Many celebrities have pets, and sometimes these animals capture the public’s hearts just like their owners and become famous in their own right.
Nacho, the orange Maine Coon owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, was certainly one of those pets: he was a favorite among fans and was even the inspiration for a successful cat food brand.
Sadly, Bobby Flay recently announced “with an absolute broken heart” that Nacho has died at the age of 9.
“I usually don’t post private family business but I truly believe he was everyone’s cat in some way,” Flay wrote in a touching Instagram tribute. “Nacho had a magic about him that was truly special. He came into my life when I needed him most and brought joyful moment after joyful moment to my household.”
“As any cat parent will tell you, the communication between you and your kitty is real and Nacho’s inclusiveness in our home inspired me to create something that would nourish cats everywhere,” the Emmy-winning Food Network star continued.
Nacho, an Orange Maine Coon, was a food celebrity in his own right, with over 274,000 followers on Instagram. He was the namesake and “co-founder” of Flay’s “cat-crafted, chef-approved” premium cat food brand Made By Nacho.
Inspired by his beloved cat, Flay wanted to create a higher-quality cat food product than what was being offered. “When Nacho and I set out to create Made by Nacho, we wanted to provide cats with food that was not only healthful and nutritious, but also delicious – something we truly felt was missing in the market,” Flay wrote in a 2022 press release.
Flay said it was comforting to know that his cat’s “legacy will live on forever” through the food line.
Flay ended his post by encouraging others to show some love for their own pets.
“Give your pets an extra long hug today and please say a short prayer for Nacho. They mean so much to all of us.”
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Many people joined him in mourning Nacho, from fans to fellow celebrity chefs.
“Oh Bobby I’m so sorry!! What a good life you gave him!!!” wrote fellow Food Network star Ina Garten.
“I’m so sorry my friend,” wrote chef Emeril Lagasse.
“So sorry,” wrote The Wonder Years star Danica McKellar. “Losing pets is one of the hardest things.”
Losing a pet is always difficult, no matter who you are, and we know Nacho meant so much to Bobby Flay. Nacho’s legacy will live on, both in the cat food aisle and in the hearts of his many fans 💔❤️
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