In just a few short weeks (Sunday, May 5 at 10pm/9c), the first-ever Iron Chef America: Tournament of Champions will begin — pitting Iron Chefs against Iron Chefs. In preparation for such a challenge, I thought it’d be a good idea to sit down with the Iron Chefs and ask them questions that will help readers and fans get to know them a little better. Last week we kicked it off with Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian — this week it’s all about the newest Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli. Check back every Thursday for an inside look at the remaining roster of Iron Chefs.
If sheer determination was the only deciding factor in who became the next Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli would have been taking on all comers in Kitchen Stadium years ago.
Unfortunately for her, in Season 4 of the show, a poorly prepared piece of lobster led to her elimination and possibly the end of her dream to join the Chairman’s elite crew.
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May Madness hits Food Network this spring as Iron Chefs battle it out — one-on-one — in the first-ever Iron Chef America: Tournament of Champions
. With five episodes and a panel of revolving judges, the tournament features high-stakes, bracket-style battles between the best of the best in the culinary world. The tournament begins Sunday, May 5 at 10pm/9c
with a face-off between the two newest Iron Chefs, Alex Guarnaschelli and Geoffrey Zakarian.
Get the full schedule
During the months of April and May, Alex Guarnaschelli’s schedule will be filled with book signings across the country for her first book, Old-School Comfort Food. Check out her book tour schedule below to see if she’ll be in a city near you.
While you’re there, have Alex sign a copy of Old-School Comfort Food:
Monday, April 8: New York City
Event: 4:30-7:30 p.m., Kraft Kulinary Event at Columbia University
Wednesday, April 10: Bridgewater, N.J.
Event: 2:30-4:30 p.m., Costco (signing)
Click here for Alex’s entire book tour schedule
Whether Alex Guarnaschelli is cooking at restaurants Butter or The Darby, dishing out top-notch critiques as a judge on Chopped, racing around Kitchen Stadium as the newest Iron Chef or cooking up a storm with her daughter at home, fans of hers know that Alex does comfort food best.
Alex grew up in a home surrounded by a love of cooking, where souffles and cheeseburgers were equally revered. The daughter of a respected cookbook editor and a Chinese cooking enthusiast, Alex developed a passion for food at a young age, sealing her professional fate. In her premiere cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food, she shares her journey from waist-high taste tester to trained chef, along with the 100 recipes for how she learned to cook — and the way she still loves to eat.
Want to get Alex’s secrets to great home cooking? You can pre-order a copy of Old-School Comfort Food here, or enter in the comment field below for a chance to win one. To enter: Tell us which one of Alex’s recipes is your favorite and why in the comments (you must include the URL — find Alex’s list of recipes here). We’re giving away an autographed copy of the book to five lucky, randomly selected commenters.
Read official rules before entering
FN Dish is counting down to the Season 3 premiere of Chopped All-Stars by introducing a competitor every day. Sixteen competitors including Food Network and Cooking Channel talent, renowned chefs, Chopped judges and celebrities are competing for a chance to win the title of All-Stars Champion and a $50,000 donation to charity. Watch the premiere on Sunday, April 7, at 9pm/8c and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes previews.
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, will be released April 9. 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.
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Whether they’re smiling, cringing, panicked about diminishing time on the clock or just stumped by a use of ingredient or technique, all nine of the Chopped judges have very telling faces.
Browse through a gallery of some of the best Chopped judge face-moments captured throughout the seasons.
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A new Iron Chef has officially been crowned and added to the prestigious roster. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli prevailed in the final showdown, a full-out Kitchen Stadium battle that paid homage to three long-standing Iron Chefs: Chefs Flay, Symon and Morimoto.
Iron Chef Guarnaschelli is the executive chef at both The Darby and Butter Restaurants (take a photo tour here) in New York City. She’s also a veteran judge on Chopped. Returning for a chance at redemption, Chef Guarnaschelli survived all eight of the Chairman’s intense challenges, only finding herself in the Secret Ingredient Showdown once.
We recently sat down with Chef Guarnaschelli at Butter to chat about her experience on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption — why she decided to go for it a second time and what her biggest fear about Kitchen Stadium is.
Read our exclusive interview
There are no easy tests in Kitchen Stadium. The first battle for any newly crowned Iron Chef, however, is perhaps the toughest of all. The glory of winning The Next Iron Chef competition is all but forgotten and the winner now has to prove themselves worthy in the world’s toughest culinary arena.
It also doesn’t make any difference that Iron Chef Guarnaschelli has become familiar with Kitchen Stadium over the last year, as Iron Chef Zakarian’s sous chef. This time around, she was master, not servant, and any defeat would be associated directly with her name.
It was ironic that her first opponent would be Judy Joo, who — along with Iron Chef Michael Symon and I — was responsible for eliminating her in Season 4 of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs. She not only battled to win, but also had a very definite point to prove.
The Secret Ingredient was mortadella (something her fellow rival chef, Chef Nate Appleman, is now very familiar with) and both chefs managed to get their first dish in front of the judges within the 20-minute time frame. Neither was declared a great success, but Iron Chef Guarnaschelli came away with a slender lead of two points to take into the rest of the battle.
On last Sunday night’s Next Iron Chef, in a glorious final battle in Kitchen Stadium against Chef Amanda Freitag, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli proved that she deserved to win the season of Redemption and the title of Iron Chef, making her the second female chef to hold the title. This Sunday is your chance to see Chef Guarnaschelli in her first battle on Iron Chef America. She will be up against Iron Chef UK‘s Judy Joo in an international battle. The competition will be judged by Jeffrey Steingarten, Karine Bakhoum and Tory Belleci.
Tune in on Sunday, December 30, at 9pm/8c to see if Chef Guarnaschelli can win her first battle as the new Iron Chef.
Eating lots of great food and spending time with family and friends are some of the things to look forward to when it comes to the holidays. And cooking together is a great way to catch up on old times and make new memories whether it involves a bit of family drama or not.
So what happens when four Food Network chefs are each paired with a family member in a cooking challenge? It’s a competition to see which family cooks the best. Watch Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Robert Irvine and Geoffrey Zakarian battle it out to win a cash donation to their charity of choice. Bobby Deen hosts this Food Network special, which eliminates teams round by round until only one family is left standing.
Tune in: Sunday, November 18 at 10pm/9pm c