To quote chef Bobby Flay, “Food is the center of my universe,” however, it’s safe to bet that his human daughter, Sophie, and cat kids, Nacho and Stella, are included in that space!
From The James Beard Foundation to the Culinary Hall of Fame, to being an Emmy award-winning chef and personality, to being recognized as a renowned restauranteur—and the first chef to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—you might say that Bobby is very well known in the culinary world. However, in 2019, Flay expanded his world and his creativity by developing a line of at-home food…for cats. Called Made by Nacho, the venture was inspired by his two Maine Coon cats, Nacho and Stella.
“While many know I am passionate about cooking, I am equally as passionate about the cats in my life,” notes Flay.
Made by Nacho
Flay recognized that there was a distinct need for high-quality cat food in a market where most upscale pet foods are designed for dogs. He noted that while a lot of attention and investment had gone into developing premium, nutritionally sound dog foods, there was an opportunity in the market to do the same thing for cats. After all, pet parents have been investing in the health and well-being of their feline family members. Flay and his team began development, turning to Nacho’s trusted vet, Dr. Katja Lang, who helped create the formula. The line went into production, and Made by Nacho launched to consumers in April 2021.
The line was inspired by Bobby’s love of Nacho and the desire to create food that would be appealing to a cat and provide healthy feline nutrition. So, how did they combine Bobby’s passion for food for humans into a passion for developing a new cat food line with Nacho? Bobby knew he had to create something he could be just as proud serving his cat kids as the food he creates and serves to humans.
Flay adds that while he may influence the recipes and create what he thinks will appeal to a cat, it’s Nacho who gives the final sign off on the menu and the ingredients, though Flay’s influence is felt in the recipes that push the boundaries of what would be “traditional” cat food.
Assisting in the research, formulation and product development for the brand is Bobby’s human friend, Elly Truesdell.
Truesdell explains, “Made by Nacho is made by a cat, just for cats. Cats are unique, so they require very specific nutrition from their food and have distinct flavor preferences. That’s why we focus 100 percent on cats and cats alone.” Of course, romance aside, the cat is not doing the actual cooking, so the human assistants use thoughtfully sourced ingredients to deliver exceptional quality, and appeal to the famously fickle tastebuds of cats.
The result is a premium cat food with a premium price tag. Servings of Made by Nacho food can cost two-to-three times that of traditional store brands. However, as more and more pet parents make investing in the feline family member’s health a priority, the expense can be well worth it. Moreover, these foods are as exclusive as Flay’s human dishes. Recipes featuring duck liver, wild salmon, ahi tuna, and more would sound appetizing to many foodie humans, but here they’ve interpreted for a cat’s dietary needs. For many cat parents, the health benefits—and a happy cat—are well worth the extra investment.
Good For Cats. Good for Animals in Need
The Made by Nacho brand is also committed to social responsibility and supporting animals in need. Flay is keenly aware of the challenge of pets that are strays, homeless or, worse, abandoned and has implemented programs to help these animals. Under Flay’s direction, the brand provides assistance to shelters, adoption initiatives, cat health research, and more. Last year, the brand commemorated two special occasions in October 2021, World Animal Day and Nacho’s seventh birthday, with the donation of more than180,000 meals for kittens and cats in need.
Where to Buy
Made By Nacho is available in wet and dry food formulations, as well as a selection of treats. The line is sold on madebynacho.com, with a subscription option available. The site also includes a blog that includes important information for cat parents on such topics as hydration, keeping cats happy, and preventing anxiety. Cat parents can also find Made by Nacho products at retail at PetSmart and petsmart.com
…And a Star is Born
In addition to becoming a food wizard like his famous father, Nacho is also a social media star. You can follow his adventures and see amazing moments from his #catpack on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok @MadebyNacho.
‘To hear the complete interviews with Bobby Flay and Elly Truesdell, you can find them on Renee’s iHeartRadio blog via her social media platforms, where you can also find more pet adventures and stories. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram @reneedinino.