Alex Guarnaschelli
Alex Guarnaschelli

Alexandra Guarnaschelli

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars CHEF: Alexandra Guarnaschelli RESTAURANTS: Butter (New York) EXPERIENCE: La Butte Chaillot (Paris); Restaurant Daniel (New York); Patina (Los Angeles) EDUCATION: Barnard College, La Varenne Who taught you how to cook? What is the most important thing you learned from him or her? I consider myself a perpetual student of cooking and many people have contributed to my learning process. My parents were a critical part when I was growing up. My father made varied Italian dishes and some Chinese dishes. Cooking Chinese food was one of his favorite hobbies. My mom made classical French food and a lot of American items. This really shaped my taste buds. What was the first dish you ever cooked yourself? As a kid, my parents slept late a lot. I would wake up and consult the Fannie Farmer cookbook. The first thing I ever made was the coffee cake. I made it again and again. I kind of couldn't believe it worked! Make the batter, bake and magic. My exploration of baking led to a love affair with savory food. Who is your food mentor? What is the most important thing you learned from him/her? I have had many mentors. The most significant so far has definitely been Guy Savoy. He taught me so much about vegetables in particular. He also did something far more valuable: He gave me the confidence to believe in myself and in my desire to become a chef. Favorite cookbook of all time. So far, my favorite is Dione Lucas’s The Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook, for the recipes and the menus. My mom cooked a lot from it while I was growing up. I often look to it for inspiration. What's the most important skill you need to be a great cook? Aside from basic knife skills, I think butchering is very important. It opens up your imagination. It makes the possibilities endless. Is there a culinary skill or type of dish that you wish you were better at? I’m really French-trained, so I guess I always wish I had a better hand with fresh pasta dough. I tend to make mine too egg-y instead of trusting the flour. That's something I practice from time to time to make it a part of my comfort zone. What is the best bang-for-the-buck ingredient and how would you use it? I would have to say lemons. You can candy or salt the skin and use the flesh to make anything from jam to vinaigrettes. What is your current food obsession? I am currently obsessed with fresh gooseberries. I love mixing them with tomatoes, making jam and even pairing them with poultry, like duck and braised chicken thighs. Name three restaurants you are dying to go to in the next year and why? Madison Pic de Valence in France. I admire so much what Anne Sophie Pic has achieved in France. I would love to eat her cooking! Joe Beef in Montreal, Canada. I want to immerse myself in an unforgettable carnivore moment and I would happily put myself in this restaurant’s hands to get there. Willie Mae's Scotch House in New Orleans. I think this pick is self-explanatory. I am always looking for an excuse to go to New Orleans. Best bang-for-the-buck food trip—where would you go and why? I love Charleston, South Carolina. There are many affordable places to eat, so many local ingredients to explore. It's also beautiful. I'd start at Hominy Grill and The Ordinary, followed by a slice of coconut cake at The Peninsula Hotel. What do you eat straight out of the fridge, standing up? Cold meatballs encased in tomato sauce. I love unearthing them like boulders. Five people to follow on Twitter: Chris Cosentino, @offalchris Joyce Carol Oates, @JoyceCarolOates Melanie Dunea, @melaniedunea Roy Choi, @RidingShotgunLA Gael Greene, @GaelGreene
Parker House Rolls
Rating: Unrated
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These fluffy, buttery rolls have a homey quality. "They are deep Americana," says chef Alex Guarnaschelli. This recipe makes a big batch, but the unbaked rolls freeze well.
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Seriously Dirty Martinis
Rating: Unrated
3
Dirty vodka martinis are a staple at television personality Alex Guarnaschelli’s parties, but she also likes to mix it up from time to time. A floral gin martini made seriously dirty with olives is a great palate opener, she says, but the real secret is adding the brine from the jar of capers in the door in her fridge.
Roasting broccoli gives it a wonderful sweetness and crunch, making it a welcome side dish to any meal. Add in garlic and the spicy heat of crushed red pepper, and you’ve got a dish that will make even the biggest broccoli skeptic ask for seconds. The stems need not go to waste—they’re just as delicious as the other parts of the broccoli. “This is a stem-to-floret dish,” exclaims TV personality Alex Guarnaschelli.
“I watched New York–style cheesecakes spin around in the glass cases of various coffee shops my whole childhood,” says TV personality Alex Guarnaschelli. “While there are as many definitions of various cheesecakes as there are types of barbecue, New York–style is defined by a browned top with a silky cream cheese interior. I like to use a small a kitchen torch to warm the sides of the pan to more easily unmold the cheesecake once it is cooked. For the marmalade, I like to use a chunky-style one for added texture and top it with pink grapefruit.”
These crisp, buttery, and supremely gooey grilled cheese sandwiches get fantastic tang from sourdough bread and a bright mustardy bite from leeks. They were inspired by a quiche that TV personality Alex Guarnaschelli ate years ago made from brioche layered with caramelized leeks and baked with Gruyère and Parmesan. In this version, she uses Brie because she says that while there are cheeses with more distinct flavor, no other cheese ends up so creamy.
“When it comes to cooking with beer,” says Guarnaschelli, “I like using Heineken because it adds a pleasant sweetness and a faint yeasty taste that I love.” The brown sugar and earthy flavor of the carrots are perfect with feta, which adds just the right amount of richness and salt. (Save craft beer for drinking, Guarnaschelli suggests: “Serve it with a steak and these carrots on the side.”)
It’s important to make sure that the pork roast has enough air circulating around it (especially underneath) as it cooks, so use a roasting pan fitted with a rack to elevate the meat as it cooks.
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Completely tender parsnips are the key to a good mash here; trim away any fibrous cores from the parsnip roots. A wintry combination of sweet maple, brown butter, and salty pancetta make these creamy parsnips ultra-comforting. (Guarnaschelli advises crisping some extra pancetta for snacking, or you may have none left when it comes time to top the parsnips.)
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli combined two of her favorite dishes to create this recipe: chicken cutlets and saltimbocca. To get the best texture on the cutlets, use finely ground dried breadcrumbs, which can be made by grinding breadcrumbs in a food processor.Reprinted with permission from Alex's Guarnaschelli's cookbook The Home Cook: Recipes to Know By Heart courtesy of and published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC Slideshow: More Chefs' Weeknight Dinner Recipes 
It’s important to make sure that the pork roast has enough air circulating around it (especially underneath) as it cooks, so use a roasting pan fitted with a rack to elevate the meat as it cooks.
Completely tender parsnips are the key to a good mash here; trim away any fibrous cores from the parsnip roots. A wintry combination of sweet maple, brown butter, and salty pancetta make these creamy parsnips ultra-comforting. (Guarnaschelli advises crisping some extra pancetta for snacking, or you may have none left when it comes time to top the parsnips.)
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli combined two of her favorite dishes to create this recipe: chicken cutlets and saltimbocca. To get the best texture on the cutlets, use finely ground dried breadcrumbs, which can be made by grinding breadcrumbs in a food processor.Reprinted with permission from Alex's Guarnaschelli's cookbook The Home Cook: Recipes to Know By Heart courtesy of and published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC Slideshow: More Chefs' Weeknight Dinner Recipes 
Spring Millefeuille
Rating: Unrated
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"Puff pastry takes longer to cook than you think," says chef Alex Guarnaschelli. "It looks browned and ready on the outside but still be underdone in the middle. So let it cook! Dusting it with sugar for baking (or even running it under the broiler with sugar once cooked) caramelizes the outside of the pastry … So tasty! When you cut the millefeuille, use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to cut even (and fairly neat) portions. Or just put in the center of the table with some forks and let things happen as they may."
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli puts her spin on spinach salad by adding sweet candied bacon, salty feta cheese and sautéed fennel. Slideshow:  More Fennel Recipes 
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Star chef Alex Guarnaschelli cooks juicy skirt steak with spices until a crust forms, then she spreads a mix of mustard and vinegar on the meat for a delicious tang. Slideshow:  More Steak Recipes 
Blackened Carrots
Rating: Unrated
1
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli tops her spicy blackened roasted carrots with a mix of honey and vinegar to balance the heat. Slideshow:  More Carrot Recipes 
“I am forever championing root vegetables,” says chef Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter in New York City. “My father made so many wonderful salads from celery root and other underloved vegetables when I was growing up.” Here, she simmers celery root and rutabaga in a spicy, basil-scented broth for a winter version of the Italian classic. Slideshow:  More Warming Soup RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners
“I can fool my family into thinking we’re eating a meaty meal with this dish,” says chef Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter in New York City. “And they’re a tough crowd.” She treats thick slices of cauliflower like beef steaks, searing and topping them with a tangy salsa verde whisked with Dijon mustard. Slideshow: More Vegetarian Recipes 
"This is a snapshot of the flavors of southern France," says Alex Guarnaschelli, chef at Butter in New York City. She sears lamb steaks to serve alongside a silky ratatouille made with two time-saving ingredients: canned tomatoes and jarred piquillo peppers. Any leftover ratatouille is terrific with eggs for breakfast. Slideshow:  More Lamb RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners
“I’m a sucker for mustard with chicken,” says Alex Guarnaschelli, chef at Butter in Manhattan. The mustard in this recipe not only helps the bread crumbs adhere to the chicken, it adds fast flavor. “Double the recipe,” she insists. “I love the leftovers in a sandwich.” Slideshow:  More Chicken Recipes  Recipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners
Two-Tomato Soup with Fennel
Rating: Unrated
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For this comforting soup, Alex Guarnaschelli cooks fresh and canned tomatoes separately, which adds layers of flavor. She then purees some of the soup and leaves the rest chunky to give it a lovely texture. Slideshow:  More Warming Soup Recipes 
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Alexandra Guarnaschelli's mother, Maria, the legendary cookbook editor at W.W. Norton, made a version of this lightly spicy dish when Guarnaschelli was a kid. Alex has adapted the recipe by adding red wine. More Dishes that Call for Red Wine
This recipe makes terrific use of white mushrooms, which "are always faithfully waiting for me at the supermarket," says Alex Guarnaschelli. Slideshows:  Cooking with Red Wine 
Alexandra Guarnaschelli loves to serve raisin-studded braised fennel with a meaty white fish, like halibut, black bass, or striped bass. Roasting the large fish fillet whole (rather than in portions) is a great way to serve a small crowd.
Rib-Eye Steak au Poivre
Rating: Unrated
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When making steak au poivre, Maria Guarnaschelli always stirs a few capers into the sauce, an addition her daughter did not appreciate as a girl. Today, however, Alexandra's steak au poivre—with capers—is a favorite at Nick & Stef's Steakhouse. Amazing Steak Recipes
"I like that all of the ingredients in this dish get a chance to meet each other," says Alexandra Guarnaschelli. She roasts the carrots and shallots along with the mustard-coated pork loin; then she uses the drippings to make a sauce. "The idea is that you never throw flavor away," Guarnaschelli says. "In fact, you collect flavor. It's a good philosophy for healthy cooking." More Pork Recipes
Icy Tomato Soup
Rating: Unrated
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Plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomato paste ensure that this soup is ultra-tomatoey. More Chilled Soups