Bobby Flay Strikes New Multi-Year Deal with Food Network: 'Thrilled'

Bobby Flay and Food Network were rumored to be parting ways after the chef's three-year contract expires at end of 2021

Bobby Flay will keep heating up Food Network!

The 56-year-old celebrity chef has signed an exclusive, new three-year contract with the network, Discovery Inc. confirmed in a statement shared with PEOPLE Monday.

"I'm thrilled to extend my relationship with Food Network and Discovery," Flay said in the statement. "Although these talks to renew took a little longer than expected, the important thing is that both sides are happy that we can now build on an already rock-solid foundation. Stay tuned for some incredibly exciting new shows as I promise to take food and cooking to places we've never imagined before."

The Beat Bobby Flay has signed on to stay once his current, three-year contract expires at the end of 2021. In October, Variety reported that he would be parting ways with Food Network after 27 years, after both parties could not agree on financial terms.

At the time, a source close to the celebrity chef's team told PEOPLE that Flay was negotiating for a deal that would be above Guy Fieri's recent $80 million contract. The payday reportedly made the Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives host the highest-paid chef on cable TV.

"Bobby wanted a contract in the ballpark of $100 million," the source said.

However, another source close to Food Network told PEOPLE comparing the two stars' contracts was "not apples to apples."

Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri
Denis Contreras/Getty; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

"Guy has a three-year deal," they explained. "The terms of what Bobby was looking for were gravely different than just cash. The terms were longer, the scope of work was different and thus the dollars were different. It's not just $80 million to $100 million."

Though Flay's new paycheck remains undisclosed, he will develop new content for the culinary channel and elsewhere within the Discovery portfolio as part of the deal.

"We are thrilled to continue Bobby Flay's long standing relationship with Food Network. He captivates our audience with his incredible culinary skill, fierce competitive spirit and his trademark ability to share a deep passion for food," Courtney White, President of Food Network and Streaming Food Content for Discovery Inc., said in a statement. "Bobby generously invites viewers into his culinary world, sharing his #WeCook philosophy and inspiring everyone in the kitchen. Continuing this creative relationship with such an extraordinary talent is the perfect way to usher in the holidays."

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Flay has been a longtime star on Food Network, making his debut in 1994 and co-hosting his own series, Grillin' & Chillin', by 1996. Since then, the chef has hosted numerous hit shows — including Boy Meets Grill, Beat Bobby Flay, Food Network Star, Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, Brunch @ Bobby's, and Iron Chef America.

Earlier this year, he launched a podcast with his daughter Sophie — titled Always Hungry — and saw the opening of his first Italian restaurant, Amalfi.

As Beat Bobby Flay continues, People Food Editor Ana Calderone was recently on the set of the cooking competition, for an episode airing in 2022.

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