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

The winning dish is on Il Ritorno’s menu for a limited time.

click to enlarge St. Pete chef David Benstock beat Bobby Flay on Food Network last night
Photo via Food Network

St. Pete’s David Benstock, owner and Executive Chef of the Best of the Bay winning restaurant Il Ritorno and St. Pete Meat & Provisions, is the latest local chef heading to the Food Network to “Beat Bobby Flay.”

And beat Bobby, he did, by winning the episode with a remix of his popular short rib mezzaluna. Lucky for us, the victorious 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 battle celebrity chef Flay.

Benstock filmed his episode—titled “Mission: Impastable”—way back in October of 2019; it featured him cooking Italian, something Tampa Bay already knows he’s really good at.

“Almost two years have passed since the filming of my episode and a year has come and gone since the restaurant industry was turned upside down during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Benstock in a release. “This is a major moment in my culinary career, and I couldn’t be any more excited to share it with the St. Petersburg community as restaurant owners 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 celebrity—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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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...
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