11 Things You Didn’t Know About Alex Guarnaschelli

by in Shows, March 29th, 2013

Alex GuarnaschelliYou’ve seen them judge the competition, battle for the title of All-Stars champion and compete in a friendly game with colleagues on After Hours, but there’s a lot you don’t know about the judges of Chopped. Here’s your chance to get to know the nine people behind the Chopping Block.

Alex Guarnaschelli is a regular judge on Chopped and most recently won the title of Iron Chef on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. She is also the executive chef of Butter restaurant and The Darby in New York City. Alex began her culinary career in France, studied at La Varenne Cooking School in Burgundy and worked under the tutelage of many French restaurateurs before moving to New York. Her first cookbook, Old School Comfort: The Way I Learned to Cook, was released earlier this year. But did you know Alex has a special appreciation for the sea that goes beyond just eating seafood? In fact, if she hadn’t become a chef, she would have become a marine biologist. Find out more about Alex in her Q&A below.

What’s your Achilles’ heel ingredient, one that you hate to work with or encounter in someone else’s dish?
Alex Guarnaschelli: Hot dogs are tough! Simple, but a real killer. And chicken feet.

What dish or ingredient will we never catch you eating?
AG: Pattypan squash and/or haggis.

What was your most memorable meal? What, where, who? Details, please.
AG: My mother cooked me a birthday dinner at home when I was 11 or 12. Scallops in their shells and my favorite chocolate caramel cake. All the recipes are in my new cookbook. Best meal I can ever remember eating.

What’s your guilty pleasure food?
AG: I have many! But I really love an In-N-Out Burger the most.

Is there one dish that you always order out and never make at home?
AG: I would say fried squid and/or clam. Love it. Tastes like deep fried ocean!

What kitchen tool can’t you live without?
AG: My $5 paring knife.

If you weren’t in food, what career would you like to have tried?
AG: I would have embarked on the search for those giant squid as a marine biologist.

What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?
AG: Charleston, South Carolina!

What’s your favorite late-night snack?
AG: Polite answer: uh … ice water!! Real answer: cold spaghetti and meatballs.

What’s one must-have at your last supper?
AG: Chocolate and pistachio soufflés.

Who’s your favorite person to cook with?
AG: My daughter.

Rapid fire: Think fast!
Ketchup or mustard? Mustard
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Burger or hot dog? Burger and hot dog. Oh, ok … burger
Cream cheese or butter? Butter
Soda or water? Water
Sprinkles or jimmies? Jimmies. My mom’s a New England gal.

Get to Know the Rest of the Judges:
Aarón Sánchez
Amanda Freitag
Chris Santos
Geoffrey Zakarian
Maneet Chauhan
Marc Murphy
Marcus Samuelsson
Scott Conant

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Comments (14)

  1. allen says:

    love alex. cant wait to see this newest iron chef compete in chopped champions!

  2. ChefAnneWatcher says:

    I enjoy it when Alex disagrees with the other judges' criticisms of a dish…and she makes her case for why they are wrong. I think she would make a great lawyer (if she ever decided to change careers)!

    • Iva Durham says:

      Interesting …It's her constant criticism of others that makes her my least favorite chef, next to Irvine who really irritates me. I think it may be Alex's 'I gotcha' smile. she's just too pushy for me, as she lowers the boom on someone like the smile she does when she says 'I disagree,' most often to a male chef.

  3. Michelle says:

    "Chomped" is my 5 year old son's favorite show…and he has been amazed to see faces he recognizes (the judges!) as the competitors. Thank you ALL for creating and participating is such an exciting, entertaining and educational show! Perhaps I can convince this mac-n-cheese only kiddo to try some new things…just like his favorite celebs. :)

  4. Tammy says:

    Justed watched a show and her comment for the loser was " if this was a competition about thinking outside the box …." WHAT? It totally is about that….she was fighting the other two judges voting for the loser, then she said that( when she was obviously lost to the male judges) …should have left them explain it to the chef who should have won. But, I do love you Alex!

  5. Ann Proctor says:

    If Alex is a judge, I do not watch that episode. The way she chews food and stares at the contestant is so rude and annoying to see. I have seen other shows with her a chef/cook and I am not impressed. I do not watch Iron Chef if she is on it either.

    • Fred Payne says:

      You Go Ms. Proctor! Your remarks are right on the money- I try to avoid watching her on any show. How did she ever win in the Iron Chef contest, her win proved that Food Network does not have any B@!!$, and to think who she competed against. That proved that the Next Iron Chef was rigged from the begining and was such a embarrasment to the outstanding Chef's who (competed) lost to this totally unprofessional person.

      • Chef Lambaux says:

        Agreed….. Gotta laugh at the 3 males above. Ned P should have stopped at " I have a girl crush-y on her", that explains it all. These men should live with her so I can have a good laugh. Alex should have a capitol "B" tattoo'd on her forehead. Iva nailed it also in the reply below. I wouldn't let her work in my restaurant, no way… Pushy, arrogant and all attitude. I could never deal with that drama.
        Also, I think it's great she made iron chef. She could break a record for losses and I can laugh some more.
        I have worked around her before. Believe me people… Be scared, be very scared…

  6. Ned P. says:

    I absolutely LOVE Alex — she's my favorite judge on "Chopped." (I would love to see more "Alex's Day Off" episodes, Food Network! Enough of the marathon of Guy Fieri shows, for gods' sake). I'm always, always happy when it's an Alex-episode. There's something very thoughtful about her critiques/commentary on "Chopped." I have a girl crush-y on her. Amanda Frietag is my second favorite; she seems like someone who is inherently sweet, and would be very fun to know. I find Geoffrey Zacharian, Scott Conant, Chris Santos, and Marcus Samuelson to be utterly insufferable (the first three, especially). I used to really like Aaron Sanchez, but have tired of him. I am always disappointed when Maneet Chauhan is a judge — she comes across as the least credible (on the same caliber as Judy Joo and Donatella Arpaia, just unwatchable). Chauhan always starts her comments as "I agree with you…" and has yet to express a valid, original observation. I like Ted Allen quite a bit, although it does come off as odd, and pretty inappropriate, in the moments when he shows bias against a competitor ("Don't you think…"). I really do love the show and rarely miss an episode. More Alex, please :).

  7. joe says:

    my favorite of all the judges!!!!

  8. Anon says:

    Alex is HOT. Sexy bedroom eyes…

  9. Ritach2 says:

    The woman is crude, rude, and is not a positive addition to any of the foodnetwork shows. I am looking forward to the day that she will just go away. And, her skill set is not that of an Iron Chef. I feel that competition was staged from the start.

  10. MackieJ says:

    It's a little odd how Alex stares at the contestants as she chews. She ALWAYS disagrees with Geophrey which is kind of funny.

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