James Beard Foundation
If you’ve spent any time watching Food Network over the past few years, you’ve most likely encountered Alex Guarnaschelli, Iron Chef and Chopped judge. Alex is the executive chef at New York’s Butter restaurant, and is also the author of Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook. But we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about this Food Network mainstay. Here are five.
Her Mother is a Renowned Cookbook Editor
Maria Guarnaschelli helped edit and test recipes for some classic cookbooks, including Classic Indian Cooking by June Sahni and The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. “I honestly feel as if I learned to eat according to whatever cookbook my mother was working on at the time,” she says on her website.
She Worked for a Fellow Iron Chef’s Dad
Iron Chef Marc Forgione comes from culinary royalty; his father Larry Forgione gained renown during his time running An American Place in New York City. Guarnaschelli apprenticed with Larry after graduating from Barnard College in 1991.
Her Resume is Insanely Impressive
After apprenticing with Forgione, she went to France to do work-study at La Varenne Culinary School in Burgundy before spending four years at the Michelin three-star Guy Savoy. She was then promoted to sous chef at Savoy’s La Butte Chaillot before returning to New York to be a sous chef at Daniel.
Her Favorite Herb is Tarragon
According to the Q&A section on her website, she prefers the minty, licorice flavor of tarragon to other herbs.