Take the Long Road—Career Advice From Alex Guarnaschelli

From blog.ice.edu by Institute of Culinary Education
Take the Long Road—Career Advice From Alex Guarnaschelli


“You’re going to get your close-up if you want it,” explains renowned chef and Food Network personality Alex Guarnaschelli. “But when it happens, what will you know how to do, and what will you have to say?”


This week, Chef Alex spoke to a packed room of ICE students and graduates as she shared insights from her storied culinary career. Alongside her in the kitchen was ICE Culinary Arts alum Michael Jenkins, who has worked under Alex at Butter Restaurant for the past 10 years. Michael began as an extern and currently heads the restaurant as chef de cuisine.

Alex Guarnaschelli Michael Jenkins Butter Restaurant

The theme of navigating the early stages of one’s career persisted throughout Alex’s talk, as she fielded student questions and explained her evolution as a chef. Before stepping onto a set at Food Network, she had already logged 17 years as a culinary professional—including a stint as a chef instructor in ICE’s Culinary Arts program. “When I first appeared on food television, I only had to adapt to the lights and the cameras. Cooking was second nature to me by then, but I’ve seen many chefs step into the spotlight before they were ready.”