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Alexandra Maria Guarnaschelli
Brandon Clark (m. 2007)
Alexandra Maria Guarnaschelli (born 1972) is a chef and executive chef at New York City's Butter restaurant and was executive chef at The Darby restaurant before its closing. She appears as a television personality on the Food Network shows Chopped, Iron Chef America, All Star Family Cook-off, Guy's Grocery Games, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. She hosts Alex's Day Off and The Cooking Loft on Food Network and Cooking Channel. In 2012, she won that season of Iron Chef America.
In 2013, Guarnaschelli's first cookbook was published. Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook mixes autobiographical details with favorite recipes from her professional life that she adapted for the home.
Guarnaschelli is the daughter of cookbook editor Maria and John Guarnaschelli. She graduated from Barnard College in 1991. Guarnaschelli's culinary experience started while watching her mother test numerous recipes at home while editing cookbooks.
Guarnaschelli worked under Larry Forgione (whose son is Iron Chef Marc Forgione), and then at a number of restaurants in France, New York and Los Angeles, including Guy Savoy's La Butte Chaillot. She also worked at Daniel Boulud's eponymous restaurant and Joachim Splichal's Patina before becoming the executive chef at Butter. She was executive chef at The Darby restaurant before its closing. She is the chair of the Museum of Food and Drink's Culinary Council.
Guarnaschelli was a competitor on The Food Network's Iron Chef America, taking on Cat Cora in the 2007 "Farmers' Market Battle." Cora won the challenge. Guarnaschelli has since appeared as a judge on the program. In 2011, she competed in the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef, where she placed as the third runner-up. She also competed on the Food Network Challenge Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast episode and lost the competition. After competing in the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef, Guarnaschelli became a sous chef to Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.
In 2008, she became the host of The Food Network's The Cooking Loft with Alex Guarnaschelli, in which the chef teaches a small group of students how to construct new variations of classic dishes.
Guarnaschelli has been a judge on Food Network's competition show Food Network Challenge, and frequently appears as a judge on Food Network's cooking competition show Chopped, Cooks Vs. Cons,Young and HungryGuy's Grocery Games and on Food Network's series The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
She competed in season 5 of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. She won in the final Kitchen Stadium showdown against chef Amanda Freitag. Her debut challenge as an Iron Chef on Iron Chef America aired on December 30, 2012.
Guarnaschelli appeared as a judge in episode five of Iron Chef Gauntlet, where chef Gruenberg was eliminated before the final showdown in episode six "The Gauntlet".
She appeared on the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay. She challenged Bobby with her signature lobster dish. She also won that challenge.
Alex's Day Off
On April 29, 2007, Guarnaschelli married Brandon Clark. The two met in 2006 at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education while Alex was teaching a fish class. Their daughter, Ava, was born in July 2007.
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