'I Beat Bobby Flay': Union County Man Takes Down Celebrity Chef

Chef Joe Murphy has the bragging rights to last a lifetime.

Joe Murphy
Joe Murphy Photo Credit: Food Network

Murphy, who lives in Scotch Plains and runs Bakehouse in New Providence, appeared on "Beat Bobby Flay" on Thursday, Sept. 7 on The Food Network and did what few have done: defeated the celebrity chef on his own new TV show. A watch party was held outside Harlee's Tap and Grille in New Providence.

In the first round, Murphy took on Laura Ochikubo, a pastry chef at French Laundry, cooking  a dish for 20 minutes using a secret ingredient chosen by Flay. The judges decided Murphy had the chance to beat Flay, and Murphy got to challenge Flay with his signature dish, a Brooklyn blackout cake. After he won, Murphy got to tell the world, "I beat Bobby Flay."  

Murphy, who opened Bakehouse last year, taped the show 18 months ago after being approached by The Food Network. He had previously competed on Chopped Sweets in 2020.

Growing up in Brooklyn helped Murphy perfect his blackout cake, which is layers of deviled food cake, chocolate pudding, glazed with ganache and then a cookie crumble is placed on the outside of it.  He always bakes it for his kid's birthdays and knew it was his best chance to take down Flay. 

"I was nervous," Murphy admits. "He tends to do very well in competitions, he's a good chef."

Off-camera Flay was super-gracious to Murphy and said they got a chance to talk when Flay wasn't being pulled in many different directions. Murphy also enjoyed interacting with "Saturday Night Live's" Cheri O'Teri, a celebrity guest on the show during the 12-hour shoot.

"She was awesome," Murphy said. "She brought some great energy. She was hilarious, we had quite a few laughs."

Murphy had to hide from the world that he beat Bobby Flay for 18 months, which he said was even more difficult by the fact that he had opened his new bakery and wanted to tell the world. At Bakehouse, Murphy likes to showcase seasonal items. With fall around the corner, he is getting ready to start making pies. 

"I wake up pretty much everyday thinking about an idea," Murphy said. "Since we're chef owned, I can make it and sell it it in the showcase."

Since his show aired, Murphy has been inundated with texts and phone calls. 

"I started my day at 3 a.m. and I've been running ever since," Murphy said. "The online sales have kicked in, it's been really overwhelming."

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