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Fame & Fortune: Bobby Flay

Bankrate: With all you do -- running restaurants, writing cookbooks, doing TV shows -- what's your favorite?

Bobby Flay: Restaurants, period. Cooking in the kitchen with my staff.

Bankrate: With all this juggling, what's the hardest part of keeping your empire going?

Bobby Flay: Keeping people that work for me inspired to keep doing what they're doing. To me, that's so much a key of it. We pride ourselves on hiring really nice people who are ambitious, and we wanna keep their ambitions alive. So as long as I can keep inspiring them, then I think we'll have a chance for success.

Bankrate: You once left the restaurant business for a short time to work on the floor of the American Stock Exchange.

Bobby Flay: Yeah. I was cooking in restaurants, but I hadn't opened my own restaurants at that point. I was still 21 or something like that.

Bankrate: Did your time there teach you anything valuable about how to run a business?

Bobby Flay: No, not really. It just taught me that I didn't want to be in that business, because it didn't have any creativity. It was just about making money, which is fine, but to me it just wasn't gratifying. It wasn't for me.

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