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Bobby Flay’s First Wife Debra Ponzek’s Life And Career

Chef Bobby Flay has had a very successful career spanning more than 30 years. However, the same cannot be said about his marital life. The veteran chef has been married and divorced 3 times now. Among them, Flay was initially married to fellow chef Debra Ponzek. The couple split after just 2 years of marriage.

Who is Debra married to after her divorce from Bobby? Well, her life post-divorce and whereabouts are majorly covered in the following article.

Debra Ponzek is an internationally acclaimed chef and proprietor

Like her former husband Flay, Ponzek is also an accomplished chef and the co-owner of the restaurant Aux Delices with her second husband, Greg Addonizio. They formed the business in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1995.

Ever since, the restaurant has branched out to several locations including Connecticut, Riverside, Darien, and Post Road Westport.

Bobby Flay's ex-wife Debra Ponzek in the kitchen
The talented chef Debra is in her zone.

Debra has accumulated almost four decades of experience in the culinary field. She also runs cooking classes out of her central kitchen. Having worked as a chef in multiple eateries, Ponzek has been praised for her recipes several times.

Debra is in her 60s; Her Family and Early Details

Born on August 26, 1961, Ponzek grew up in Morristown, New Jersey. She went to a Roman Catholic high school, Bayley-Ellard High School, located in the same area, and graduated in 1979.

Though there is not much about her parents, what is known is that Debra has a sibling, Gail. The sister-duo has a tight-knit relationship.


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Debra, to this day, wishes her on National Siblings Day and is not shy about expressing her love.

Ponzek, A Dropout of Boston University Joined The Culinary Institute of America

After high school, Bobby’s first wife joined Boston University to study engineering but later dropped out and decided to pursue a career in cooking. She attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and received her Associate’s Degree.

She graduated from the institute in 1984. She returned to her alma mater in 2015 to deliver the commencement speech.

Chef Debra Ponzek with students at The Culinary Institute of America
The chef returned to her alma mater to deliver a speech

The Beginning of Her Culinary Career

During her studies, Ponzek found a job at the Tarragon Tree, in Chatham, New Jersey, owned by Dennis Foy. She was there for 5 months, working 80 hours a week as a pastry chef.

After graduation, she also returned to the same restaurant, eventually becoming a chef three. Afterward, Debra was recruited by the owner of the restaurant, Montrachet, situated in Tribeca, Manhattan, and became the executive chef for 7 years.

She Is The Author of Multiple Cookbooks

Along with being involved in culinary arts, Ponzek has also published a few cookbooks. Her first book, French Food American Accent was published in 1996. Since then, the cookbook author has published three other books: The Summer House Cookbook in 2003, The Family Kitchen Cookbook in 2006, and

Debra Ponzek and Bobby Flay’s Relationship: When did they meet?

Ponzek and Flay met in June 1990 when they were cooking at a benefit for the Meals-on-Wheels charity. Her future husband Bobby held an appreciation for her work in the charity and also invited Ponzek and five of her friends to the Miracle Grill and cooked an elaborate meal to impress her.

After a few get-togethers, Debra and Bobby started dating and soon decided to get married.

Their Marriage and Subsequent Divorce

On May 11, 1991, Ponzek and Flay got married at the Rainbow Room in New York. Andrew Wilkinson, Rainbow Room’s chef, was the cook for the wedding dinner. With 225 guests on the list, their special day was joyful and lively. Famous chefs like Jonathan Waxman and Larry Forgione were also present.

Despite their early whirlwind romance, the couple decided to part ways after 2 years of marriage. The pair did not have any kids. However, Bobby has a daughter, Sophie Flay, from his 2nd marriage with Kate Connelly.

Ponzek won the 1992 ‘Rising Star Chef’ over her then-husband

In the 1992 James Beard Foundation Award, the talented chef won the award of ‘Rising Star Chef’, beating her then-husband Bobbay. Both of them were nominated in the same category. But, when Flay found out, the budding chef attempted to withdraw his name from the category. However, the foundation refused to do so.

Coincidently, when Flay won the award the following year, Ponzek was the one to present it to him.

Debra Ponzek’s Current Husband Is A Fellow Chef, Again

After her failed marriage with Bobby, Debra again married a fellow chef and colleague from The Culinary Institute of America, Greg Addonizio, in April 1995. The lovebirds previously knew each other during college but went their separate ways after graduation.

However, fate had other plans as the fellow chefs reconnected through a mutual friend when Debra was on a late-night TV show doing a cooking demonstration.

Debra Ponzek with her current husband Greg Addonizio
The long-time couple in Debra’s Instagram.

How Is Their Marital Life Going On?

Even after 28 years of marriage, Debra and her second hubby Greg are spending a happy life together and enjoy vacations, dinner outings, and shopping together.

The long-term couple currently reside in Greenwich, Connecticut. With their children all grown up now, the two are currently raising a Moscow Water dog named Kody.


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Let’s talk about their kids in the following heading.

Ponzek Is The Mother of Three Kids With Greg

Her oldest child, Remy with Greg, was born in mid-June of 1996. The mother-daughter duo share an extremely close bond. She often calls Remy ‘the best daughter ever.’

She currently works as a sales planner at WarnerMedia after graduating from Tulane University in 2018.

A year after her birth, Debra gave birth to their second child, a son Cole in December 1997. He graduated from Yale University in 2019 acquiring a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. The young man now serves as a manager of premium products at Capital One, Washington, DC.

Her youngest child, Gray, came into the world in early December 2000. The lad is studying business at Fairfield University in Connecticut.


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Without a doubt, her three children are a source of happiness and pride for Debra.

What is Debra Ponzek’s net worth?

With a lifelong career in the culinary field, Ponzek has accumulated quite a lot of wealth. Various sites have reported her net worth to be around $30 million. This amount has been estimated by taking into account her earnings as an acclaimed chef and author, along with her appearances on TV shows.

Meanwhile, her ex-husband Flay has a fortune of around $60 million.