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Alexandra Guarnaschelli

  • American chef
  • Born 1972

Alexandra Maria Guarnaschelli (born 1972) is a chef and executive chef at New York City's Butter restaurant and was executive chef at The Darby restaurant before its closing. She appears as a television personality on the Food Network shows Chopped, Iron Chef America, All Star Family Cook-off, Guy's Grocery Games, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. She hosts Alex's Day Off and The Cooking Loft on Food Network and Cooking Channel. In 2012, she won that season of Iron Chef America. In 2013, Guarnaschelli's first cookbook was published.


Winter blues are cured every time with a potato gratin paired with a roast chicken.




My reasons for becoming a chef are somewhat of a cliche. I always loved to eat but it was watching my parents cook that really served as the impetus for my career choice.




If you want to have a relationship, at some point you have to let yourself get caught. That's what I did. I got caught.




Food is ever-changing and ever moving forward and getting more and more complex.




I think we love bacon because it has all the qualities of an amazing sensory experience. When we cook it, the sizzling sound is so appetizing, the aroma is maddening, the crunch of the texture is so gratifying and the taste delivers every time.




The better the ingredients, the more farmers I can buy from, the closer I feel to the food I want to make that represents what I care about as a chef.




Food is so heavily connected to memory.




For me no good food is illuminated without acidity.




Give yourself enough time to really learn how to cook.




I bent my head over a stove in my early 20s and picked it up in my 30s.




I used to sleep with the phone right by my pillow but I'm getting better. Now it sits on the table a few feet away.




I find myself hoping I can get on a TV show, and then people from Oklahoma will come to my restaurant. Then I'll be able to make enough money to open my own place.




I woke up on May 15, 1991, the day of my Barnard graduation, and I said to myself, 'By the end of today you will decide what you want to do with the rest of your life.'




My father always said, 'If you love what you do, you won't mind slogging through it for several hours a day.'




It's amazing the relationships you forge in a kitchen. When you cooperate in an environment that's hot. Where there's a lot of knives. You're trusting your well-being with someone you've never before met or known.




The hardest thing about being a full time chef is leaving my work behind when I go home at night. I'll toss and turn about a menu item or forget to order produce and wake up at 4 A.M. in a cold sweat over some artichokes.




I don't show just anyone how to crust a sea bass. That's sacred information.




If I want my daughter to try something, I eat it in front of her repeatedly without forcing the issue and, with some trial and error, the world is our oyster!




The hardest thing for me is restraint.



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