Bobby Flay’s team was outside during the opening ceremonies, grilling up racks of ribs and getting ready for the luncheon. After taking a quick tour of the Grand Tasting Tent and saying hi to Chef Frank McMahon from Hank’s and Jonah Jeter and Josh Broome from Mellow Mushroom, I headed into the main tent for the Bobby Flay Luncheon. Holy crap. It was packed and there were lines everywhere. I couldn’t figure out where to go, but finally I discovered the cactus pear margaritas and gnawed a couple of ribs from the bone.

Flay is a charismatic dude. He spent about 20 minutes praising his executive chefs and talking about how amazing they are. They glowed with pride. Really. And the food they prepared was amazing.

After the lunch, Flay stood and took pictures and signed cookbooks for about 45 minutes. I know, because I was waiting to interview him in the lounge.

He seemed pumped to get his team down here to experience Charleston. “I wanted them to see Charleston. A place like this has so much history and the food tells the story of the town.” After prepping for this event for two days, he says his chefs are now free to explore the city. I can’t imagine a more beautiful weekend for exploring.

A true New Yorker, Flay is what he is, in person and on TV. Gregarious, passionate, and full of energy.

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JC from Mesa Grill gets the ribs ready
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Me and the girls from Charleston Cooks! They read my blog! Yay.
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JC serving up the ribs — yummy in more ways than one
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Ribs.
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Filet gets drizzled with bearnaise and topped with crawfish. Long lines for this one.
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Cactus pear margaritas. Potent.
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Flay consults with his culinary director. How much filet was cooked? 110 pounds.
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Angel Postell consults with the celebuchef
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Mango crostada. Tender and sweet, just like we like it.
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The neverending autograph line
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Bobby Flay, in repose.