Alex Guarnaschelli Does Not Like Pumpkin Spice, And Other Things We Learned From Our Twitter Chat With The Iron Chef

We spoke with Food Network star and Butter executive chef Alex Guarnaschelli on Twitter today to pick her brain about her favorite fall foods and recipes, and what it's like to appear on Food Network shows like Chopped and Iron Chef America. Here are some of the things we learned.

With fall around the corner, Guarnaschelli said her favorite in-season foods are apples, Asian pears, kuri squash, and grapes. She also expressed an affinity for rutabaga, whether it's pickled, raw, or roasted with brown butter. Since cooking in the Autumn typically involves lots of spices we asked her for her  favorites. The chef loves nutmeg, dry ginger, and dry mustard.

Her go-to recipe for fall is thinly-shaved raw squash with sherry vinaigrette and toasted pumpkin seeds. Guarnaschelli also loves lentil soups with parsnip, rutabaga, squash, and bacon. And when making the perfect apple pie, she advises to use "sturdy" apples that are similar in consistency.

Guarnaschelli admitted that she does not like to cook with pumpkins and prefers using them as jack-o'-lanterns. Instead, she goes for Blue Hubbard, kabocha, and Kuri squash and likes making them in soups, gratins, and salads.

When asked if she had to pick between salted caramel and pumpkin spice, she said, "I'm salted caramel all the way. Or maybe a pumpkin spiced salted caramel...?" Guarnaschelli also predicts that the next biggest food trend will be a diet of nut milk and seeds, or cupcakes, again. You heard it here first.

Finally, she gave solid advice for aspiring chefs who want to be contestants on Chopped: "Go for it and know that making yourself vulnerable to public opinion is rewarding, win or lose! Chopped teaches you about you!"