At an NYC Wine and Food Fest event at the TimesCenter, top-tier chefs discussed with Melissa Clark of The New York Times some of their greatest challenges in achieving what they have today, the moment they realized they had made it and the potential pros and cons of celebrity chefs and television cooks.
Several of the chefs admitted to being their own biggest obstacle in some way. Chef Anne Burrell was quick to name her “sparkly” personality as her greatest challenge, noting that some have not known how to approach such a confident, self-assured chef. Even fellow panelist Chef Alex Guarnaschelli confessed to being skeptical of the young Burrell many years ago. Still, Anne maintained, “The opposite of a sparkly person is mediocrity,” and with that mantra, she has worked alongside some of the most premier chefs in the industry, including Lidia Bastianich and Iron Chef Mario Batali. The latter she credits with offering her most significant opportunity: to serve as his sous chef in Food Network’s Iron Chef America battles.