Eating with Eric Podcast

Episode 1 – Leia Gaccione on Bobby Flay

In this inaugural episode, dining editor Eric Levin talks with chef Leia Gaccione, who held top positions in several Bobby Flay restaurants before opening her terrific New American BYO, South + Pine, in Morristown in 2015.

Chef Leia Gaccione. Photo: Eric Levin
Photo: Eric Levin

Gaccione, 32, grew up in blue-collar Passaic, New Jersey, watching every food show on TV. As a girl, she cooked for her brother and their single mom, later graduated from the New York Restaurant School, worked at Raymond’s in Montclair before catching on with Bobby Flay. From 2008 to 2014, Gaccione served as executive chef or chef de cuisine of Flay’s Mesa Grill, Bar Americain and Gato in Manhattan; Mesa Grill in Las Vegas; and Bar Americain at Mohegan Sun.

Watching Flay on TV made Gaccione leery of the brilliant, brassy showman. She thought he was mean. But her entire impression of him changed when she went to work for him. In this episode she talks about the Bobby Flay you don’t necessarily see on TV— the passionate chef, the consummate professional, the tireless worker on whom she modeled herself.

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