the Bay-winning restaurant’s 200-seat patio opened on a first-come, first-served basis; only Buttacavolli's was allowed to make a reservations.

A limited menu was be available for purchase during the watch party, including Chef Butta’s (as he’s called on social media) spicy meatballs that made an appearance on the game day-themed show.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the balls are a mix of “ground beef, hot Italian sausage and spicy nduja salami and were coupled with mozzarella and fried basil on a toasted roll.”

Butta served the meatballs sandwich style with Parmesan pecorino sauce. It was enough to beat Flay, a Food Network fixture who’s hosted 16 cooking shows and specials for the network.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Want to know everything going on with Tampa Bay's food and drink scene? Sign up for our Bites newsletter.

About The Author

Stephanie Powers

Freelance contributor Stephanie Powers started her media career as an Editorial Assistant long ago when the Tampa Bay Times was still called the St. Petersburg Times. After stints in Chicago and Los Angeles, where she studied improvisation at Second City Hollywood, she came back to Tampa and stayed put.She soon...
Scroll to read more Food News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]