Flay attended the French Culinary Institute.
Flay had several executive chef potions in several establishments after he earned his degree. He took the position of executive chef at Mesa Grill in 1991.
Flay partnered with Laurence Kretchmer to open Bolo Bar & Restaurant in New York. From there Flay began opening several restaurants throughout his career.
Flay opened a second Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2004.
In 2005 he opened Bar Americain in Manhattan.
Flay opened a third Mesa Grill in the Bahamas