A-B Tech Alum Beats Bobby Flay

Reza Setayesh, an A-B Tech alum and former Culinary instructor, was declared the winner on “Beat Bobby Flay” which aired August 9 on the Food Network. His signature dish was Jian Bing, a Chinese savory crepe that is often a breakfast street food.

Setayesh had Jian Bing in New York and brought it back to Asheville where it is currently one of his best sellers at BimBeriBon, the restaurant he owns with his wife Eva. “It was an amazing experience to represent Asheville restaurants, chefs and the community,” he said. “Every day we try very hard to show our love and passion by cooking and serving our community and beyond. I appreciate all the support we have had over the past two and half decades being in this special place that we call home.”

Setayesh filmed the episode in May 2019 and said getting prepared for the competition show goes back to when he was a Culinary student at A-B Tech in 1987. “I was picked to compete at the culinary food show in Charlotte and I felt so honored. You get judged in all criteria. I can tell you that my experiences from almost 35 years ago had prepared me,” he said. He was an instructor at A-B Tech in the mid-90s.

The show shoots three seasons at a time, so Chef Flay gets a break, according to Setayesh. “The experience was amazing, even though it’s a long process and a long application. That process was about three months of filling out forms and running a restaurant and being a chef at the same time,” he said.

Producers had heard about the Asheville food scene and they sought Setayesh out and asked him if he was interested. “Once the application went through and they set a date for me to come up. They really value your time and set up all the accommodations,” he said.

He didn’t have to do a thing but pack his bags and answer texts. “They picked me up from my home in Asheville. They want to make sure you show up. And they keep checking up on me to make sure I was where I was supposed to be. The only time I didn’t get a text from the show was when I was in the air.”

"What an incredible personal accomplishment for Chef Setayesh,” said Cathy Horton Director of The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts & Hospitality and Chair of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management. “Reza has been a champion of our programs for many years and we are so proud to be associated with this fine chef. We are equally proud that he looks back on his time in our culinary program as a bedrock of skills that helped to hone his craft and provide such a strong professional trajectory.”

Culinary Arts and many other programs are accepting students for the fall semester, which begins August 24. Visit Explore, Apply and Register or call (828) 398-7900.