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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

Star chef Bobby Flay seems like a nice guy, right? Wrong!

At least that's what chef Alex Guarnaschelli thought when she first watched him cook.

"I used to watch Bobby Flay because he was on all the time. And I was like, 'I don’t like that guy. That guy thinks he’s so cool with his grill and spatula,'" Guarnaschelli told People in its special "The Stars of Food Network" issue.

Guranaschelli is the host of the Food Network's online series "Fix Me a Plate" and spoke to the outlet about which celebrity chefs she watched before she became one. And Guarnaschelli just didn't take to Flay — and his spatula.

She wasn't the only one of Flay's chef pals who was turned off by him, at least for a time. Believe it or not, Giada De Laurentiis gave Flay the silent treatment for eight months after they lost an "Iron Chef America" battle in 2006. They may pal around now, but at one time De Laurentiis thought he was "a jerk."

Once Guarnaschelli got to know Flay, however, she realized he wasn't so bad.

"I couldn't have been more wrong," she said. "He’s one of my closest friends now. I realized it was probably just jealousy. He’s amazing!"

Before the two became buddies, Flay produced Guarnaschelli's daytime show, "Alex's Day Off."

"He stood on the set with his mirrored sunglasses like a fire-breathing dragon," Guarnaschelli said. "I was terrified."

Flay's burger game was intimidating enough already.

But her terror shortly melted into respect as Flay showed her the ropes and helped her feel comfortable in her own shoes ... literally.

"I know that sounds like a silly thing, but it’s really important, and it’s something I had to learn," Guarnaschelli told People about Flay's advice to wear what feels good.

"If your shirt’s pulling on you or you feel funny in your pants or your shoes are uncomfortable, it really affects your performance," she said.

And now Guarnaschelli and Flay are two peas in a pod. They even compete on Food Network's "Beat Bobby Flay."

To meet the task, Guarnaschelli channels her "inner-Ina Garten" (think roast chicken, tulips and Garten's husband, Jeffrey). After all, if anyone knows how to "Cook Like a Pro,"it's Garten.