Alex Guarnaschelli

By: Chloe Harrelson

Personal Information


  • Born in 1972
  • born in New York City, NY
  • the daughter of esteemed cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli, who spent her childhood surrounded by food. Guarnaschelli learned to eat according to whatever book her mother was working on at the time: one year was devoted to Indian with Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni; another year was devoted to Italian with The Splendid Table .
  • http://www.alexguarnaschelli.com
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Education and Training

Barnard College

This early emphasis on her palate truly shaped her future in food. On the day of Guarnaschelli’s graduation from Barnard College in 1991, she decided to explore her culinary interests and began working under the tutelage of the acclaimed American chef and restaurateur Larry Forgione.

Forgione encouraged Guarnaschelli to travel and expand her skill set, so she obligingly moved to France to do a work study at La Varenne Culinary School in Burgundy. After school and traveling throughout France, she moved to Paris to begin a four day stage at the Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy. Four days turned into four years with Guarnaschelli rapidly being promoted to sous chef at La Butte Chaillot, another Savoy establishment.


Career

Chef Guarnaschelli is a recurring judge on the popular prime-time series Chopped and is featured on her own shows, The Cooking Loft and Alex's Day Off, which launched in October 2009. She has appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America as both a challenger and a judge and competed on season 4 of The Next Iron Chef. In 2012, she bested nine rival chefs to win The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and joined the ranks of Kitchen Stadium Iron Chefs. Alex's first cookbook is Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook (Clarkson Potter, 2013).


"My mother was always coaxing me from my ‘Barbie land’ under the dining room table to peel potatoes, knead bread or assemble a trifle,” says Guarnaschelli, who jokingly continues, "what else could a seven-year-old have wanted from life?"

This early emphasis on her palate truly shaped her future in food. On the day of Guarnaschelli’s graduation from Barnard College in 1991, she decided to explore her culinary interests and began working under the tutelage of the acclaimed American chef and restaurateur Larry Forgione.