Although you probably know Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli best as a Food Network Canada personality, a best-selling cookbook author or the executive chef at Butter in New York City, there are probably a few facts about her that you haven’t discovered yet. Here are 10 things that you may not know about this world-renowned chef and accomplished competition cook.
Related: Alex Guarnaschelli’s Bacon 101
From the “Gateway to the West” to “The Big Apple”
Alexandra Maria Guarnaschelli was born in St. Louis, Missouri to parents Maria and John, but her family moved to New York City when she was only a few days old.
Food is a family affair
Guarnaschelli’s mother, Maria, is a cookbook editor and publisher so her culinary education began at a young age. She would watch her mom test recipes while editing cookbooks, and was exposed to a variety of cuisines from around the world.
Arts and letters
Guarnaschelli has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College where she majored in art history and minored in english.
A full-circle moment
After graduating from Barnard in 1991, Guarnaschelli apprenticed under Chef Larry Forgione at NYC eatery, An American Place. Years later, she would co-star on Iron Chef with Chef Marc Forgione, Chef Larry’s son.
The call of the ocean
While we usually see Guarnaschelli creating a sumptuous seafood feast in the kitchen, she imagines a very different relationship with the sea if she wasn’t a chef. She admits that if her culinary career hasn’t worked out, she’d likely be a marine biologist searching for the elusive giant squid.
Food on film
There have been some great food-centric films over the years but the 2014 film Chef is Alex Guarnaschelli’s pick. She thinks it’s an accurate portrayal of the ups and downs that a chef feels at different points in their career, plus it celebrates the simple beauty of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.
New York may have hundreds of excellent food options, but if you’re looking for Guarnaschelli’s favourite foodie destination, head to Charleston, South Carolina. In an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, she sang the praises of several dining establishments, and even mentioned her craving for caramel apples from Charleston’s Candy Kitchen while she was pregnant.
When Guarnaschelli has a hankering for fast food, her pick is In-N-Out Burger. She’s a big fan of their Double Double Burger but skips the fries, which she finds underwhelming. We wonder if she’s tried making them Animal Style!
The perfect partner
Although Guarnaschelli has worked with some of the greatest chefs in both France and the United States, her favourite person to cook with is her daughter, Ava. She takes great joy in passing down the culinary skills that she learned from her parents and throughout her career.