Go Ask AlexAsk your own question

  1. First of all, I love the title for this section! Love the play on words. I am allergic to seafood and fish, so I had to adapt many recipes. Since I underwent chemotherapy for cancer, food changed for me. Some foods I cannot eat whether taste or texture is different. I love Italian and Chinese, but have to watch for seafood ingredients. Italians use a lot of anchovies for example. for salt and flavor. Chinese use fish sauce, etc.

    How can I make the same foods without those ingredients and still make it taste good? Not using these changes the flavor and leaves food bland.

    Thanks and keep on chopping!

    1. My suggestions: soy sauce, hot sauce, dry spices, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, capers and their brine, olives.

  2. Alex, I was all set to see you at DisneyWorld on the 10th of Sept. (today) and some girl named Irma screwed it all up!! I’m disappointed. I’ve never gone to one of those “Cooking with”things at EPCOT before but when I saw you were doing one I had to go! You’re my favourite on the FN, my wife Carol of course likes Bobby, big suprise. Anyway are you going to reschedule? DW is all closed up for now what with the hurricanes, we’re scheduled to spend 10 days there for the Festival (we go every year) in late Oct. Maybe I’ll get lucky and you’ll be there. Guess I’m gushing a bit.

    Guy Ambrose
    Baldwin Florida

    1. Hoping to reschedule!

  3. Hi Alex, I am such a fan girl. Out of all the women chefs, you are my favorite. I am from the Bahamas and I love cooking and baking. I love to watch people cook and bake, I could do this all day. I watch videos of you on YouTube and I think you’re awesome. I always wanted to meet you and talk to you and just soak in everything you know about food. I wanted to persue culinary arts but we don’t have that over here at our college. So the most I do is find recipes and follow. I guess I’m self taught. Lol. But I don’t have a question per say, I just wanted to talk to you and finally meet my favorite chef. Anytime I see you competing, I am so rooting for you. Like let’s say my mom and I are watching beat Bobby flay, and it’s you going against him…. I automatically am team Alex. And I’m right there cheering in front of the tv lol. But if you don’t reply that’s okay, I know you’re busy. But just having you read my letter is good enough for me. Keep being you and keep doing what you do best. Making your fans/followers fall in love with your form of art! Because my aunt always tell me “cooking is an art”. Anyways there is so much I would like to say and get your viewpoint on. But then this letter would never end lol. Thank you and I love you.

    ^___^ Kya

    1. thanks for watching!

  4. Hi alex i really enjoy watching you on guy’s grocery games but do you have your own show on the food network where i can continue to enjoy watching you cook and prepare meals so i can get some ideas for more recipes that i can fuse together for me and my wife ?

    1. Thank you I have Alex’s day off As for standard cooking shows, unlikely! Check my Facebook page for recipes and ideas?

  5. Alex,
    I love watching your shows and seeing you judge and participate in shows. I love cooking and being in the kitchen I have since I was little with my grandmother (im 16 now) we are doing a project in my Prostart class on different chefs. I chose to do you… I was wondering if there are any interesting things I could put into my report for this.

    Thanks in advance,
    MM

    1. unsure what information you are looking for

  6. I love your basic, down to earth style, and love of good flavors. I just wanted to share to that our small town in Ottawa, KS is sharing our loss of little boy to Cancer. We are sharing all money raised
    to Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Love your honesty and love for others.

    1. Sorry for your loss. A wonderful charity to be involved in…

  7. Hi Chef. I’m a big fan of yours from western NY. I very much enjoy watching you on Chopped, Alex’s Day Off, and any other show you are on. My biggest dream is to eat at Butter and hopefully meet you in person. I thoroughly enjoy watching you create some awesome dishes. Take care and keep on cooking! ☺

    1. Thank you for watching!

  8. Hi Alex,

    I’m considering going to culinary school and wanted to know what your opinion on what are the best culinary institutions are? I’m just starting the research process but does the prestige of the school impact the job you land, like those from Harvard or Yale tend to get higher paid/better jobs quicker than some.

    Also – I’m a huge fan and absolutely adore you! You are one reason I am considering this career path! 🙂

    1. If you were talking about getting a job in a restaurant that it really comes down to skill set and the time you’re going to put in the home your skills? A good culinary school is certainly a great foundation. I don’t know where you live exactly or what resources you have at your disposal but I would say that if you want to be a chef, then choosing the restaurants you invest your time in is a very valuable thing to give a lot of thought… Best of luck!

  9. I was watching Guy’s Grocery Games “Superstars Tournament Part 1” where you made Eggplant Parmigiana. You used a cast iron Skillet it looked like you heated Oil (what type) then started to fry the eggplant, then it looked like you put water into the skillet and them put it in the oven. Do you have the recipe and steps of what you did? It looked really good and i want to try and make it myself.

    Thank you fro being a wonderful Chef

    Tom

    1. Thank you for watching and that was definitely an express bus version of my classic recipe? In all honesty if you look online in my eggplant recipe for parmigiana you’ll find a really good recipe to follow with great results!

  10. I have a question for you. I was wondering what your favorite food is. I’m doing a class project on you for culinary arts class and I just wanted to get some help for my project. I mean what better source to get information from other than Alex Guarnaschelli herself.

    1. Cherries and chocolate!

  11. Alex, you are the best! I love to watch you cook — so creative. Do you have a recipe for creamy pomodoro sauce?
    I’ve looked at a lot of sites and don’t find one
    Thank you so much

    1. Check the 1997 joy of cooking? Or make a tomato sauce and finish with a splash of cream!

  12. With so many people cooking with a vegan diet, I think it would be wonderful if Food Network would have a show totally dedicated to cooking vegan and vegan recipes. Can you please pass this request on to the Food Network producers?

    Thank you

    1. Has been done already.

  13. Hi Alex,

    I am such a huge fan of yours! I watch all your shows! My biggest hope is one day to go to Butter. I see all the photos you post of the amazing food!

    Every holiday I make pies and every time I have the same problem; my crust shrinks. I have tried baking it when its cold, adding beans on top of it. I get the same result every time! I am at a loss and my Mom would reach down from heaven if I ever bought a store made crust…what am I doing wrong?

    1. It could be the way you’re mixing the ingredients and it could simply be that you’re not making a big enough batch of dough for the size pan you are using? Have you tried increasing your dough recipe a little bit and give yourself a little bit of excess so that it hangs over when you perform your crusts? That may help and I’m sure your mom is proud of you no matter what you were doing. You are baking!

  14. Alex, a while back I asked your input about cookware as I am upgrading. I want to thank you so much for your reply! I am just waiting until I can pin down the size of cookware set that I would be happiest with. You did suggest buying a piece of the cookware first and trying it out………which I did through a local facebook sale page. I love the wok shaped pan that I purchased for cheap (it was in excellent shape). I did know the family of the young lady I purchased it from so I was confident that all was well. Again, thank you so much for your input! I did ask Bobby Flay for his input prior to asking you and have not heard from him in the two an a half months since I posed the question to him. You and Damaris Phillips were most kind in answering my inquiries! Thank you again for your kindness!

    1. You’re welcome!

  15. I think that you’re a wonderful and tremendously talented person and chef, and I’m happy to see that you seem to be happier with yourself – your television appearances lately show a lighter side which is great to see. Your hands are so expressive and clearly show your love of food and cooking, and I hope that you continue to get more comfortable with your growing fame. (No question, just a comment.)

    1. Thank you!

  16. Hi Alex,
    First, I just want to say how amazing I think you are! I have loved every show I have watched, from Alex’s day off to Iron Chef America & everything in between! I just watched you on Food Network Star and not only loved watching you cook along with the contestants, but entertain us along the way! “What am I, a dumpling factory?” You are such fun to watch!!
    I was also wondering of you have a preference on cooking lobster: boiling, baking or steaming?

    Lori

    1. Steamed and serve with melted butter.

  17. Hello ma’am
    I recently fell in love with cooking and I like to learn more. I would like to attend one of your demonstrations, but I live in Colorado and don’t travel much. Do you ever come to Colorado and put on demonstrations?

    1. I sometimes travel that way. Stay tuned And keep cooking!

  18. Alex, you are my favorite chef but I have a question. I have a heritage pork belly and don’t know if I should braise or smoke. I do smoke pork, turkey, pork shoulder and just about everything but do not want to do something that would compromise this wonderful piece of meat.

    Thanks, Bruce

    1. smoke then braise or braise and glaze with brown sugar, spices…

  19. I love you…

    I know that’s not a question, but I just needed you to know. I’ve gone too long keeping my love hidden, I want the world to know, I’ve got to let it show 🙂

    But seriously.. I’m obsessed with making the perfect green beans, what suggestions would you give me to keep them from being “rubbery”?

    1. cook less!

  20. Viking, Thermador or ??
    What is AG’s choice on appliances?

    1. Love a vitamin blender!

  21. My husband and I love to cook together and he loves pasta, but how can I make it healthy and from scratch?

    1. A simple pasta dough recipe is a good place to start. An easy homemade sauce with vegetables like a Primavera could be great!

  22. Hey Alex, I have a question about frying oils, what oil is best for frying chicken, fish, vegetables and donuts?

    1. I am a fan of Canola or Grapeseed.

  23. Hi Alex, my wife and I are huge fans of you on chopped. We have just started our michilin 3 star restaurant quest. We have eaten at robouchon in Vegas, manresa,the meadowood, and quince.
    Could you tell us your favorite fine dining restaurant in the world?
    Thank you. Keep up the great work on chopped!
    Kelly

    1. I have so many fine restaurants that I love. But I really recommend Jean Georges in New York City to add to your list . Guy Savoy in Paris.

  24. Hey Alex, I just made homemade whipped cream using your method without a mixer, thanks for making it simple. I also wanna know is, what is your favorite culinary equipment?

    1. I don’t generally have much equipment but I really enjoy a vita prep blender because it does just about anything and everything. A good investment.

  25. Hi Alex. I was watching where a guy in prison was choosing his last meal and it got me to thinking.
    What would your “last meal” be? For me it would be some curried shrimp and maybe a rib eye. Dessert would be flourless chocolate cake. Mmmmm
    Just curious…

    Mary

    1. Two small bites of every known kind of food in every form chewed very slowly. I want to make my last meal last.

  26. Hi Alex!

    I have had to go gluten and dairy free in the past couple of years and I am having a hard time finding recipes and ideas for food. Do you have any tips and suggestions for me?

    1. I would honestly begin with the basic cookbook that honors your dietary restrictions as a way of developing a set of base recipes that you can use as a starting point. It can be very overwhelming if you tried to tailor recipes and omit ingredients?

  27. Chef Alex,

    I’m a physician mom in a cooking group of other physician moms (all amateur home cooks).
    As you are a mother who has excelled in another male-dominated field – You are our hero!! (“excelled” is an understatement 😀).
    I was thrilled to learn about your upcoming cookbook – it will be released the day before my birthday! I have already pre-ordered my copy.
    I wondered this morning, is there a way I could order an autographed copy? It would be a treasure for me. Also, if so, can I order one for my friend Kim as well? She is a family medicine doctor in rural Texas who truly loves her patients like family. She is also the unofficial leader of our group. We are planning to use your cookbook for our next cookbook challenge when it comes out.
    If there is no way to order the autographed books, that is fine. I’ll still excitedly look forward to my regular copy.
    Wishing you and your family all the best!
    – Jane S.

    1. I will let you know as I am constructing a system where someone can purchase an autographed book at no extra charge!

  28. Alex one last thing, I’ve seen you and Giada de Laurentiis work together to try to take down Bobby Flay and I was wondering if you two met before being on Beat Bobby Flay?

    1. yes absolutely! I count her among my dearest friends and I adore her!

  29. Hey Alex, I love a lot of your recipes and since you love French food, what is the best French dish you ever made?

    1. I really do love French food and it’s because my mother cooked it so much while I was growing up? There is a recipe online for a cheese soufflé that I make and without a doubt that’s the best recipe I’ve made and eaten.

  30. Chef,
    I have some questions about staging and was wondering if you could answer them. Have you ever done one before? Do you think it’s a benifical? Do you offer stage at your restaurant? What’s the best way to go about doing a stage?
    Thanks in advance
    – Morgan

    1. I did do a few and I found them very helpful although they are largely unpaid? I don’t know what financial situation you are in or what resources you have available to you. If possible for you to do a Stasia, then select a restaurant or a venue that really aligns with what you were interested in and give it a try! Sometimes things aren’t what you think they’re going to be but they teach you a lot anyway.

  31. Ma’am, I love seeing you compete and judge. My question is there is a lot of deserts that ask for nuts and/or coconut, maybe both, but my wife is allergic to both so is there a substitution that I can do to get the same effect to the way it is supposed to be? Thank you dear.

    1. It’s hard for me to give you a suggestion to substitute for these ingredients that works across the board. Are there specific recipes you are referring to? For example, a recipe that has coconut milk in it is different that is made purely from shredded coconut…and so on… what were the specifics?

  32. Hi Alex,

    I turned vegan few months ago, and I love it. But at times there are elements and flavors that are missing in some dishes… I wonder if you know ways to create the buttery flavor of croissant with vegan ingredients?

    1. I like some of the recipes in Alice Medrich’s book “flavor flours” and I also would recommend looking online! You will find quite a bit about this topic!

  33. My question is this: Why are the judges on different Food Network programs always telling the cook that they need more salt? Doctors are telling people to cut back on salt intake and I try to do that, but I do think I need more salt to make the food taste better.
    Thank you for your insight.

    1. Salt makes many foods taste better. Balance in diet and taste is everything!

  34. Hey Alex, I took a test on foodnetwork.com/chopped to see who I was most like and it said you. I love your story and you are such a big influence in my cooking! Anyway, I love Asian food but I tend to go toooo far with spices how do I know when to stop?

    Thanks

    1. Trial and error!

  35. Hi Chef Alex,
    I love you on Chopped and also follow you on Instagram. I saw your photo of the corn and dill dish this morning and was wondering if you would share the recipe or let us know where we can find it. It looks so clean and fresh!
    Thank you!!

    1. I literally grilled some corn and cut it off the cob. Then I puréed some nuts and water instead of using olive oil. I toss that with a little bit of lemon juice and chopped fresh dill. Voilá!

  36. Hey Alex, I know you’ve been on the Food Network a lot and even had your own cooking show, I was just wondering if winning the Next Food Star, is the only way to have your own cooking segment or if there’s another way?

    1. Many different shows can get you there!

  37. Trying to find your recipe for cauliflower slices with coconut milk. You made on a Bobby Flay show I think at Christmas time?

    Thank you I love your tips and recipes
    Brenda

    1. It’s online!

  38. In search of advice for preserving fresh herbs – How do you feel about freezing in oil or is there a better way?

    1. I like to freeze in ice cube trays with water better.

  39. Alex, I’m going to be upgrading my cookware that I’ve had for many, many years and I want to get a better grade of cookware. I have done some research on Cuisinart, All-Clad, Tramontina, and Calphalon. Do you have a brand that you swear by, can’t live without, or just love to cook with? From my research I’ve seen comments about Cuisinart discoloring (which definitely does not affect performance) but would be a bit discouraging to me. I live in Northern California (almost at the tippy top) and have a glass top electric stove (if that makes a difference in your recommendation) as natural gas is not available to my county. Thank you for any help and/or suggestions.

    1. I’m an All-Clad gal. Unsponsored. Don’t buy a set. Buy a few pieces and see if you want more.

  40. Hello. On one of the best thing I ate type shows, you talked about a bakery that made tea cookies in New York. I think the name of the shop started with a U (maybe ). They also had an annual cookie tin. I was wondering if you would share the name of the bakery. I hope I gave you enough info. Thanks

    1. I don’t recall. Maybe Lady M Bakery?

  41. Hey Alex- Just wanted to say that I love your cooking and personality. I think you have such a unique persona and you make me feel like I can be myself. I’m really into pumpkin bread lately and wanted to know if you had any tips or tricks on making the perfect pumpkin bread.

    1. 1997 Joy of Cooking recipe says it all.

  42. Hi Alex…saw you on the today show on Friday…love your recipes cant wait to try them we saw you didn’t have time to show the strawberry jam bars and when I searched the today show recipes it gives an error can you email me a link on how to make them? They truly look delicious!
    Thank you
    Mary

    1. Check TODAY Food. Should be there.

  43. Chef Alex,

    You are so incredible! I genuinely admire your talent and humor!
    My husband and I are planning an anniversary trip to NYC! Other than Butter, what are a few other restaurants you recommend for our first time in the city?
    Thank you for being an inspiration to others and letting your light shine! (Matthew 5:16)

    1. Via Carota
      L’Artusi
      Hearth
      Joe’s Pizza

  44. Hey Alex, it’s Eric again, I was just wondering when you’re frying, grilling or searing meat like chicken, pork chops and steaks. what is your secret to make sure that either one stays really juicy and moist?

    1. I like to sear on high heat and then roast at a lower temperature. Monitor the interior temperature if you need to make sure it doesn’t get overcooked or dry. And most of all, let the meat rest a bit once it is cooked and before you slice it so that the juices can flow back through the meat. Very important.

  45. Is Scott Conant your best friend? Who do you love to cook with the most?

    Love, Avery

    1. We are great friends. I like to cook with him and Bobby Flay a lot!

  46. Hi, I have a few questions for you my research paper for school. I’m interested in cooking professionally myself. I remember always watching your judging just to see how to make the food better. My first question is “how did you be come a celebrity chef?” Second “what type of food do you specialize in?” Thank you for your help.

    1. I really became a celebrity chef by accident. I build my career by cooking in kitchens for many years before I was ever on television. I specialize in French American food. What that means is that I use French techniques and American ingredients to make my dishes. I hope this helps!

  47. I am heading to San Francisco and I’m terribly disappointed that you don’t have any restaurants there. Do you any recommendations? I like any style of cuisine…it just has to have that almost sinful comfort food feeling to it. I’d walk a hundred miles to try your food, but in Texas, it’s a wee bit more than 100. Where would you eat in the San Fran area? Anything within 100 miles is fine. Absolutely adore you!!

    1. Tosca
      Tartine

  48. Why do sauces break? Can I fix it, or is starting over the only option?

    1. They usually break because there is too much fat in the equation of the ingredients of your sauce. You can often fix them with a splash or two of water that is a similar temperature to the sauce you are making. So, add some warm water to a warm sauce and cold water to a cold sauce. Whisk pretty vigorously and see if you can revive it. Otherwise you can make a small batch of the sauce again and whisk the broken batch slowly into the new smaller batch.

  49. Hi Alex!
    You are a GREAT chef!!!!!.

    My question is what brand of olive oil do you use?
    I also use Avocado oil to cause of the high smoke point. Do you use avocado oil?

    I need to check out all your books.

    Thank you
    Kim Roohr

    1. I never cook with avocado oil because it is too expensive. I like to drizzle it on salads and such for the taste. . . I use many different brands of oil. I usually use canola oil for high heat cooking and olive oil for my cold salad dressings and sauces.

  50. What kind of sugar free pies do you like to bake? I have lost 143 pounds recently. I eat a lot of salads and fruits and green beans. I use to wiegh 309 pounds and contacted diabetes. I will be 45 august 24 th.i recenty was taken off my diabetes high blood pressure and gout medications. I enjoy eatching you judge on the food network. Have a wonderful day. Sincerley chad parker

    1. I don’t believe I have ever made a pie that doesn’t have any sugar in it! I would say you would need a super sweet fruit like apricots or pears and bake them in a puff pastry crust . . . even some peaches?

  51. Hi Alex, I love you so much watching you judge on chopped and cooking too. Love your face when competing very fierce competitor. I always cook pasta with salt which I was taught to. My last boss said pasta is not to be cook with salt. As a young chef I know it’s supposed to. Am I right or my last boss is wrong??
    Thanks

    1. Always salt pasta water.

  52. HELP !
    I recently started cooking healthy for me because my diet was carbs, sugar and fats. I LOVE IT and feel so much better !
    Here is the dilema…my husband, who works hard construction all day – ALWAYS wants meat, needs to gain 20 pounds and hates what I am cooking.
    How do I cook healthy meals, stay on track but satisfy his meat desires??????? 🙂

    1. I’m afraid I don’t have any magical answers to your questions as they are all part of life’s great dilemma about food and diet and eating… I would say cook two dinners! And that way you’ll both be happy…

  53. I am a home cook. Not very good yet but like to cook and bake and want to become better. What is a good brand of knives to buy for someone at my level that won’t break the bank? What are the basic knives I should have? What is the best knife sharpener to buy? Thanks. You are my favorite chef on food network.

    1. I would really go to a store that sells knives and sharpeners and hold them all in your hands. A good knife is like a pair of sneakers. It’s something that you have to try on to see what fits best… start with a pairing knife, a chefs knife and sharpener.

  54. Congratulations ! Need to know where to find your recipe you demonstrated on Chew for cauliflower soaked in coconut milk and then……

    Thanks!

    CJ Macdoald

    1. It’s online. I made it for Bobby Flay’s holiday special. Cauliflower steak.

  55. Hi Alex…just saw a rerun of you becoming IronChef and would really like the recipe for your cherry pasillo pepper tart…thanks so much you are my fave ?
    Sincerely, Chef Lola

    1. Thanks! It’s online and in my cookbook “Old School Comfort Food”.

  56. Hi Alex,
    I love Chopped, especially when you’re judging. Here’s the thing, love seafood and I was wondering if you had a crabcake recipe that you could share?

    1. I like Jasper White’s recipe the best. Look him up!

  57. How do you pronounce your last name?

    1. GWAR-NA-SHELLY

  58. Hi Alex,

    I have been wanting to make homemade Chicken Cacciatore for the longest time. I was wondering if you have any recipes for this dish that you have made yourself? If not, if you can direct me to a link for a recipe that you think is really good?

    Thanks Alex,

    Kellie

    1. You should find my recipe online. You can also look for any recipe Nancy Silverton or Mario Batali recommend and go with that!

  59. Im a mother of three. I would love to find a great pork loin roast recipe. Anything new?

    1. I like to slather the pork in Dijon mustard and let it sit overnight. Then, oven roast at 375°F until 155°F – 160°F in the center. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon juice. Slice and decor.

  60. What is your favorite food?

    1. Cherries
      Corn
      Chicken Wings
      Chocolate

  61. Hey again Alex, big fan of your cooking. I just wanted to ask you, besides you cooking with your family, Which celebrity chef do you enjoy cooking with or against?

    Sincerely, Eric H

    1. Against: Michael Symon because he’s so competitive, skilled and fun!
      With: Geoffrey Zakarian because we have a lot of food “likes” in common!

  62. Need your HELP: I would like to cook blackberries with white chocolate morals & put between 2 9inch layer cakes & on top, add with an iceing all around the sides to complete cake. This is my crazy cooking idea but I don’t know where to start with ingredients & I don’t bake from scratch. useinga cake mix & can iceing, is the way I go. But I need a recipe put together for this baking adventure. All questions about making up this recipe is why I need you.Do I start by cooking down the blackberries what amount of frozen for how long? with or without sugar? What amount of white chocolate morsals do I use how to melt when to add to berries? Type of box cake mix to buy (ex: yellow,butter etc.). Do I follow the box recipe. Lastly what flavor of can iceing do I use? Thank You ,so so much . I will be waiting to hear from you…Deb

    1. Find a recipe for a blackberry compote online. Cook and cool it. Make a yellow cake. Make a butter cream frosting flavored with vanilla. Frost layers with fruit in the middle layers.

  63. I saw a delicious pie with Grammys cracker crust and it looks like bananas cream in the middle and kiwi,raspberry,blueberry and sliced almonds on top can I please have the recipe

    1. I’m sorry I don’t know what recipe you mean. What was the filling? Cheesecake?

  64. Alex I trust in your cooking. I need help ! I have been making German Pancakes for years.( my Dads who is now gone) I need to find Hoop Cheese for the filling. the man at the market that used to order for me said he can’t get it any more. I searched all over the web and can’t find the kind I need. I used to come in a foil wrap kind of like the way cream cheese does in 8oz. packages. Can you Please Help ! Thank’s for your time. Lorinda

    1. I am afraid I don’t know what Hoop cheese is! My apologies.

  65. My husband and I love watching Chopped. So fun. My question is, can the judges hear and see the chefs in the room while y’all deliberate? Also what’s your favorite food to cook? We live in Louisiana so anything goes. Would like to tour the set one day. So fun! You are awesome! ??‍?

    1. the judges can hear and see the chefs. Not when we deliberate. No. My favorite food to cook is produce!

  66. Dear Alex,

    What’s the difference between Pizza and Flatbread? This question plagues me, so I’m turning to you because you’re a food expert. Please help. Thanks!

    Best,
    Jaclyn

    1. Shape and expectation.

  67. Dear Alex,
    I am a 16 year old student living in Pensacola Florida. In our English class we have to write a research paper. I am doing mine on the culinary career and I have to chosen to do mine on the Culinary Career market place and everything relating to that. My teacher really wants us to get an interview or to at least write to someone who knows this topic and I think you were one of the best choices for this. Here are some questions I have:

    What are some of the best schools to go to get into the culinary field?

    How did you yourself edge out the computers or work your way up in this particular job?

    Do you think all the hard work paid off in the end?

    What is your favorite part of your career?

    Did you always wanted a job in this career or did you want to do something else at first?

    If you did want to do something else than what was it?

    What made you choose this career?

    Thank You for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to read this. It would be amazing if you could right back to me. Thank You again and have a great day.

    1. -Depends where you live. I like ICE and French Culinary in nyc.
      -My favorite part of my career is cooking.
      -Always wanted a job in this career.
      -If I did something else I’d be a Marine biologist
      -I chose this career because I love food!

  68. Hi Alex, my name is Ainsley Owen. I am a high school student, I am doing a presentation on you for my cooking class. I was wondering if you would mind sharing you are your biggest cooking influences. I have been to “Butter” in Midtown, NY and the food was AMAZING!

    Thank you so much!
    Ainsley.

    1. Guy savoy
      Daniel boulud
      Edna Lewis
      Alain passard
      Julia child

  69. I am a 64 year old soon to be great grandmother who has undergone Chemo and radiation. I was told I may not ever recover my taste buds but I LOVE to cook/create. My family tells me they love my food but I have doubts because I think my food is bland. I am an old school home cook wanting to attend some cooking classes to expand my knowledge of herbs & spices but haven’t found anywhere I can obtain this knowledge, or if it will even help due to my lack of taste buds. Any suggestions?

    1. Try a cooking class? Near where you live?
      Could be fun!

  70. If someone could cook for you Alex, appetizer, entree, & dessert.. What would be your favorite meal? Food for thought. Thanks!!

    1. Probably a basket of fried chicken or shrimp with lots of lemon and hot sauce. Chocolate layer cake.

  71. Hello Chef,

    I started this note back in 2015, but I was nervous to send it.

    I was at a book signing for Fed, White and Blue in Saxapahaw, NC. Someone asked Simon Majumdar if he had a favorite Iron Chef. He said there were two. He said that Geoffrey Zakarian had superb technique (or something like that ). He then said the other was you.

    He said that your food was really satisfying. (That compliment looks kind of flat in print, but imagine it said in his accent.) He said that when you were on your game, there was simply no one better.

    I’m sure you’ve gotten similar compliments before, but sometimes it’s nice to know that people have made them even when the subject of the compliment won’t hear them. Maybe you can add that one to the symphony of voices in your head. : )

    Keep up the good work!

    1. This made my day. Thank you so much. You cannot know….

  72. I would like your opinion on steaming, good or bad ?

    1. Love steaming. Light. Clean eating. Easy to do. Especially for vegetables.

  73. Hi chef Alex,
    I’m a huge fan and I was wondering when making Carmel how long do you usually boil the Carmel mixture?
    Thank you,
    K

    1. Depends on what’s in the recipe you are using? I cook sugar carefully until golden brown. Then, I remove from the heat and carefully add some cream or some butter depending on what I want to do with it.

  74. I’m trying to settle an argument. Use pecans or walnuts in banana bread?

    1. Walnuts.
      (Although pecans could be great)

  75. Hi Alex,
    I grew up eating chicken gizzards, livers and hearts. I cook them the way my Mom always did, seasoned, floured and then fried in a mostly butter/oil mix. Could you please suggest a different way to prepare them. Could they be baked in the oven?
    If so at what temp. and for how long?
    Thanks so much.

    1. I have never baked them. The gizzards, yes, because they cook for a long time. I don’t think there’s a better way than to fry the livers and hearts. To make them lighter, dry in nonstick spray with no butter. You can also toss them in some curry powder or paprika to add a different flavor. They are quick to cook so pan fry the best way.

  76. How did you make the small tangerines in sugar?

    1. I didn’t make them but you can make a simple syrup by simmering equal parts sugar and water. Then gently simmer the tangerines whole in the mix until tender. Remove. Drain. Devour.

  77. Hey Alex, I’m a huge of your cooking and your shows Alex’s Day Off and The Cooking Loft! I also wanted to know, what year did you join the Food Network and what is your favorite cooking show that you’ve been on?

    1. I started on food network around 2005-2006
      My favorite cooking show to be on is iron chef america.

  78. I made your Parker House rolls for Thanksgiving. The dough was fantastic and the best I have ever made. My question is, can you make the biscuits using a simple round biscuit cutter rather than cutting and rolling the dough?? If so, is the baking time different?

    1. I can’t say and i have never used them in this way. I would use a scale. Make a Parkerhouse roll and cut one with a cutter or the same basic size. See if the relative weight of the two is the same or similar. It should mean a similar baking time. Make sure you “proof” them the same.

  79. Hi Alex,
    I watched you on Dr. Oz the other morning when you were cooking chicken cacciatori (Sp!???) sorry…. and chocolate fondue. I cannot fine the recipes on his web site. Would you be so kind as to share them with me?

    I love the way you write about food on your Instagram, or…is it Facebook? Your analogies are delicious!

    Number 1 on my Bucket List is Butter, I am hoping to get there one night. Maybe on my 77th Birthday!

    Thank you for being!!!

    1. Both recipes should be on his website…they are also both in my cook book “Old School Comfort Food”.

  80. Hi Alex,
    I just want to say that I’ve eaten at Butter over a dozen times, the food is always amazing….Plus, I have a HUGE crush on you! I was wondering if you have any plans for other restaurants in Manhattan ?

    1. Thanks for joining us at Butter. I have no plans for the moment…

  81. Hi chef Alex! I am eleven years old and have a question about being a chef. I really want to be a chef when i grow up, but i am concerned about the pay. Could I make decent money being a chef?
    Thanks

    1. Sure. It takes time, like any career, but yes you can. As they say: Follow your heart and the money will come along…

  82. Can your Potatoes Chantilly recipe be halved or should I make the full recipe and freeze half?
    Thanks, Mandi

    1. Halve away! They freeze ok but don’t taste as good of frozen for a long time…

  83. On Bobby Flay’s Thanksgiving show you made if I remember rightly… cauliflower roasted I made that for Thanksgiving and was a HUGE success!
    My question is what other vegetables can we use instead of Cauliflower???

    1. Broccoli. Cabbage.
      Cut similar thickness.
      Cabbage may take longer to cook.

  84. Good afternoon Alex!
    I have a pickling question for you. I love traditional beet pickled eggs. Do you have some recipes that you can share? I have never made before and 6 pickled beet eggs @ 12.99 is well out of my price range to buy so I am going to try making them!
    Thank you for your time.
    Respectfully
    Bradley Puckett

    1. I am afraid not. Check John T Edge, Hugh Acheson or John Currance as they may have recipes…

  85. Hi Alex!
    I am a big admirer of you and your talents! And I love your new “look”! I make a pretty good Alfredo (although, the pasta may change), but I would like to know how to make it STAY creamy for a dinner party. I love to entertain, and I can certainly keep food hot, but I just “see” my Alfredo sauce tightening up. Can it be done? And would you share the secret? Thank you! Have a splendid holiday!

    1. Best to reheat adding a splash of warm water. Adding more cream or butter to reheat makes it heavier and creates a greater risk for the sauce to separate.

  86. Hello
    I have a standing rib roast what is the best way to season and cook it med rare…
    thank you
    Hugs Mark

    1. Salt and leave at room temp a couple hours. Put in oven at 450 F and roast 15 mins. Then LOWER the oven to 350 and continue cooking according to how much the roast weighs.

  87. I saw you last week on a cooking program but can’t remember whic onne??. You made a cauliflower and carrot recipe but it was just mentioned for a minute. Could you please share with me how you seasoned your dish. I’ve watched you for years and love your style!

    1. Thanks. Recipe on line with details. Was from Bobby Flay’s thanksgiving show. It’s a winner. And vegan too!

  88. Hi,
    Can you please help me!!!
    I made a cheese cake and the center split on me , what did i go wrong?

    I enjoy watching you as a chef and a judge.
    You are such a great chef. I wish you had your own cooking i could learn so much..
    I feel so many other people would feel the same.

    Thank you

    1. Cheesecake usually cracks when overcooked and when cooked at too high a temperature? Try lower temp and slower, longer cooking. Also, if you didn’t have it in a water bath, that can also help!
      And if cake is cracked but tasty, that’s still a good thing!

  89. Alex, my wife is a huge fan. This Christmas I wanted to get her a signed copy of your book Old School Comfort Food. I could buy a copy and then try to catch you at an appearance but I don’t think I could surprise her with that. Is there a place where I could buy a signed copy? Eventually I will get her a chance to meet you, she’ll probably scream like a little girl, but I figured this would be the next best thing. Thank you for time and everything you do. God bless.

    1. They are for sale at Butter restaurant. If you’re not in the New York area, you can call the restaurant to see about purchasing a signed copy.

  90. You mention a pumpkin cheesecake recipe on a short video clip on TV. Don’t seem to be able to find it on your website or Food Networks. Can I have it please. Thank you

    1. It’s on fisher nuts website. Fishernuts.com/alex

  91. Hi Chef Alex. Absolutely love watching you cook. I always learn something wonderful. Tried brining a chicken with your recipie… Delicious!! However I have a new convection oven and I don’t know how to cook meats in it. I cooked this lovely chicken for an hour starting on 400 for 15 mins then lowered it to 350 for 45 mins. It was a 6 lb bird. It didn’t cook inside! Help! Big hugs Jae

    1. 6 pounds is a large chicken. A hen even. Was the meat tough or undercooked or both? Needed to cook longer than an hour for sure. Might not be good to brine as meat is tough. A bird that large would be best as soup or a braise.

  92. Hi Alex:
    Making sausage & peppers for a gathering with rice. How can I keep the rice nice & fluffy & moist?

    Marie

    1. Find a recipe that cooks in unsweetened coconut milk or a Classic pilaf. Can’t keep warm without it overcooking, so make it as close to serving time as you can.

  93. Hi Alex, quite a few years ago you did a Turkey recipe including molasses in the brine. The prep for the turkey included sliced salted pork rind (the kind used in Boston Baked Beans) and cheese cloth soaked in water. My family loved it and I haven’t been able to find it since. I made this when I was still able to cook for my family and because of MS I am now in a wheelchair. Please help me Alex.
    Sincerely
    Denise Wells

    1. I am afraid I don’t have that recipe myself. There is a similar one in my cookbook and online for a brine that I use. I hope that is helpful.

  94. Hi Alex, other then being a wonderful chef, how do you get your hair so shiny? It’s beautiful. Beat Bobby again for us. Thanks

    1. Ha thanks. I use “it’s a ten” hair products. Unendorsed. Not cheap. It’s great stuff.

  95. Hello Alex!! I am such a huge fan of yours! I really hope to meet you one day. I know they say “never meet your hero’s” but I am dying to meet you. I am about to start my bachelors degree at The Culinary Institute of America, my question to you is this; What advice would you give a young chef who is not yet confident in the kitchen? I have worked in many kitchens, that have amazing chefs, I always worry that I’m not as good or that I wont get as good as them. Any Advice?

    1. Don’t worry about how you measure up to others. Focus on developing your own skill set and confidence. When that happens, those concerns you have will take a backseat!

  96. Hi Alex! You are my absolute favorite on the food network, and with Thanksgiving coming up I was wondering how you cook the perfect turkey? Thanks a bunch!

  97. Hello Alex!
    Our family is heading up to NYC for Thanksgiving, and wondered what experiences you suggest take in during our whirlwind, 3 day trip? Staying in Midtown, and our 8 year old budding chef son is excited to eat his way through the city. You are his favorite Chopped judge, so I promised him that I would ask your advice!
    Many thanks!
    Rebecca
    Spartanburg, SC

    1. Thanks for watching!
      Recommendations in nyc:
      Joe’s Pizza
      Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop
      The Doughnut Plant
      The Chelsea Market
      Hearth Restaurant

  98. Hi Alex
    I want to say I am one of your biggest fan and hope to see you on more shows my dream is to meet you someday I was just wondering can you please tell me how I can make ramen noodles better
    God bless
    Lori

    1. I am afraid Ramen noodles are not at all my area of expertise. Google and follow expert advice of someone like Elizabeth Andoh for ideas on that subject!

  99. Is it okay to wash chickend before you cook it?

    1. If you feel chicken needs washing before cooking, feel free. Just make sure you towel dry any moisture off the chicken before cooking.

  100. Hello alex. I am a huge fan of yours and just love you. My lifelong dream has been to become a chef but everybody keeps telling me that I won’t be successful. Cooking is the thing that i absolutely love doing and want to pursue. My question is should I do what I love doing or listen to everybody and not do it. You are my idol, and that is the reason I asked you. Please help

    1. I believe in pursuing dreams no matter what anyone else says. But that’s just me. I say go for it. Ultimately, the choice is in your hands.

  101. First off, I just want to say congratulations on making such a wonderful career for yourself. Second, I just wanted to ask you, what is your favorite activity besides cooking, and did you ever think you would get this far in the start of your career? Also, do you have any great chocolate cake recipes that you know of?

    1. I had no idea my career would take the turn it did. I am very lucky and grateful. Thanks for watching!

  102. Hi Chef Alex, Happy Monday!
    I am a big admirer of your Culinary Expertise and have tremendously enjoyed your work on Television; especially Iron Chef.
    Food Network DID respond to my trying to find your delicious Recipe for the very easy Roasted Turkey Breast on a Sheet Tray, but NOT the Recipe from your show in your Kitchen from about two years ago. They gave me your other Turkey Recipes for which I am very grateful!
    However, I would still love to get your delicious Turkey Breast Recipe that I prepared at Thanksgiving time for my Family, but have lost that specific Recipe. Perhaps it is in one of your Books?
    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Zorianna from Philly

    1. I am unable to find that recipe myself! Apologies

  103. Hi Alex, like many others a huge fan. The question/s I have for you is how do you determine which is the best brand to use such as spices or flour etc. when I have watched cooking shows I always see the chefs use ingredients/ brands I have never seen at the local grocery store. Wondering is there a specialty shop? Thank you for sharing your time and insight.

    1. I love three places for spices:
      Spicehouse.com
      Kalustyans.com
      SOSChefs.com

  104. Hi Alex,
    First off I just want to mention that I’m a big fan of you and that if I ever go to New York your restaurant is first thing on my list.
    I was wondering if you can give me some advise about working in the kitchen. I currently work at a private country club in Pa. I’m very lucky to have been hired, being as I had little to no experience when I started a year and a half ago. I’m intrested in a postion to work the line for dinner service. But they never had women on the line.
    I was wondering if you had ever experienced any issues being a women in the kitchen? How you learned from it? What pushed you to get to where you are? How do you balance your family life with work? Thank you in advance!

    Sincerely,
    Morgan

    1. I just have always ignored gender. Just put your head down, do your work, excel, develop skill, stay inspired and learning. That’s what I have done. Not always easy but personal rewards great. Good luck with it!

  105. Hi Alex I am very interested in your career and I wanted to know, what field of cooking do you work in, or your main cuisine I should say. I am 13 years old and I want to start my culinary career. I have enjoyed watching you on television and have gotten a great interest in you!

    1. At your age I was at the playground or park with friends and I only cooked here and there. My house always had something cooking but I would enjoy food recreationally. Read cook books and learn basic skills. Great way to begin.

  106. I simply adore watching you cook on tv. One of the things that I really struggle with is how to make my meat come out tender. I have tried and tried and it is always tough. I just can’t figure out what I am doing wrong. Help please.

    1. I am unsure what type of meat you are cooking. If leaner cuts like chops, cook for less time. If braised cuts like short ribs, cook with more liquid for less time.

  107. I’m doing a research project on you. I was wandering what are 4 interesting facts about you? I can’t find what your specialty dishes are?

    1. My signature dishes are cavatappi pasta with spicy lamb sausage and raspberry beignets. I’m also a big cast iron skillet corn bread gal. Interesting facts? I love car racing. I hate patty pan squash.

  108. my question is. Can you grill Kale? And how would that tast on hamburgers

    1. You sure can. Heat grill lightly oil leaves. Season. Cook in a single layer until tender and charred. Great on a burger or omelet.

  109. First off, huge fan!
    Second, I always see you wearing this gorgeous silver or white gold link chain with a greenish looking gem or mineral…I love it! I’m drawn to it every time you wear it! Any info on it would be appreciated!
    Keep cooking on…
    Kelley

    1. I bought it from a jewelry maker in California. One of a kind. Stone is turquoise. Thanks for watching!!

  110. Hi Alex,
    Have you ever made wild duck enchiladas?
    If you do I would like have a recipe of it
    Thank you I’m fan of your iron chef show and it is cool to watch all kind of food to made

    1. I would make it from braised duck legs. Cook until tender slow and low and then “pull” the meat like pulled pork. Separate the skin and cook it crispy and put on top of enchiladas.

  111. Hey Alex i am like a SUPER fan of the the different shows that you have been on, i just want to know if when you first got started if people thought you were crazy to become a chef? , I am enrolling into culinary school come next semester and some people are very supportive and others are very doubtful that i can make a career of it and not just work fry, salad. please let me know how you started making your mark in the culinary world , Thank you for always being so enjoyable to watch and a complete inspiration!

    1. Sure I had friends that questioned it. If you love it, pursue it. Don’t doubt yourself. Try it!

  112. Alex , you made an appearance with Al Roker on 9 AM Today. We were intrigued by your preparation of you eggplant. They posted the hanger steak and salad recipes but not the eggplant. Could you kindly share it? Respectfully yours, Sharon and Steve

    1. Thanks for watching! The Eggplant recipe follows the steak and salsa recipes on the Today Recipes page. http://www.today.com/recipes/hanger-steak-tomato-salsa-eggplant-t102278

  113. Hi Alex,my name is Eduardo. I am culinary student from Puerto Rico.
    I am a huge fan of your career. I will like to know if you can answer this questions:
    1)What was your biggest inspiration for cooking?
    2)What is the most thing that you like about your profession?
    3)What is the key to be suceed in the culinary industry?
    Is for a special project about my role model chef. I Will be so grateful if you can write me back because you are an amazing chef. Blessings!

    1. 1. My mother, my daughter and great ingredients!
      2. I love going to markets and discovering great ingredients.
      3. The key is perseverance, patience and a good night’s sleep!

  114. I don’t have a specific question, but did want to comment on how much I enjoy and admire how you handle yourself on camera. You always appear to be very genuine and your input, particularly as a judge, is honest – never sugar-coated – yet warmly given and respectful. Most recently, I saw examples of this in your heartfelt comments to Anne Burrell when she won Season 4 Chopped All-Stars and in announcing the winner of Rachael Ray Kids Cook-Off. You have a rare quality that really shines – thank you for sharing it with your viewing audience. Best wishes in all you do.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. It inspires me to keep on doing what I do. Thanks for watching!

  115. Hi Alex,
    I remember reading somewhere that you have spoke about having ADD. First of all, is it true? And if so, how do you keep your self so focused and organized in the kitchen? I find myself constantly getting distracted in the kitchen and sometimes need music to get myself motivated to begin. Any tips on managing Distraction in the kitchen would be helpful

    thanks,
    Hilary

    1. I do not have ADD so I cannot speak in an informed way about the subject.

  116. I was watching Star Salvation, the finale and I watched you make a delicious looking BLT. I have looked through all your recipes on Food Network and I couldn’t find it… Is that regular mayo or aeoli, what is in the honey mixture you put on the bacon…what kind of lettuce… was it thick sliced bacon? I so want the recipe.. I watch Food Network all the time and I love watching you judge… not to mention cook in Iron Chef completion… The After Hours Chopped was amazing.

    Thanks Alex

    PS I caught the sugar on the tomatoes for the BLT :winks:

    1. I’ll post the recipe within the next week. Thanks for watching!!!!

  117. My wife and I were in NY last week and had dinner at your fabulous restaurant Butter! The rolls are to die for! my question is about your cocktails..do you have a hand in that? Our favorite was one called “pyrus”, made with pears? LOVE LOVE LOVE! Was that your creation?

    Tracey Villalon-Arriaga

    1. I talk cocktails and seasonality with beverage director but I didn’t make your drink…. Thanks for coming to Butter!

  118. Hi Alex,

    I absolutely adore lentils. I can cook them over and over and never get sick of them and I love the process (and constant risk that I’ll ruin them). I started off making Indian dals with the red and yellow, but have recently gotten into french green lentils too. I guess my question isn’t very specific, but I’m wondering if you have any secret tricks up your sleeves to really make my lentils a home run- or maybe any flavor combinations that work especially well? Honestly, I love lentils and think you’re rad, so anything you can contribute on the topic will bring a smile to my face.

    Thanks for bringing your unique voice to Food Network/the cooking world!

    Jodie

    1. I love them best simply with butter, black pepper and a splash of vinegar. I also love them with roasted carrots or beets. Earthy and sweet.

  119. Hi Alex,
    I’ve always wanted to cook with both pineapple and watermelon on the grill. Is there a best way to prep the fruit prior to placing it on the grill so it does not stick or fall apart?
    Thank you-Ann

    1. The fruit should not stick. Clean your grill thoroughly and oil it before cooking fruit. It can be fragile so best cut into thick slices so it stands less of a chance of falling apart.

  120. How do you cook with vinegar and can you reduce balsamic vinegar? Whenever I cook, it stinks up the house and I was banned from cooking with it. I like the flavor, but my family hates how the house smells when I cook with it. Thanks!

    1. Yes. Reduce Balsamic over low heat until syrupy. Careful as it burns easily. Other vinegars I don’t reduce before using.

  121. What are somethings to do with left over liquid from a jar of olives?

    1. Taste it. The flavor can vary. You can use in small doses in salad dressings or pan sauces.

  122. I see on cooking shows chefs will sear the meat/protein and then “finish” it in the oven. How long and at what temp and what exactly does this process do for the protein? Thanks!

    1. THe oven helps cook most proteins through with “surrounding” heat as opposed to just from direct surface contact on the stove top. Times and temperatures vary depending on how much and what you are cooking.

  123. I have a niece named kate and you are her favorite chef. She wants to go to UC davis and get a degree food science. She is a natural for cooking and has a real passion at 12 yrs old. We wanted to ask you if you could go back to 12 yrs old and give yourself your own advice to become where you are now, what advice would you be so kind to give?

    1. Maximize recreation time so that all the hours working later on didn’t seem so overwhelming.

  124. Hi, My name is Christina and I start by saying that I am not writing to ask for money.
    A little back story; I have 3 adult children that I raised primarily on my own so finances were always tight, but my children grew into good, responsible, caring men.

    John, my youngest is 21yrs old and he is the one I am writing about. He has wanted to be a chef for as long as I can remember. At the age of 9 he wanted a toaster oven for Christmas so he could “cook”. Since neither him nor I were able to afford culinary school he thought he would be able to learn through working in restaurants. Good idea, but the problem is that Kokomo, Indiana is an industrial city. There are many restaurants, but they are chains so not much room for making a go of becoming a chef.

    He has worked for Pizza Hut, helped his cousin start up a pizza restaurant, Subway and at present Buffalo Wild Wings. Though they are all fine places I think that makes my point.

    This brings me to the reason I am writing. He still wants to be a chef. He wants professional training, however financially things are such that we are still not able to afford it. He would have to go to a school out of town somewhere as that is not offered in Kokomo, Indiana, so that means housing along with the cost of the schooling.

    My question for you is; Could you guide him as to how to find available grants? and How to go about applying for/getting some sort of assistance that would get him to his goal of being a chef without leaving him in outrageous financial debt upon completion of the training?

    Any advice would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time,

    Christina Raborn

    1. Alas I am no expert on what you ask. I would start with culinary schools and scholarships. Look at culinary foundations too. There are a number of them.

  125. I have been watching the food tv ever since Good Eats with Alton Brown and have learned to enjoy cooking. Slowly but surely I have become a big Alex fan. Watching you on All star academy, Beat B Flay and other shows you really prove your knowledge but besides that you show a real humanity and personality that seems so much more real than the other chefs who all seem to trying to put on a TV personality.

    Believe it or not, the main thing I have learned from you is to use more salt.

    I live in Las Vegas, where would you eat when you are here?

    Keep up the exceptionally fine work and I am enjoying being entertained by you.

    1. Thank you for the compliment. And for using more salt!

      I love China Poblano in Las Vegas.

  126. Hi my name is Madison and i love cooking, I was wondering what school did you go too i would like to go to that too. I am 11 and I love your cooking, my mom and I love cooking your recipes. 🙂

    1. I attended a culinary school called La Varenne that is no longer… Pick a school you love based on your particular interests and the skills you want to develop.

  127. Chef,

    I am a woman who works on the line with mostly guys. How do I get them to take me seriously? I work my butt off and do my own, and frequently their, work. Doesn’t help that I’m much older than most of them.

    Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

    Thank you,

    Leslie

    1. Take your own work seriously. Hone your own skills. The respect you seek (which you don’t really need) will come when you stop asking for it. Show with your work. You can do it. Believe.

  128. Hi Alex
    I want to make a stuffed pork butt on a bbq rotisserie next week
    Any ideas ?

    1. rolled scallions or a spice rub or roasted garlic and spinach?

  129. Rewatching all star academy with lees pretzel biscuits. What would u have done differently ?

    1. it was a little clumsy and wonky Needed more sauce and elegance but it tasted good!

  130. First I have to say that eventhough I love all the chefs on foodnetwork you are my favorite. Your background speaks to my Italian roots. I think we have an advantage because not only do we love food but we understand flavors. My wheelhouse is Sicilian peasant food and I just sent an application to be a contestant at the behest of all my fans on Facebook on chopped as a cook. I would go on your team on the next Allstar academy though. I’d pick you first lol. Here’s my question. Eventhough you are a trained chef in all cuisines I see you teaching back to your Italian roots almost every time. You are what I’d like to call a fusionist. You go to your base and translate that into whatever you are being asked to cook. How do you do that? The other question I have is about how you build and layer flavors so perfectly? No one ever questions your flavors. Time constraints may make things underdone like a quiche etc but they never question your flavors. What goes through your head as you build a dish?

    1. most of the questions you ask take a lifetime to answer and I’m still answering some of those questions myself. The main thing is: practice!!!

  131. Why is it that so very many chef’s (on TV, of course) mispronounce the word ‘Turmeric’? They say Too-mer-ik, when it is clearly Ter-mer-ik? Since I rarely ‘hang out’ with TV chef’s, could you do me a favor and simply suggest that they remember it this way…no one wants to equate food with tumor’s. So…just say Turmeric . Thank You. Regards

    1. I don’t know why.

  132. Hello Chef, my name is Garrison I am the same person that asked the question before this one.
    before this one. Looking through the previous questions other people have asked I thought I
    might tell you more about my lifestyle to help you answer my other question. I stay at 4 other
    and my mom home schools us all. I am the oldest so therefore I must do more to help around the house.
    I cook for all seven us in our family. I am also strongly against most boxed, canned, or pre-packaged
    items. Living in Portland we use lots of local and farmers market produce and meat. I usually cook
    classic American cuisine but also enjoy Middle Eastern and Indian food as well. And also an
    autographed photo would be an amazing honor. (i could hang to next to my one of Alton Brown)
    The address would be Garrison Davis
    4007 SW Idaho Ter, Portland OR
    97221

    1. I would say keep cooking!

  133. Hello Iron Chef Guarnaschelli, I’m 13 years old and I cook every day for my family.
    Some day I would like to open my own restaurant. I live in Portland OR and I would
    like to go to the Oregon Culinary Institute for for culinary school. Right now I am
    taking lots of culinary classes at a culinary workshop here in Portland, and watching
    a lot of Good Eats. What would be your advice for me to do after I graduate high school
    or right now. (i am home schooled too)
    Thank you for your time.

    1. get some restaurant experience to see what you would like to do next!!

  134. Just watched the Beat Bobby Flay where you cooked against him.
    Just goes to show if you want something done right to it yourself!!!
    Loved Loved Love it!!! so glad you beat him. He is really good and
    hard to beat but you did it! 🙂 you go girl……

    Did you get me request for a picture?

    Take care and tell Cris to cool his heels, it’s not cool him hanging
    all over you like a dog in heat.. Does he not know your married..’
    not very professional at all….

    1. thank you!

  135. looking for a marrow bone recipe. have you made it with breadcrumbs?

    1. Yes and my recipe is in Pat Lafrieda’s book “Meat”!
      Enjoy.

  136. A bunch of friends and I went to Butter last night and had the most wonderful dinner. Our favorite dishes were the Brussels Sprout salad and the cauliflower steak. I found one of your cauliflower recipes online, but we are all dying to know the recipe for the salad. Any chance you will share?? Can’t wait to return to your restaurant – it is the perfect meal 🙂

    1. I don’t have a written recipe for that. Testing it and when ready, I’ll let you know.

  137. I tried making your cranberry sauce recipe from fresh cranberries and it was so simple! I will never buy canned cranberry sauce again. My family was like, never had cranberry sauce that was warm before. Thank you!

    1. So glad to hear!

  138. Sending you my address for autographed photo
    13250 Harbor Dr.
    Orange Va. 22960

    1. What name shall I use to send?

    2. What is your name?

  139. Hey There, i seriously love Alex’s honesty and integrity in what she does, i have followed her from Australia for a very long time.. my question is 2 fold. 1. Id love to receive an autographed photo if it is at all possible.
    2. Id love to send Alex a few samples of my herbal salts i make, they are made to ancient traditions and not made anywhere in the world. Im not asking for anything in return just the thought that Alex has tried my salts is enough

    Regards
    Daryl
    Brisbane
    Australia

    1. Absolutely I will send in the mail.
      If you would like to send me any samples address them to me and send them directly to the restaurant at NYC, here is the website just incase http://www.butterrestaurant.com
      Thank you for your kind words

    2. what is your address?

  140. Hey Alex,
    I’m a huge fan of yours and love you on Chopped and All Star. My family is taking a trip to NYC next week and we made reservations to Butter and I was just wondering if there’s any possible chance you’ll be there sometime from March 11-March 17? That would be so awesome! Our reservations are for the 14th, but we could change them if there’s a possibility of meeting you!
    Also, in case I don’t get to meet you, I would love an autographed picture, if it’s not too much to ask. Made out to Lincoln would be great.
    Thanks so much!
    Lincoln

    601 North Creek Dr, Edmond OK 73034

    1. what is your name?

  141. Why is my comment still waiting for moderation? 🙁
    If it’s not possible, May I please just have a signed book for my daughter? Her name is Danielle.
    Thanks! But I would love it really if you can also answer my question. Thanks much!!!
    ===
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Hello. My daughter is turning 16 this July and all she wants is to eat at Butter. She actually tweeted “How weird is it that all I want for my sweet 16 is to eat at Butter” a few months ago, to which Chef Alex responded, “that’s great” – or something like that (I don’t remember her exact words).
    I am wondering if you have a small private room that maybe I can reserve and invite her closest friends. This would be a surprise. Also it would be great if we can do this on a day that Chef Alex is there so she can meet her maybe? Please let me know if this is possible and how that works. Thank you very much!!!

    1. The best action would be to contact the restaurant directly, everything you need is on our website :- http://www.butterrestaurant.com I hope you have a great time!

  142. Dear Chef,

    You are one of my top 3 chefs, and I watch virtually all the cooking shows you are on, (even in repeats!!).

    I am looking for a really good crab or shrimp quiche recipe, and can’t seem to find one.

    You have any recipes up your sleeve?

    THANKS

    Amy

    1. That’s a tough combo get right! I would start with a simple quiche recipe and add the shrimp on top?

  143. I am a fan of Food Network and of all the shows you do. I am on my way to NYC tomorrow and have made reservations to eat at Butter on Friday evening, March 4, 2016. We have been so excited about going to Butter and hoping that you would be there and could actually catch a glimpse or better yet meet you, but I just saw that you would not be there and am so broken hearted. I believe you will be doing a book signing in Miami – trust me it will beat the cold of NYC.

    Wishing I could meet you, but wishing you a great time in Miami.

    1. Thank you for joining us at Butter!

  144. Hello,

    I am a huge fan of Alex and her cooking and I am hoping I would be able to receive something autographed to display. If that would be possible could something be sent to me at

    Mike Price
    1163 Lightstreet Rd
    Bloomsburg PA 17815

    Thank you so much in advance

    Mike

    1. Will do. In the mail!

  145. Hey Alex,
    where did you learn how to cook and get a restuarant in New York City.
    from Khylah .

    1. I went to culinary school and spent a number of years working in various kitchens…

  146. I love your onion jam. I want to know if this can be made so that it can be canned. I would need to know how long to water bath the jars.

    1. I have never canned it so I cannot make a recommendation for how to go about it…Apologies

  147. Hi Alex!
    I’m writing because my daughter, Alexis, is your biggest fan! She’s an aspiring young cook, and just thinks you are the greatest. Lex is 11, and she loves your compassion that shows through when you are a judge on Chopped ( which we watch together at least a few times a week.
    I know people ask often, but if you could send a picture, signed to Alexis, I know she would be over the moon!
    Thanks for inspiring my daughter, it is a pleasure to see her love for cooking.

    Lacey Kreamer
    1066 Manatawny St
    Stowe, PA 19464

    1. Will do. In the mail!

  148. Hi Alex,
    So I am probably your number 1 fan. I love watching you on TV!!! I have your book and absolutely love it!! And I dream of being an awesome chef like you one day. I am 16 and have been working so hard to be a good chef. Next year I will go to the Career Center for Chef and Restaurant Management. I hope to also own a restaurant one day! Do you have any tips? And if it isn’t any trouble could you possibly send me a autograph? You don’t have to if you don’t wanna but it’d be awesome!!! I hope to one day meet you!!!!!!!

    6252 Norwalk Rd Medina Oh 44256

    Have a lovely day!!!

    1. Will do. In the mail!

  149. I watch a show you had and made buttermilk. Can you send me recipe on how to make buttermilk

    1. Buttermilk is a by product of making homemade butter. Check out my recipe for homemade butter on line and you will get buttermilk too!

  150. Hello Alex, you are my absolute most admired chef, I’ve followed you since I was a little girl because Ive always loved how you incorporate yourself and your heritage into your cooking. Despite my elder family members being involved with food it died down and was not passed onto me. I do not know much about cooking and I did not grow up in a household of heritage. Despite that I still want to learn how to cook for myself though I have little knowledge. I am 16, and I have a part time job as well to use my own money to buy ingredients, but whenever I try to I spend so much money. How would I be able to begin cooking, and spreading my money enough without spending it all?

    If possible may I receive an autograph? I will pay if need be.
    Please and thank you, with love and admiration.

    1967 Verde Vista Drive, Monterey Park Ca 91754

    1. I would begin with some basic ingredients and some simple recipes. Cooking doesn’t have to break the bank as long as you keep it simple…Go to the library and get some recipes for free and start simply with things that interest you! And Sure! No charge for the autograph!

  151. Dear Chef Guarnaschelli,
    I am doing a career project for school and I need an interview with someone in that profession. Please answer the following questions by March 5. Thank you!

    1. When did you discover your love for cooking?
    2. What inspired you to become a chef?
    3. Who do you enjoy cooking with and why?
    4. Is the journey of becoming a chef difficult?
    5. What is your favorite thing about being a chef?
    6. Is there anything you dislike about being a chef?
    7. What are qualities that I need to have to become a successful chef?
    8. What is it like in culinary school? Did you enjoy it?
    9. What experience do I need to become a chef?
    10. What is the most rewarding part of being a chef?

    Thanks,
    Kayla

    1. 1. When did you discover your love for cooking?

      When I was a teenager I really fell in love with cooking….But my parents always cooked throughout my childhood…

      2. What inspired you to become a chef?

      My mother did and so did my love of cooking. I knew I wouldn’t mind having cooking for my job!

      3. Who do you enjoy cooking with and why?

      I love cooking with my daughter a lot I also have a few cooks that I have worked with a long time at Butter and I love cooking with them too.

      4. Is the journey of becoming a chef difficult?

      Sure. It’s never-ending ….But it is a rewarding as it is hard…

      5. What is your favorite thing about being a chef?

      I love really knowing one craft and field of work very well. I am proud of that.

      6. Is there anything you dislike about being a chef?

      Sure. The long hours. Working on holidays. Missing out on some events because of the restaurant. It can be tough to make those sacrifices…

      7. What are qualities that I need to have to become a successful chef?

      Patience with yourself and others.

      Perseverance.

      8. What is it like in culinary school? Did you enjoy it?

      It’s really fun to discover all that goes into making a plate of food and working with teachers that can share in that with you. You will love it!

      9. What experience do I need to become a chef?

      Culinary school degree and kitchen experience is best…

      10. What is the most rewarding part of being a chef?

      Watching a kitchen staff work together and get through tough dinner service is a great feeling I never tire of…

      Hope these answers help!

  152. Chef Alex,

    I just finished watching the first episode of All Star Academy (2nd season) and I just love how you connect with your team on a level that goes above just the food. It’s inspiring. I don’t make it to NYC very often, but when I have time Butter is my first stop! Watching you cook is simply jaw dropping!

    As I was reading your asks I saw that you send autographs… My girlfriend loves to cook and looks up to you more than anyone else, so if possible I would love to get anautographed photo for her! Her name is Elisabeth and our address is 5747 Holden St. #4, Pittsburgh, PA 15232.

    1. Will do!

  153. Hi Alex-
    I had the incredible honor of eating at butter tonight and it was all I expected. You are one of two people that inspired me to cook and become the cook I am today. I was wondering if there is any way you would share your secret to the tastiest grits I’ve ever had at your restaurant. Thanks for any help with this recipe. Respectfully, Melissa

    1. They are cooked in water until tender and finished with some cream, salt and pepper. Truly: That’s it! We cook them forever…

  154. Hi Chef Alex!

    So I’m a college student who also happens to be a serious foodie. Being out of my parents’ house now, my cooking is limited to my tiny apartment kitchen which means no gas stove, limited cooking instruments, and a small budget. Can you possibly give a poor student some advice for cooking in college?

    Best,
    Melissa

    1. Buy what you can afford. Sometimes the simplest things can taste the best. Why not do a little baking too? Simple ingredients can go a long way. I ate a lot of rice and pasta in school but a head of broccoli and some garlic can make a cheap great meal!

  155. Hi Chef Alex,
    My name is Allison and I was wondering if I could have an autographed picture of you?
    My information is:
    Allison Kilty
    18 Bigelow Avenue
    Enfield, CT 06082

    1. Of course!

  156. Help Me Alex!!!!

    I am hoping you can answer a question for me.

    I have been trying to make an alfredo sauce. I found a very simple recipe on the food network site. It was a recipe from Ree Drummond. So far I have only been successful twice, out of four attempts I have done. Two recipes were successful and two recipes wound up down the disposal. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I think it may be the cheese, the first time I used a pre-grated parm that came in a plastic container and it worked out just fine, the second time I used the exact same brand of cheese and my parm looked like a wad of rubbery chewing gum.

    I tried again with a block of parm cheese that I grated myself in the food processor and it worked perfectly. I decided to make it a fourth time and ground up my cheese in the food processor (I used some slightly longer aged parm, a bit more expensive) and it failed completely. The parm clumped up and would not melt into the butter and milk.

    My recipe called for a stick of butter, I cut that back to half a stick and added a few tablespoons of olive oil, milk, about 2 cups and 1 to 2 cups parm cheese. I melt the butter, add the milk and bring it to a simmer then sprinkled in the cheese and stir. I did add 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder for flavor.

    I am not an inexperienced cook, so I am frustrated and can not figure out what I am doing wrong. Four attempts and two failures!

    I have recently gone gluten free and I was glad to find a recipe that did not begin with a roux, however if I can not find a recipe that is successful all the time it does me no good, not to mention the wasted $$$ each time I toss that expensive cheese down the disposal!!!!

    Any suggestions or advice you can offer to solve this problem would be greatly appreciated! I am totally frustrated and about ready to throw in the towel on this recipe!

    Help! Help! Help!

    Thank You

    Robin L

    1. Sounds tough and may be the quality of your cheese giving you an issue? Also the milk is watery and sweet and thin without help from heavy cream. Try a small piece of authentic Parm that you grate yourself finely with a microplane grater just before making the sauce? Also the butter olive oil combo may be giving you further issue. How about half the butter, no olive oil and put same amount of cream in place of the milk?

  157. Hi alex youre my favorite chef on the food network my question is what region of the country has the best cruise in your opinion and your favorite dish in that region?

    1. I don’t know a lot about cruises but I recommend the Carolinas and New Orleans as a good place to start…Alaska also beautiful…

      Bon voyage!

  158. Hey Alex!
    I have become a huge fan of yours. I have seen you on All Star Academy. I love cooking. It is so relaxing. I have a few questions for you. My first question is, I am new to adding spices to the dishes. I don’t know what spices and flavors go well together. Are there any hints you have to know what goes well together? My second question is, I have a new goal. My new goal is that I want to travel the world one bite at a time. I want to go to different restaurants all around the world. Any places you recommend? I can’t wait to hear from you!! Thank you!!

    From
    Caryn

    1. I think there is only way to make great food combinations: trial and error!

      The more you cook, the more you will know what goes together. Keep practicing. Use a simple book for guidelines like Fanny Farmer or 1997 edition of Joy of Cooking to help you along…

  159. Chef Guarnaschelli,

    I have a suggestion to help raise funds for Alex Lemonade stand. Would you consider having the Food Network chefs autograph a nice size cutting board, having a protective coating put on it and either raffle or auction it? I’m guessing there are many “foodies” who would like to have the item. Next year you could do a sheet pan, etc.
    Just trying to help.

    1. Great ideas. Thank you!

  160. Hey!!!

    My name is Tom Robbins and I am writing because my wife is a huge fan of Alex. I am sure you get these emails all the time.

    I was wondering if you would send my wife an autographed picture or if you do anything like that. I am happy to buy a picture and send if I need to. Can you make it to Heather?

    I know it is a long shot just thought I would try. Have a great day.

    Tom

    Tom and Heather Robbins
    2400 Hunters Creek Cove
    Cedar Park, TX 78613

    1. No problem!

  161. Just saw you and All Star Academy for the first time ever while watching a marathon of last season while home sick. Terrific viewing from a recliner with tissues and Vick’s beside me and two weenie dogs on my lap. Great show and I just love the chemistry between you and the the guys who are mentors. I started reading up on you on social media, your website, etc. What on earth do you do in all your “spare” time???? Ha! Anyway, it was a treat to watch your competitiveness on the show. Well done.

    1. Thank you. In my spare time, I nap!

  162. Greetings, Ms. Guarnaschelli! I am assisting Michael Murphy, the Culinary Director of IfOnly and hope you may consider becoming a Luminary. May I put him in touch with you? Please advise. Thank you.

    1. Please email information to reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  163. Hi Chef,

    I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with how you carry yourself. Not personally knowing you you seem extremely approachable and humble. I’m sure you have been asked a million times a similar question, however I just turned 24 and am trying to find my path into the culinary scene. I have submitted myself for “Allstar Academy” I truly believe I just need that one chance. How would you advise someone like myself (no culinary degree) on how to make their mark like you have. You burst onto the scene a view years ago (at least that I can recall), and have taken food network by storm. Thank you for being a great example to your fans and viewers. Also what is your favorite dish (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at driftwood. I’m planning a trip there and would love to try what you suggest (multiple is ok)

    P.S if I make it on Allstar Academy you should choose me!! We will win guarantee. 😉

    Thanks chef!!

    Courtney.

    1. Thanks for writing Best of luck with casting! At Driftwood, I like the omelets, the eggplant dip and the Fritto misto in particular

  164. Hi Chef Guarnaschelli,

    My name is Cherish and I’m a simple 28 year old that has always had a passion for cooking. I can remember running home after school to watch “Read, Set, Cook” while all my friends were watching cartoons.

    So it was much to my dismay that when I started dating, my now fiance, that she “hated” cooking. I also had to start watching Food Network in the other room because she “couldn’t fathom how watching shows about food” could be interesting.

    One day I was terribly sick and the only thing I wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch Chopped reruns. She being the wonderful person she is decided to concede to my request and amused me by sitting and watching it with me.

    Low and behold, I’ve created a monster. She can’t get enough of chopped or the food network. She sends me recipes and asks me to make them, she’s attempting to learn how to cook as well. (It’s been a process, and our smoke detector has worked over time). But the reason she enjoys it so much is because of you!

    Now, I have to admit she is not an overly sensitive person. In fact she didn’t even cry when I proposed, which made me a bit concerned…because I have watched her on numerous occasions cry over chopped. I’m talking full blow tears and sobs. And the majority of the time it is because of the wonderful things you say to the chefs. She really values you and I just thought you should know that you personally turned her into a food loving individual.

    So for her birthday I will be taking her to your restaurant, Butter, as a surprise. I just wanted to give you the heads up in case you are there and notice a grown woman crying, overwhelmed with joy and emotion.

    Thank you for all you do in and out of the kitchen,

    Cherish

    1. Thank you for writing and sharing Very touching!

  165. Hi Alex,
    I have never been to a fancy restaurant and I would love to try it out some time, but I find the whole experience intimidating. Do you have any advice or suggestions for a beginner like me?
    Thanks You! – Aubrey

    1. Try it with a semi fancy place for starters? Get comfortable and then graduate to more fancy? Enjoy yourself and don’t be worried about what others think of you. Enjoy the good food!

  166. Hey Alex!!! first of all thank you so much for inspiring me to be an amazing Baker at the age of 15! And trust me…. I make the meanest and badest macaroons XD all my life I’ve been watching you on iron chef America, chopped, beat Bobby flay, and the most I loved… Alex’s day off! And your coffee cake… delicious ❤ well I came here to ask an important question. Is it possible to get a photo autograph with my name on it please? I wanna hang it in a frame in my room! Thanks a lot! ADDRESS: 14302 PAYTON – IRVINE CALIFORNIA 92620. thanks a lot!

    1. Will do!

  167. Dear Ms.Guarnaschelli,
    My name is Maezy and I’m 9 years old and I live in Marietta Georgia. I need to ask some interview questions. These questions are time sensitive and are due by February 12, 2016. Okay, here are the questions.

    1.) Who inspired you to cook?
    2.) Why did you move to France?
    3.) What is your favorite dish to make?
    4.) What is your style of cooking?
    5.) Who do you enjoy cooking with the most?
    Also, if possible, could you send an autographed picture to
    Maezy Tingiris
    2370 Holly Springs Road
    Marietta, GA 30062

    1. Apologies as I am tardy with responses

      1. My parents
      2. To learn how to cook the food I love eating!
      3. Eggplant Parmesan
      4. French American
      5. My daughter

      Autograph on its way!

  168. Hi there!

    I am a HUGE fan of Alex and just wanted to reach out to see if there is any way to buy a signed cookbook? Would love to get it as a gift for another huge fan! We have been to Butter and loved it, and absolutely love Chopped. It would be the perfect gift to buy Alex’s book personally signed!

    Any help is appreciated! Thanks so much!

    1. Of course!

      Email your information to reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  169. Hi Alex,

    First off, you are an amazing chef and it is a huge joy of mine to see you be a badass on Food Network!! Having spent a semester in Cannes and Provence, I’ve always wondered what your French friends and fellow chefs think of your using classic French techniques with “Americana” at heart (your Eggs Coco Chanel from Chopped!!!)

    Just bought a 11.5″ “raw” cast-iron skillet, as you’ve suggested its versatility on various platforms. Does it need to be seasoned?? If so, how?? I was under the impression only a wok needs to be seasoned…

    -A 22-year-old college boy who needs to stop eating out so much!!

    1. Season it by using it to cook!

  170. Hi Alex,
    It’s Nicole Roublick again. I know I’ve written to you many times, probably too many times. My apologies. It was just so exciting to actually get answers from u, because I’ve looked up to you for the longest time and your my favorite chef! Anyway, I’m writing this time because I wanted to really tell u my story, and why I started to cook in the first place. About a year after I was born, I started getting really sick all the time, my blood cell accounts would go all out of whack to the point where even a little cold would put me in the hospital, and I developed an enlarged spleen. I spent most of the time in the hospital, and at one point, they told my mom I wouldn’t see my 2nd birthday!, but it must have been a miracle because I did! Right after I turned 5, they diagnosed me with ALPS (Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome). A year later right before my 6th birthday, they found a medicine that could help me, and just a few months after being on the new medicine I was literally almost 100% back to myself. On my 7th birthday I went to stay at my grandma’s house, and that’s when I started to cook. I went into the kitchen, and she was making dinner, so I pulled up a stool next to the counter and she said ” would you like to help me cook? ” Of course I said yes, and she let me help her roll and cut some biscuits she was making. That’s when I fell in love with cooking. I started watching the food network and the first show I watched was Chopped, and you were featured as a judge. You instantly became my favorite, and I just fell in love with you, and the passion you have for cooking. You inspired me to go into culinary and become a chef. For years every time I went to my grandma’s the first thing I would ask to do is cook with her. Today, I’m pretty much healthy, but I’m not perfect. I’m only 5 feet tall, and I struggle mostly with anxiety and it makes it hard to a lot of things, and gets in the way a lot. I would really love to compete on chopped, but my anxiety really gets in the way of that too. Also, unfortunately just last week, my grandma passed away and it’s been very hard for me to get back in the kitchen. I’m still struggling a little bit, and questioning wether I should get back in the kitchen or not. Anyway, I just really wanted to tell you my story, how much you inspired me, and thank u for being such an inspiration to me.

    Thanks so much, Nicole.

    1. Nicole Thank you for sharing your story. I am inspired by it. I appreciate that you watch! Thank you.

  171. Hi Alex,
    I just wanted to say you are our favorite Chopped chef! My kids (8 and 5) love you and because of that they are now interested in cooking and baking. More importantly- they are now open to trying new things!!! That is huge- especially for my son, for which eating and enjoying food has only recently began happening for him due to reflux he had when he was younger.

    I can’t wait to buy your cookbook and start making some meals with them! If it is at all possible, can you give a shout out to them here or send an autograph for them? That would put them over the moon! Their names are Lincoln and Kennedy. I swear we weren’t going for the presidential theme LOL!

    Thanks so much for your inspiration!
    Tracey

    1. What is your address?

  172. Hi Chef Alex,
    I respect your talents as a chef & look forward to your appearances on FoodNetWork. I asked for & got a “signed” copy of your cookbook for Christmas. My disappoint is that it wasn’t truly signed by you……it was a template of your signature. I appreciate that you are very busy & signing books is time consuming but could it be stated that your signature is a template? I kind of feel cheated.

    Laura

    1. Respectfully, that is impossible. I do not have a template. And I sign every single book personally. No exceptions. If it was on a bookplate sticker, those are sent to me and i sign each one and they are placed inside the books.

  173. Hi Alex,
    My husband and I LOVE to eat and we’re thinking about going to New Orleans – it will be our first time. Can you give me some great restaurant recommendations? Thank you!

    1. Pascals Monale
      Grocery
      K Paul

  174. Hi Chef Alex,

    I have three questions:
    1) How are you able to taste everything? Do you have any foods you just won’t eat?
    2) Do you ever come to the West Coast? Specifically Los Angeles?

    Thanks, Kat

    1. I am not able to taste everything I do my best

      I don’t like to eat patty pan squash or mussels but will if need be….

      I do occasionally visit Los Angeles

  175. I love clamp chowder may I please have a great recipe? I am a huge fan of you n the whole crew on the cooking network, thanks so much

    1. Check out Jasoer White’s chowder recipes on line as he is a great authority on the topic.

  176. Good Morning

    This is a long shot. I have booked a trip to NYC in February and my 11 year old has said your name no less than 25 times since she found out-2 days ago. I have reservations at Butter for Sunday Brunch February 14 . What are the chances of you being on site that day? Rebecca has a card she would like to give you. I would change reservations to Saturday(13) lunch time if there is a better chance you will be there, if at all. I do understand you have a family of your own, I just thought I would try. ….

    1. Apologies to have missed you I hope you enjoyed your experience All the best to your 11 year old!

  177. I have received a gift of Greek cookies called “Paximathia”, a twice baked cookie, similar to an Italian version, which I believe is a bit more dense. The taste is buttery and consistency light … very good with a morning cup of coffee. Do you have such a recipe for this Greek cookie? Thank you!

    1. Alas no. I have never had it

  178. Hi Alex,

    First, I absolutely love watching you on Chopped and take your criticism and critiques to my own dishes.
    I was wondering if you had any advice on those who look to be aspiring pastry chefs. I love to bake and want to make a profession out of it, but I’m confused on where to start. Is there something or somewhere that you would recommend for me to get the education that I need? If there’s not, I appreciate the time you took to look and read my comment/question. Thank you.

    1. Depends on your age and exact goals I think some industry work in a place you admire is a great start to see if you love the day to day of the profession as much as your idea of it

  179. I am a big fan of you on the Food Network. Was watching the movie ‘Moonstruck’ last night and
    I could swear you had an uncredited appearance as the female half of the couple needing
    new pipes. True?

    1. Alas no. But love the movie.

  180. Chef Alex,

    I am a huge fan of yours. I live in Manhattan and love Butter. I have your book- What are the possibilities of getting it signed?

  181. You are by far the best chef! I would die if you ever got to cook for me. I make my husband see if you are a judge or a guest star on a show . If you are I make him record it! Thanks you for being you!

    If you ever want to send me anything lol like a signed book or photo your more than welcome. Lol

    2625 south lockburn street
    Indianapolis Indiana 46214

    1. What is your full name?

  182. Hi Alex,
    I would just like to say that you are my all time favorite chef on Chopped! My mom and I watch it together whenever we can. I was wondering..could I have an autographed picture of you? It would mean the world to me!

    1. Sure Please provide your full name and address

  183. Hi Alex

    I’m Aye, I’m 9 years old. My aunty is Carolina who wrote you the previous message. I’d like
    meet you. I also would like to ask you an autograph and for you to teach me a recipe of food, any one.

    affectively,

    Aye

    1. Please provide your full name and address

  184. Hi Alex! I’m a huge fan. I just visited Butter in midtown. What an amazing experience. Thanks for sharing your gift with us.

    1. Thank you!

  185. Ms. Guarnaschelli,

    Good evening! My wife is a HUGE fan of yours.

    I would love to be able to purchase your book, and was wondering if there is a way you could sign/autograph it for her? I have looked and couldn’t find another way to reach you.

    If not, that is ok, she will still be a HUGE fan. Was just hoping to get her this for a Christmas present.

    (By the way, you are the favorite judge in our house)

    Thanks,

    Scott Haas

    1. Please email your information to reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  186. Hello Chef Alex,

    My name is Jared and I am an aspiring chef! As I am a huge fan of yours- I was watching your television show “Alex’s Day Off” and wondered if you ever taught culinary classes? Or have ever thought about teaching culinary classes to aspiring chefs? If by any chance you do, what would be your specifications for accepting students? If you do not, thank you so much for your time! I truly appreciate it! Keep up your AMAZING recepies!

    -Jared

    1. Alas I don’t teach cooking classes currently but I will keep you posted!

  187. Dear Chef:

    When I was a 19 year old bride in 1975 and living far from home, I taught myself how to cook by using Better Homes and Gardens’ “New Cook Book” , probably circa 1960s. I’ve moved far beyond those recipes but I did learn cooking skills and basic recipes from that old red and white checkered binder cookbook (which I still have and occasionally consult for old time comfort foods).

    My 23 year old niece is getting married next April and, as a shower gift, I’d like to give her a simple instructional cookbook to help her learn how to cook basic, well prepared meals. Do you have any suggestions for such a cookbook?

    Thank you!

    Mary

    1. 1997 joy of cooking!

  188. I would really like to make your chicken thigh and leg in tomatoe, but my husband and I don’t care for cumin. I live in Colorado in a very high chili pepper region and allot of our green chili recipes and red chili have cumin in them (mine don’t), is there a substitute for cumin? Thanku for your time look forward to hearing from you.
    Marti

    1. Simply omit cumin

  189. Dear Alex,

    One of my favorite episodes of your show was when you made sfogliatelle… my favorite pastry. I think you’re fantastic!

    But today, I’m not writing for me. I’m writing on behalf of a dear friend who adores you, your shows and your cooking. With the holidays upon us, I wanted to get her something special – a copy of “old School Comfort Food” signed and inscribed to my friend, Michele.

    At one point, you offered signed copies through Butter. Is this no longer the case? Please let me know how I might purchase a copy and have it signed.

    Thank you so much for your kind attention…. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Lisa

    1. Email your request to reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  190. I seen in food network book that u had arecipe for pecan pumkincheese cake , you were advertising the pecans coulkd I get that I misplaced my book I wanted it for thanksgiving a my new dish for the day thank you mrs. Kendra casteel

  191. I recently saw you talking about a pumpkin cheesecake with a glazed pecan topping. Where can I get this recipe? It looked and sounded so good I want to try it for Thanksgiving instead of the traditional pumpkin pie. thanks

    1. Check out fishernuts.com/alex

  192. Alex:
    Hate to ask stupid questions, but are chestnuts in
    the nut family. I love them, but having company who
    are allergic to nuts.

    Marie

    1. Grate and use sparingly a little goes a long way! You can grate the whole thing little by little.

  193. what is your faverout color

    1. red!

  194. Hi Alex, my name is Carlos Ayala. And first of all, I am a “Food Network” fan in general. But I particularly love your show, “Alex’s Day Off”. And I had a question on your recipe for sfogliatella. I wanted to get the measurements and instructions for how you made the candied fruit that you mixed with the ricotta filling for the pastry. I tried to find it on your recipe on the food network page, but I didn’t see the process for it there. And also, when I watched the video on the page, but I still didn’t see how the fruits were made. Also, I saw that you used a citron for the original recipe, but if I can’t find that, would regular lemons work just as well? Thank you for your help! Keep on cooking!
    -Carlos

    P.S. One of your recipes I use a lot is your recipe for homemade pizza dough. I make it all the time when I visit my dad in North Carolina. And I also make pizzas the same way, except I substitute chorizo for the lamb sausage. And it’s just as delicious! Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for watching —-I didn’t make the candied fruit —I buy it at DiPalo’s on Grand street in nyc….

  195. Are you now moving to Miami? Is this your restaurant or just running it as exec.chef?
    Would hate to see you leave Butter for Driftwood.

    1. I split my time!

  196. Alex, My daughter and I thoroughly enjoy watching you on “Chopped” and Chopped After hour” and now I have seen you on a fisher nuts commercial. I was wondering how I could get the recipe for that cheesecake. My birthday is on Thanksgiving this year and we are going to make it for the celebration.

    1. fishernuts.com/alex

  197. Dear Alex: I love your TV shows and recipes! Quick (and probably dumb) question: When I grate nutmeg, should I grate just the surface area (like a lemon or lime zest) or grate as much of the nutmeg as possible without risking my fingertips?

    Thank you!

    1. Grate and use sparingly a little goes a long way! You can grate the whole thing little by little.

  198. Hi Alex,

    After watching an episode of “The best thing I ever ate” …. eggnog, I wanted to share my take on it. Use apple jack or apple brandy for the liquor. The lingering taste is like apple pie ala mode.

    1. Thank you for the suggestion!

  199. Hello Chef
    I’m a Culinary student here in Canada. I absolutely love all your presentation on TV and the charity work that you do. I’m going to a Culinary Competition in November it is called Battle of the Knives, I am very excited for it. I was wondering if you have any canapé idea that you can share with me for the competition.
    Thanks so much.
    Cynthia

    1. Sorry I am too late to offer suggestions. I hope it went well!

  200. Hi Alex,
    My husband grilled 2 beef roast a couple of days ago. The flavor is
    delicious however they are extremely dry. Is something I can do to them to
    revive them?

    1. Maybe a nice vinaigrette with some balsamic, olive oil and mustard to moisten and add some more flavor might help?

  201. Hi Alex,

    This is not a question but I wanted to thank you for talking to me about my daughter Tori at the Wine & Food Festival on Saturday. I apologize if I caught you off guard but seeing you was very emotional for me. As I mentioned, Tori was diagnosed with two cancers at the age of 19. While she was home from school getting treatments, she spent most of her time watching the Food Network. Although she always liked to cook, she really fell in love with it during that time and you were her biggest inspiration. Although you did not know, you helped her to focus on something other then her illnesses and allowed her to often forget her difficult circumstances. I am happy to say Tori is remission and now lives and works in Manhattan. She always talks about your restaurant ‘Butter’ and that she might get to see you there if she ever goes. When she heard you were going to be at the Wine & Food Festival she was thrilled!

    I sincerely appreciate your taking extra time out of your busy schedule to talk to Tori at the book signing. It really meant a lot to her. She said afterwards she was going to tell you about her experience but she got nervous. She doesn’t talk about the cancers much and that showed me how much she really admires you. Her school, Catholic University, wrote a beautiful story about her battle and recovery. I thought you might enjoy reading it. http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/success-stories/tori-neill.cfm

    Thank you again and for your support of childhood cancer. You are a very special person to us.

    With Much Gratitude,

    Virginia Neill

    66 Tenby Chase Drive
    Voorhees, NJ 08043
    609-707-1702

    1. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing with me!

  202. Cannot find your recipe for ‘Roasted Turkey Breast with Brussels Sprouts’ as seen on 10/21/15 on Live with Kelly and Michale.

    Ned

    1. It’s not on the website for the show?

  203. Hi Alex!
    I hope to go into culinary school and I have a Tree nut allergy. And I was wondering if it if possible to even become a chef of you have an allergy. I was never able to get a clear answer. Do you have an answer? Is it possible to become a chef with an allergy?
    Thank you!

    1. Of course it is! You just have to be careful …

  204. Hi Alex,
    I am a caterer with a 17 year old daughter who is obsessed with you. I would love to surprise her with the chance to meet you. We live on Long Island. Do you have any upcoming appearances anywhere nearby?

    Many thanks

    Jane Ronis
    Chef for a Night

    1. Thank you very much. I will be posting appearances in the next few weeks!

  205. Love to watch you cook, you are so intense! Going to try
    you chicken soup with the veal dumplings, hope I can
    find beef bones, such a great idea……….ask for an
    autographed photo awhile back and have not received
    one yet, is that a problem? Such a big fan of you and
    chopped show. Noticed all of you keep your nails very
    short, is that for sanitary reasons? Keep up the great
    work and have fun!!!!!!! 🙂

    1. Thanks for watching! What’s your full name and address for the autograph?

  206. Alex,

    I just finished watching the episode of “Chopped After Hours” where Ted cooks. When everybody else has white wine after the thanksgiving basket you had water. Was here a specific reason or did you just not like that wine?

    Thanks!
    Abby

    1. I don’t generally like to drink alcohol when I am cooking. Just a personal preference.

  207. Hi! A non food question… You often wear a chunky silver necklace with a green pendant. Is the pendant glass or what kind of stone? So pretty! Can you tell me where to get one?

    1. It’s hand made turquoise and silver. I don’t know where you could get another!

  208. Dear Alex,

    I really wanna grow up like u,but i dont know what to do can u help me. If u can reply back plz do.

    I also think u r amazing as you. You inspire me to cook and try new things. When u are on Chopped and Iron Chef you are braged about and voted on that u will win. My mom and I think u need to be on every Chopped cause u can tell ppl what to do and watch them be come even better. We also look for ur name to see if your in Iron Chef. You are so amazing. You are someone the will be on the wall of my little sweet shop when ever i get it. You will stare down on my cooking and I it will be hard to do but super fun. I wish Bobby Flay is scared of you it would be so awsome:)

    Love your Fan,
    Jewel Roberts

    PS. Can you be on every cooking show.

    1. Thanks for your kind and inspiring words. And thank you for asking!

  209. Hi Alex,

    My name is Hannah and I am only 9 and a haft years old. I think you are an amazing chef. My friend and I are experimenting in making food,
    using spices and other ingredients. My Mom found this web site and I could not
    stop myself from asking one of my favorite chef’s a question. How is it like to be
    such an incredible and accomplished chef, as well as, a great judge in cooking?
    That might be a lot to take in when I say it all at once, but that just the way I am
    right now. This is my Mom editing if it was me it would much more cheesier.

    Smiling,
    Hannah R Karcz ( Hannah) : )

    1. It’s an amazing feeling and I appreciate that you wrote me! Next time, feel free to write me the “unedited” version!

  210. Chef Alex,

    Help! I am a first year culinary student at a small school in Arkansas. We are required to do a research paper and presentation to the class for a major part of our grade. I can’t think of any good topics that would interest the chef and the class. Do you have any ideas?

    Thanks,
    LeeAnn

    1. How about a cook or chef or food writer that inspires you?

  211. Just a little question about the show beat Bobby Flay. When you all choose chief to beat him do you not think getting someone who knows about using seasonings as well as Bobby Flay? I do know that he has cooked for many years yet when I watch the show It is hard for me to understand that very few chiefs can beat him and he judges for the most part say his food ad great flavors it come fro the use of seasonings this makes my point. It is a need to find a chief that knows about cooking and the real use od seasonings.

    1. All good ideas. Bobby is an excellent chef with tons of experience. It makes it hard to beat him in any context!

  212. I just love watching all cooking shows, love receipt yet when you go to cook I realize there is no way I can afford to make it. Is there anyway to change the receipt to make them affordable. I am just 72 and love cooking. I am looking forward to making your yougart chicken, it look so amazing when I watched you making it.Thanks! you inspire me so much thanks for being you.

    1. Of course you can make it with fewer ingredients. Recipes are a starting point that inspire cooking!

  213. Hi Alex!! I love watching chopped and seeing you and Amanda on Beat Bobby Flay!! do you have a secret clock stopper so you can executive chef a restaurant and be a judge and to the million other things you do?? How do you do it all? You are amazing!! It looks like such a fun life! What do you do if on chopped they serve something you despise to eat? Do you and the other judges hang out together? It seems like you are all such friends

    1. We do hang out! We are friends. I eat everything because it’s my responsibility as a judge. But it doesn’t mean I like everything…. Thanks for watching!

  214. Hello Chef Alex,

    When you and the other judges are on Chopped, or any of the other cooking shows where you are a judge, what do you and the other judges do during the down time? I know you are looking on to the competitiors while they are cooking but what about the interviews they do? Thank you again for your time in answering a curious question for me.

    Take care,

    Matt

    1. Nap. Read. Talk. Snack. It’s an intense show so down time is important.

  215. Hi Alex

    I have been wanting to try my hand at a beef braciole. The recipe calls for prosciutto. With tears running down my face, I am sad to say I have a terrible pork allergy. Could you suggest a pig free substitute? Also, can you give me any suggestions to make this a “knock your socks off” braciole?

    Thanks for the help and inspiring me to try new and exciting things in the kitchen!

    Sam

    1. Make sure you cook til fully tender. Omit prosciutto.

  216. Love you on chopped! Think you are the best judge. You have a heart
    and are not mean to cooks. Where there are two males judges, do they
    try to push your positon their way? Iam going to order your cookbook
    but can I get an signed picture? Thank you and keep up the great work.

    13250 Harbor Dr.
    Orange Va. 22960

    1. Sure thing!

  217. My husband and I are taking a trip to New Orleans for our anniversary in October and I was hoping you could recommend some good places to eat that are not the standard tourist attractions. We both love seafood, and I think from watching you over the years your tastes are similar to ours. Thanks.

    1. City Grocery

      Cafe du Monde

      Pascals Monale

  218. Hi Alex, I’m at the point now where I want to invest in a really good chef knife to improve my knife skills. Without going overboard, how much should I invest in a knife or set of knives? I’m an at home chef, taught by my grandmother and ‘babysitter’ I had growing from the age of 10. Also, is it ever too late to go to culinary school? I just turned 54. Also, I was NYC this summer and found the Tomahawk steak over the top, best steak ever!

    Take care,
    Rick

    1. Thanks. Go to the store and try out all the knives until you find one that fits the budget and feels right!

  219. What is your favorite herb. Do you use dill a lot? I love dill but never seem to be able to really taste much of it when I use it in a dish. I wonder why?

    1. Love dill Favorite? Tarragon.

  220. Alex,
    I have been a great admire of your for a number of years and wish you continued success.

    My question, is it ok to refreeze shrimp shells, lobster and uncooked fish bones for a future fish stock or bisque.

    Thank you for your time.

    1. I would say no to refreezing.

  221. I noticed that your hair has been looking so straight, frizz free and has such shine. So pretty, what is your new secret for getting that look.

    Love you on chopped, iron chef and the next food network star (guest appearance last week.

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you!

  222. Alex,
    My 8 year old son loves to cook! What is your favorite dish to make with your daughter?

    thanks,
    Travis

    1. Scrambled eggs and chocolate chip cookies!

  223. Dear Alex,

    I need a set of pots and pans. What is the best set for a home cook? As a professional, what do you use? Thank you for any help or advice you can give.

    Judy

    1. I like all clad a lot. Buy a couple pans instead of a big set and see what you really need before you overbuy!

  224. Chef Alex,

    I don’t really have a question, I just want to thank you for being such an inspiration to my 8 year old daughter Alexandra. She is obsessed with cooking shows after watching you and now wants to become a chef. her birthday wish is to eat at Butter! (we are making reservations). Thank you for all you do and for inspiring young girls to follow their dreams.

    Aly’s mom- Danielle

    1. That’s so wonderful to hear, I have an eight year old too. Thank you!

  225. Chef Alex. Love watching you cook. I have been in the food service for years. one question on cream pies I have worked on for years can’t seam to keep the water from making the crust soggy. Help
    John

    1. What water are you referring to?

  226. Hi Alex! About a year ago, I was 16 and moving into a studio with a tiny kitchen. Your recipes, insight, and tips (as well as your Food Network peers’!) has been so incredibly helpful. Cooking as a college student is tricky, what with schedule difficulties and financial limitations; but I’ve been able to make some incredible dishes for my friends in spite of that. Just one year of watching the shows you’re on has done wonders for me. I love your presence on Food Network Star, as well as the genuine friendship you have with Bobby Flay. Because of you, my cooking has become richer, more refined, and ultimately tastier! Just wanted to extend a huge thank you, your cooking has inspired me so much 🙂

    1. So wonderful to hear. Thank you

  227. Why do some chefs use buttermilk to soak chicken in when making fried chicken? Can you taste the buttermilk after the chicken is breaded and fried? I don’t like buttermilk, so is there anything else I could use.
    Love you Day Off program, I watch it every time it’s on.

    Judy

    1. You can skip buttermilk without issue.

  228. Alex, my wife and I just had an absolutely wonderful dining experience at your BUTTER restaurant in NYC. The staff ( hostess Stephanie, Chef Diana, Waiter Taylor and Busboy Noel) could not do enough to make our 15th wedding anniversary brunch more special. They were courteous and friendly and the food was off the charts delicious. A standout was the Shrimp and Grits (I’ve never had tastier grits)! How did you infuse the sweetness In the flavor profile of this dish? FYI We will certainly be coming back for dinner to try out more dishes from your outstanding menu.

    1. Thanks so much. I will share your feedback with the staff!!!

  229. Hi Alex; Was looking for a wonderful Eggplant Parmigiana recipe and came across yours. Love your cooking so I tried it. Don’t know what happened but after a lot of time and money I ended up with what was a “salt lick”. I salted the eggplant to draw the liquid and rinsed thoroughly but I think the problem is in the directions to the breading process. Flour “and season with salt and pepper”, eggs”and season with salt and pepper.” Then breadcrumbs and herbs ” and season with salt and pepper”. Seems like a lot of salt and it reflected it in the taste. So unhappy as it was way to salty and had to be fed to the garbage disposal. The sauce was perfect with such good flavor. I will try again but without all the salt.

    1. My apologies. It’s always disappointing when things don’t turn out. Perhaps more conservative salting or not salting the eggplant will be more to your liking. Let me know.

  230. Alex, what can I do with golden plums besides eating them or making jam (which I’ve already done). They are beautifully ripe now.
    Thanks
    Kathy Ogilvie

    1. Make a tart or a pie. Make an Agro dolce sauce with vinegar and sugar for poultry.

  231. Dear Alex,
    The other day I was watching “Best Thing I Ever Ate” with my family and saw that you were showing a sfogatella on the “Last Supper” episode and the next day I googled a recipe for sfogatella and saw you had a recipe for it. I read the recipe and watched the video on FoodNetwork.com for your sfogatella but I didn’t know how to make the orange, if it needed to boil in the syrup or it needed to be blanched first to remove the bitterness. Or how much sugar or water the orange needed. I also did not know the temperature of how hot the stove needed to be or how long the orange needed to cook. In result the fruit did not turn out AT ALL like yours. Could you please email me the answers to my questions?

    Thanks,
    Shirley

    P.S. Your family is very, very lucky to have you as such a great cook, because my kids think I’m not such a great cook.

    1. You blanch the orange three times in boiling water and then cook in a syrup of equal parts water and sugar until tender

  232. Hi Chef Alex,
    What do I do with beautiful green tops of my giant red onions?

    1. -are they tough and stringy? If so, use as you would leek greens in a vegetable stock. If tender, can stir fry or toast in the oven until tender and eat!

  233. Alex,
    Thank you for sharing awareness of ” Alex’s Lemonade Stand”. I happened to be looking for a small juicer for citrus to use in making my jams when I came across ” Alex’s Lemonade Stand” juicer by Proctor Silex. I went out and bought it that day and was glad to see that a portion of sales went to her foundation.
    THANK YOU for bringing this to my attention and those of others when you compete on cooking shows.
    If not for hearing about Alex’s Lemonade Stand from you I would have bought a different model as I originally that this juicer was for children.
    FYI-works great and, 42 jars of jams and jellies later I can state without question it meets my needs!
    I know what I’m getting people for the holidays-An Alex’s Lemonade Stand Juicer and a jar of my jelly or jam to go with it ! 🙂

    1. Thank you!

  234. Hi Chef Alex:

    So, I just recently saw your recipe for your beef tomato sauce. You used a 28 oz. Can of whole tomato’s in the recipe. but,you also mentioned that fresh tomatoes could be used in the recipe. how many fresh tomatoes would you need to equal 28 oz.?? thank you. Judi.

    1. Good question! I would use about 2-21/2 pounds Roma tomatoes….

  235. Hey Alex. Ok so first of all let me say that I never write to celebrities. Like this is my first time ever so honestly I’m kinda nervous. But anyway here goes nothing.
    You are amazing (you probably hear that a lot but you deserve to). You are such an incredible cook an have an stunning, sparkling personality. I love watching you on chopped after hours, you’re so funny and just overall awesome!!You are by far te best judge on Chopped–you are kind to the competitors and recognize what a good job they did and how hard they work, but you don’t hold back from giving them wonderful, constructive criticism. Also your cooking is insanely good. I honstley don’t know how you do it. Finally, you are super pretty!! Like your hair, clothes and just everything! Girl, you got it going! I hope to be as amazing and totally awesome as you are when I’m older! (I’m 13 now.)

    Thanks for inspiring me and tons of other aspiring chefs!! You’re the best!!!!
    -Risa

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback–

      I am very grateful!

  236. Hi!!!!

    What’s your favorite dessert and food?

    -Ella

    1. I have many. I love eggplant Parm a lot….Blueberry pie too

  237. Hi Alex!!
    My name is Audrey and I am a senior in college. We recently moved into our own apartment (with our own kitchen!!!) and I have taken to making brunch. All the time. However, I have yet to master the simple pancake!! Each time I make them, they end up being very tall and puffy, but also very very dense. What can I do to make them fluffy but also really light and not so cakey?
    Thank you!!

    1. This is a tough thing. Good pancakes. I would recommend following Alton browns basic recipe for pancakes. That should do the trick!

  238. Hello Chef!

    I was recently diagnosed with Conjestive heart failure and put on a 200mg per meal sodium restriction a day. It took a bit to get the hang of cooking whole food from scratch for every meal. My sense of taste has changed in a big way. Anyway, my question to you is bread. I bake a really tasty loaf of bread but the middles are too ‘fluffy’ for sandwiches. I have tried pretty much everything and still with the fluffy middles! Any tips? Is the salt really needed for an even density?

    1. Get Jim Lahey’s book “my bread” and try some of his recipes

  239. My daughter Daisy Mae and I love watching you cook and your feedback is always so eloquently critical, yet so calmly stated so that it encourages rather than compresses. Daisy Mae records every episode of Chopped and even practices with creative baskets at home. She is ten and a half years old and dreams of being a chef one day. I am a high school English teacher who has researched what the best route is to take in order to help her achieve her dream. We would love to start nurturing this goal now, but have no idea where to start. Please, share your thoughts with us! Many Thanks!

    1. Cook with her. She has a few years before she needs to worry about her career path in cooking. Let her fall in love with it at home.

  240. Would love your recipe for old fashion rice pudding! My husband loves rice pudding but has not had it for many years. I did a search on your web site but only thing that came up was a recipe for Spicy Cabbage Slaw!

    Love you on any show that you are on and thrilled that you won Iron Chef!!!

    1. Do not have a recipe Apologies Thanks for watching!

  241. Hey Alex! My name is Bella & I’m fifteen and you’ve really inspired me to cook! I adore watching you on Chopped (you’re actually my favorite judge) and you’re great on Iron Chef! I recently just ordered your cookbook as well! One thing on my bucket-list is to eat at Butter restaurant in NYC!!

    Okay, so my question(s) is, what’s one of your favorite desserts to make? I love making sweets but can never find good recipes.
    I read in one of your interviews that you watch Downton Abbey. OMG that’s my most favorite tv shows!! Who’s your favorite character? Mine is Mary!
    And my last question is, what’s your favorite type of food? (ex: Italian, Mexican, etc…)

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
    xx Bella

    1. Check out chocolate cake recipe in my cookbook.
      Favorite character is the Dowager Countess
      Favorite cuisine, don’t have just one!

  242. Not really a question. Just had to express to you how much I love your show Alex’s Day off and all the competition shows you are on. You are an amazing chef and I love your humor and descriptions of everything you cook. You inspire me not only as a cook but as a person. You are truly someone I have watched for years well before you became an Iron chef and I love watching you more everyday. I will eat at Butter before I die!! On my bucket list.
    Thank you for being an inspiration and showing the world nothing will ever stop you from your dreams and goals, you can do anything : )

    Warmest regards,
    Kristine Eagan-Barnett

    1. Thank you so much! That’s inspiring to hear!

  243. Hi Alex,
    I’m just one of your many fans here to tell you…You Go girl!!!
    I admire your work, appreciate your very real presents on TV and your recipes rock.
    Thank you Alex

    1. Thank you!!!

  244. I am a 72 yr old widow who does not cook much for myself. I have always enjoyed cooking, I enjoy watching Chopped and really enjoy it when you are a judge. I admire your honesty. I could spend a whole evening looking a cookbook. I just noticed you have a recipe with Sauteed Shrimp with Sunchokes. What are sunchokes?
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Sunchokes are Jerusalem artichokes. They grow in the ground like a potato. They are nutty tasting and slightly pleasantly starchy. Delicious toasted til tender.

  245. Dear Mrs. Guarnaschelli,

    My girlfriend Joanna and I have been fans of you for years. We always get excited when you’re one of the judges of ‘Chopped’. It think it is because you remind me a little of my own mother/family.

    Back in January 2014, we visited NYC and finally got the chance to eat at Butter Midtown before we saw a show. The Monkfish was unbelievable and I still brag about it to this date. The beginet dessert was also a great way to remember the evening. We just relocated to North Jersey, so we’re hoping to visit again soon.

    I was hoping that I might request two autographed photos from you (one for each of us). It would mean a lot to me, and I’m sure it’ll be a great surprise for Joanna if I could give her an autograph from you as a gift.

    I realize that you’re very busy and likely get many such requests and cannot reasonably reply to them all. I just wanted to let you know how much we love you and how impressed we were with our time at Butter.

    Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the prospect of hearing back from you.

    Sincerely,

    Eric Urnoski
    24 Day St, Apt V11
    Clifton, NJ 07011

    1. Believe I sent them to you Thanks for writing!

  246. I signed up my daughter Casmira for the kids chopped challenge and well she got the call and they want her to come up to new york in july. My question is what kind of things should i prepare her for? like what are a good couple of ideas that i can practice with her at home. Can you send me some challenges for her. you are her favorite to watch cooking you really inspire her.

    1. Watch the show. That helps a lot. Practice cooking basics and knife skills. Simpler things will be harder under pressure.

  247. Even though you don’t know me personally, I want to thank you for being my mentor, encouragement, and inspiration. fell in love with food when I was in second grade, and subscribed to Food Network Magazine when I was in 5th grade, watching Chopped and Iron Chef all the while. would bring the latest magazine to show and tell in fifth grade, and you were always my favorite chef, my inspiration. You have a way of describing food that made my tastebuds dance and my mouth water You helped me develop my passion for baking and being in the kitchen, my happy place. You have shown me the magic of being in the kitchen. Using ingredients to meld into a thick batter and bitter sweetly putting in the oven; sad because the batter will be different from its bake, but happy that you’re bringing food to life! That’s the magic of baking, using ingredients to bring food to life! I’m planning on using my gift to become a pastry chef in culinary school in a few years! Thank you for inspiring me!

    1. Thanks for your feedback. It inspires me too!

  248. Hey Alex
    I am one of your biggest fans I anly watch you on the food network
    I don’t wat any one else if you are not a judge one chopped I will not watch it
    If have to be on if me to watch the show. I am only 16 and I really think you are an amazing chef
    I wish I could meet u one day but I love all the way in Louisiana. My question is how do you get your roast nice and Juicy?

    1. Thanks for watching. Depends what type of meat. I’d say start with a vey hot oven for 15 minutes then lower oven. Monitor internal temperature carefully so not to over cook.

  249. Hi Alex it’s Nicole, I’m doing a final for English class and I have to write about someone I admire so I picked you because you are such a role model to me and you inspired me to go into culinary. I have two questions for you and they are how old were you when you first started cooking? and who is your favorite Chopped judge to judge with?

    thanks so much Nicole.

    1. Nicole I’d love to pick just one judge but I love each one for different reasons I have a special place in my heart for Scott Conant because we go way back. He’s fantastic

      As for when I began cooking: professionally at age 22

  250. Hello, Alex!

    My name is McKenzie and I am 20 years old. I have battled severe endometriosis and adenomyosis for 5 long, painful years. I missed most of high school because of it. It got so bad that when I was 19, I had to have a hysterectomy in order to get my life back. While I was at home in excruciating pain and also while I was recovering from my surgeries over the years, I would watched Chopped religiously and more recently, All-Star Academy. I really enjoyed watching you cook and seeing your love for life and love of food. It really lifted my spirits when it was difficult to see the joy in life. I just started college (finally!) to be a NICU nurse, and even though I will not be in the culinary field, I am inspired by your dedication, passion, and hard work. Thank you for being such a great role model! I plan to come to Butter NYC and try your food for myself one day in the (hopefully near) future! Thank you and keep being awesome!

    1. What a courageous battle you waged at such a young age. Congratulations. I am honored you watch and are inspired Thank you!

  251. Hi Alex, I am 71 years old and thinking about what could have been. I love watching you on any show. Your tenacity at your work, your beauty and smile. If I could start over I would ask to be you.

    1. Very thoughtful Thank you And thank you for watching.

  252. Hi Chef-

    You made an amazing birthday frosting and cake on your episode of Alex’s Day Off, (A Birthday Dinner), and I was wondering how you get the frosting swirly and thick without making it super sweet and overpowering the cake.

    Thanks!

    1. Unsure but likely the dobosch torte recipe from my cookbook “Old School Comfort Food”

  253. Is your daughter following in your footsteps and showing interest in cooking as her career?

    1. Too soon to tell —not pushing her in any way

  254. My daughters and I (16 and 12) love watching Chopped. To make a very long story short, my 12 year old drew a picture of you and Ted, and I’d love to send you a copy. Where can I snail mail it to so you will get it? Thanks!
    Wendy Lucas

    1. Adorable! Please send to Butter Restaurant at 70 west 45th st NY, NY 10036

  255. Hi Alex, I want to surprise my boyfriend with a special meal and was thinking of doing pork curry with coconut milk. Could you give me a recipe to be really special … thanks!

    1. I’m afraid that is not a recipe in wheelhouse but I would suggest a good curry base and basmati rice recipe from Julie Sahni’s book: Classic Indian Cooking would do the trick

  256. Hey Alex I love to watch you cook! You are a very talented and skilled Chef!
    I know you have bein to many culinary schools and many different Restaurant’s. So here’s my question. What is your best or favorite way for learning new things?

    Thanks for your time hope I can meet you someday!

    1. Cool question. Eating, cooking and reading cookbooks!

  257. My wife has used your recipe to introduce cannoli to our Midwestern family and friends. Her special touch is to add liqueurs, including Godiva Chocolate (the Chopped Judge Special)!

    Many busy couples have asked her to create kits since they can’t eat them all in one sitting. Sometimes the liqueurs separate while stored and don’t taste the same even if remixed.
    Any hints?

    1. Store liquor separately from fillings and only mix in when/as needed.

  258. Hey Chef Alex. First of all I admire everything you do and my mother and I were just watching chopped like 5 minutes ago. We were watching the all star round and the guy in dessert round added honey. We didn’t exactly see you eat the dish and were wondering if you are allergic to it.
    -Mykayla

    1. I am not allergic.

  259. Hello Chef Alex,
    You are such an inspiration to me! I look forward to possibly coming to nyc and stopping at your restaurant soon, until then I’d like to ask if you could look into attending the Atlantic city food and wine festival 2015. I’m going to be spending my birthday there and would just love to see you there!

    Thank you for inspiring me!

    1. Will do. Thanks for watching!

  260. Hi
    I am doing a chef report in school and I chose you! I saw in the “Me” section in your website that you went to Bernard College. What exact degree did you get from there?
    Thanks!
    Ridhaa
    P.S. I am a huge fan of yours I watch chopped and Iron Chef ALL the time 🙂

    1. I got a BA in art history. Thanks for watching!

  261. I love you and watch every show your on. My question is how can I get a winning recipe from GGG Mothers Day show for beef stroganoff. I’ve tried his grocery games but no recipes to print. Thanks Alex. Can’t wait for your new show to begin.
    Marilyn

    1. I am afraid i don’t know other than to write a message to food network in their website asking where to source the recipe….

  262. we went to butter last march and had one of the best meals of my 50 years on the planet, thank you! unfortunately for us, we’re 3000 miles away from midtown manhattan. 2 questions: when are you opening in vegas or LA? …and where would you eat in vegas if you had just one night?

    1. Lol thanks but I am opening in Miami sometime soon and don’t have much plans beyond that. If I had one night to eat in Vegas, I would eat at either China Poblano at the Cosmo or Paul B at the Wynn…

  263. Hi Alex,
    My question is simple, how in the world do you get egg shells off boiled eggs without making a mess of the egg?

    1. There is a great article by Kenjy Lopez Alt on this subject. He writes for the blog: Seriouseats —Check it out

  264. Today (May 8, 2015) you posted a picture of Asparagus, bacon and egg salad. My husband is really wanting me to make this. Could you please post your recipe? Thank you.

    1. It was just lightly sautéed asparagus in olive oil and salt. The salad was hard boiled eggs with a splash of mayonnaise, vinegar, cracked black pepper. You could make it any way you like!

  265. Hi Alex-

    You show up in a lot of things such as All-Star Academy, Chopped, Iron Chef, and others.
    So I was wondering, since you know so many in the Food Network, who is your favorite chef
    to cook/bake with?

    -Emma

    1. I love them all but some of my favorites to cook with are Michael Symon and Scott Conant…

  266. Hi Alex!

    I really admire your work. I’m in my mid-twenties and have been working the front of house in restaurants for about a decade. They have so far been family owned, very classic American cuisine “local” hot spots. I love what I do, don’t get me wrong.. but for the past two years I have been serving and bar tending at a corporate fine dining establishing. I have a bachelors’ degree in Information Systems and Management – and have expressed my interest in management many, many times. Recently, a male co worker (That was a friend of mine that I actually referred to the restaurant as a server only a few months ago) was promoted above me. He has less experience in the industry and less confidence in his abilities to manage this team. I can’t help but feel this was only because he was male. I’m a small girl, but have a lot of bite and I know what I’m doing. How did you first prove yourself? I need advice!

    1. Try not to allow gender issues or anything of the sort get in the way of your great, hard work. Just keep on trucking! Prove yourself only to yourself 🙂

  267. Hello,

    First would like to say that my wife and I are fans of all the cooking shows. She tells me constantly that she wishes that she could take a cooking class with you. I have 2 questions. First, when you and the other chefs started this media debut did you think it would grow into what it is now? 2nd, my wife and I are having out second year anniversary soon and I was wondering if I could get your autograph to give to her as part of her present. (The other is a trip to several of the Iron Chef restaurants near where we live.)

    Thank you,
    Matt

    1. I never dreamed my career would be like this. And I don’t think any of my colleagues did either…

      Please send address for autograph to reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  268. Hi Alex, once again its Nicole, I have a question about spices and that is I read a lot of cookbooks and some recipes call for Cayenne pepper and some call for red pepper flakes, so my question is are cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes the same thing? if not what Is the difference?

    thanks, nicole

    1. Different kinds of dried chilies in different forms. Check out a spice book that has images and explanations for both. Your local library should have a good spice picture book. Cayenne can be hotter than red pepper flakes. Both spicy.

  269. Are you friends with Iron Chef Cat Cora?

    1. Yes. She is great.

  270. Hi Alex
    I just wanted to tell you that I have learned so much from watching you on TV and
    that encouraged me to apply for a Culinary Management Program.
    I am originally from Cuba but now I live in Canada if one day I go to New York
    I would like to go to Butter and meeting you. Thanks for reading this and for being
    such a good chef.
    Cynthia

    1. Sounds wonderful! Best of luck!

  271. Hi Chef Alex!

    Your such a great cook! I watch Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay, All Star Academy, sometimes Cutthroat Kitchen, and my favorite shows to see are the ones with you in it! My brother says boys are better then girls but I don’t believe him because your the best cook ever! My brother is my twin but were not identical because I’m a girl. I just turned 13! Do you know any simple lunch, dinner, appetizers, or deserts? I wish I could have your autograph! I’m trying to become a famous chef like you, I also write some books and most of the time they have animals in them. I’m not that good of a cook yet though, I have only cooked eggs, omelets, my moms special grilled cheese, cookies, dog cookies, and crescent dogs. So I have a long ways to go before I’m as good of a cook as you are. Would you like me to tell you my Mom’s special grilled cheese recipe? My brother says Bobby Flay is the best chef but I think you are the best chef! I also am a figure skater, I am trying to learn my axle. Between skating, writing stories, and cooking, I think cooking might be my favorite. What is your favorite dessert?

    From one of your #1 fans,
    Rebecca Anne Rea

    1. Sounds like you are doing great things. I have many recipes on line and in my cookbook. Check them out. Keep it up! Send your address for an autograph to reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  272. Alex, I was just wondering if you could tell me what inspired you through the early stages of your career… I am a 20 year old female working in the fine dining country club scene while I attend Culinary school and I absolutely love what I do. Watching you cook on tv when I was younger was a big part of my inspiration for going to school and for doing what I am. So, if you dont mind telling, what was/ is your inspiration for doing what you do?

    1. My parents and my love of cooking!

  273. Alex, I am looking for a great recipe for Linguini with White Clam Sauce. Can you help? I would love to know how you prepare such a classic Italian dish. Thanks a million!

    Kris

    1. I don’t have a written recipe for that I have tested. Apologies. I just steam clams with garlic and butter and toss in al dente pasta myself…

  274. Dear Alex,
    You recently posted a picture of a chocolate coffee cake on facebook. Have you posted the recipe anywhere? By the way, I am inspired by your cooking!

    1. Alas, no. But my coffee cake recipe on line and in cook book is pretty close if you stir some chocolate chips into the batter.

  275. Alex,

    I made your mom’s meatloaf last night from your book Old School Comfort. It was the best meatloaf I have ever had in my life (I’m 55). Kiss your mom for me. Love your cooking and your style!!

    1. I will tell her. Thank you so much!

  276. Alex,

    My 10 year old daughter is a big fan of yours. She has been watching Chopped for years now and wants to be a chef. She loves to come up with recipes, cook, bake, and help in the kitchen. I’m the helicopter mom, who encourages her but still has questions in my mind because my daughter has mild cerebral palsy. People who don’t know her, would not guess that she has special needs until they saw her walk because she walks differently. I recently spoke with a high school teacher, who told me that the vocational school in our area would accept her even if she needs accomodations. I LOVE that she has found a career path that she LOVES but am wondering if her cerebral palsy would keep her from achieving her dream of becoming a famous chef. Her biggest asset is that her drive and ambition have far surpassed many professionals’ opinions. I was wondering if you could share your views on this subject.

    Thanks!

    Karen

    1. Simply put, I think she can achieve anything with her own passion combined with your belief in her to be able to succeed at whatever goals she sets!

  277. Hi,
    I love watching you on All Star Academy, I hope you win. I love it when you are a Chopped judge.I visited your restaurant, Butter. I really enjoyed it there. Thanks so much:)
    Lucy

    1. Thank you!

  278. How do u do it? How do u make everything look so good and taste even better? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 😀 😀 😀 😀 :D!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I burn stuff sometimes too….

  279. Chef Alex-

    This past Sunday, you answered my question on Facebook saying your daughter’s most commonly requested dish for you to prepare was scrambled eggs and that she also loves poached eggs. I share your response on my Facebook page. In turns out my cousin’s young daughter is a big fan of yours as well. After she read you answer she immediately asked her mother to make her poached eggs for the first time. The power of social media! As a mother, I thought you’d appreciate this anecdote! Looking forward to your next cookbook and your ongoing presence on the Food Network.

    Warm regards,

    Cindy

    1. Simplicity is best! Love the story. Thanks!

  280. Dear Alex,
    My daughter (Jewel) and I love to watch you on TV. You are our favorite Judge, and when you are competing, we always root for you. Jewel is a big fan of yours. It is her dream to become a chef like “Alex”. I am a basic no frills home cook. I do not have the knowledge and know how to teach her the things she needs to learn. Where do I start to teach her? She wants to get her own knives to cook with. I think that is a fair request. She will be 12 July 1st, and was thinking of getting her own set, as long as the funds are available otherwise that will have to wait.
    When I was growing up, my mom said, go cook and I went in the kitchen and cooked. I was told how to do it, what to cook, but was never shown. My mom was in bad health when I became of age to really learn these things. Jewel is almost 12, and now I am the one in bad health. I have osteoarthritis every year gets worse. I need to teach her now. She does so much already, more than any 12 year should do because of me. I am only seeking advice on a place to start to help her; do you have any suggestions?
    We live in Jackson, Mississippi and there are not any cooking schools for someone her age that I can find. I want her to succeed with her dreams. She loves to cook and I just want to help her.
    We hope you win the All-Star-Academy,
    Laminda and Jewel Roberts

    1. What a great story. I think a simple cookbook like the 1997 Joy of Cooking. Watch her cook simple things at home and nurture the talent. The rest will come with time and practice!

  281. Judges on Chopped and other shows frequently tell contestants their dishes need more salt. Since experts often say Americans put way too much salt on their food, isn’t less better than more. Plus, most restaurants have a salt shaker on the table for those who want more.

    1. Seasoning once cooked and completed is not the same great flavor as salting as you cook. But salt is a matter of personal taste.

  282. Hello Mrs. Guarnaschelli! My wife and I went back to watch a couple past episodes of Iron Chef America and there was one thing I saw you make on there that I thought sounded really good to try for a dessert, but I can’t find the recipe or any one similar to it. You made an interesting spearmint parfait with mint tea when cooking alongside Geoffrey Zakarian – I know it’s not the most complex thing you’ve made, but for some reason it just sounded so good! Is there anywhere I can find the recipe or something very similar? Thank you very much for your time and for always sparking culinary inspiration!

    1. Do not remember! Can you provide more detail? Apologies.

  283. Hey Alex, first let me say, you have the sexiest personality and smile of any woman on television. You are absolutely beautiful. Every time a new show comes out and your on it, I watch it just because your on it. You and Bobby have great chemistry together. Anyway, my question is when you are marinating steak, chicken, or whatever, how long should you do it. I like to marinate steak and chicken in beer and other seasonings but the flavor of the beer doesn’t come out much. I usually only do it for a couple hours. Thanks for reading this. Your Awesome

    1. Thanks for watching!

  284. Dear Chef Alex Guarnaschelli
    We hope you are well,
    Our names are Shimon and tammar
    we’re husband and wife photography team living New York
    Our work has been featured in leading magazines worldwide and we have photographed award winning cookbooks for some of the world’s most respected chefs,

    we would like to present our work to you,

    Here is a list of selected cookbooks that we shot:

    Chef Eric Ripert.
    A Return To Cooking
    On The Line

    Chef Marcus Samuelsson
    Aquavit

    Chef Suzanne Goin
    Sunday Suppers
    AOC

    Chef Laurent Gras and Mitchell Davis
    My Provence
    Kindly look at our websites

    http://www.shimontammar.com/Cookbooks.html

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    We will be happy to work with you in the future.
    Best Regards
    Shimon and Tammar
    Shimon and Tammar Photography Inc
    646 416 0584
    http://www.shimontammar.com

    1. Thank you for the information. Much appreciated.

  285. Alex – I have a freezer full of rhubarb from last year’s crop and it’s starting to grow again. I noticed you have a rhubarb salsa on your menu at Butter. Can you share that or give me some ideas (other than the standard pie) for my rhubarb?

    1. Jam. Jelly. Marmalade mixed with oranges. Compote and freeze. Pickle it. Brine it and use it in savory preparations. Make pie filling (cooked) and freeze it.

  286. Hi Alex. I learned to cook from watching you and Bobby Flay on the food network. It would be great to meet you and bobby. Can we arrange a time that I can meet you and bobby and we can have a picture taken? Thanks!

    1. Thanks!

  287. Dear: Alex

    I love watching you in chopped and in all star academy!!!
    You are amazing. Wish one day you have your own show where you cook your favorite food and teach us how to make beautiful food.

    Thank you

    Julieta
    Miami, FL

    1. Thank you for watching!

  288. Hi Alex, Its Nicole again thanks for the tips on my last two questions that’s great advice! 🙂 I have another question for you, August 17 is my 16 birthday and my mom agreed to take me to eat at your restaurant Butter and I would love to meet you, do you know if you will be there that day??

    Thanks again, Nicole

    1. I never like to promise attendance because my schedule (like everyone’s) changes so much.

  289. Hi Alex. I love watching you on all-star academy as well as the other chefs on the show. I wanted to know if I can meet the chefs from the show. I have been watching food network for a long time and I would really love to meet you. I would also love to meet bobby flay and it would be great to have a picture taken with both of you.I only live a half hour away from the city so it is easy for me to travel there. I am looking foward to hearing from you soon.

    1. If your sauce is watery, simmer it longer to bring out stronger taste. As for cameras, ignore them and do your thing!

  290. Alex, I love you on Chopped. You’re a great judge, you aren’t afraid to share your own opinions and have a passion for what you do. However, I have a question about Chopped when the food gets judged.

    Are the judges supposed to be able to distinguish every item in the food basket for each round? I’ve only been watching for two months, so I’m new, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people get sent home because the judges can’t taste the ingriedients, and some disqualifications are for note getting a note of fig preserves. S1 E2 of Chopped, anyone?

    1. We should be able to taste the ingredients or at least feel as if they have been used in a constructive way in making the dish.

  291. I am trying to find the right herbs to go into a fish better while making bass, perch, crappies, bluegills and Northern’s I would really appreciate your help and understanding of some of the herbs that work well in a fish better. I am looking at parsley and basil celery seed and cayenne.

    I watch you on TV quite a bit I find you to be a great chef I am 66 years old retired I love fishing and cooking I hope you could help I watch you on all the shows All-Star Academy, chop, iron chef. I thank you very much truly yours. Gary Hansen

    1. For fish, I think tarragon and basil are pretty amazing.

    2. Thank you for watching and sharing your feedback!

  292. i am doing a class biography on you Alex. I wanted to ask how old you are and what truly inspired you to cook.
    Thanks, -Ally

    1. I am inspired by ingredients and things i ate as a kid. I love to recreate flavors from nostalgia…

  293. Alex, I love you in Chopped. Can you tell me (as I know the show is taped and a lot of it is cut out) how long does it usually take for you to come to a decision as to who is going to win? It seems like you put a lot of thought into it.

    thanks

    1. The decisions take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes depending on whether the judges agree…

  294. I want to go to culinary school but can not afford a big name program. There is a community college I my area with a culinary arts associates degree program that I was considering attending. As a Chef do you have any opinions about where to get your education? It seems that most chefs I have researched started at a “big name” school. Any advice for someone at the very start of their culinary career would be greatly appreciated!

    1. I suggest you trail in a restaurant for a few hours to see if you like it and apply to your local school. Sometimes the motivation of the student is more important than where they go to school…

  295. how do you make new york style beef tongue?

    1. I’m not sure What NY style entails. Are there specific ingredients?

  296. I love, love, love chicken soup. Thirty years ago it was possible to buy a good fatty chicken, add water, vegetables, salt, and pepper, simmer for three hours and make a delicious broth. Unfortunately, I am finding the chickens sold today are leaner and only produce a tasteless bowl of water with vegetables swimming in it. How do you make a delicious broth without adding purchased chicken stock to the pot? Also, if adding stock is a must, what brand do you use?

    Longing for the good old days!
    Lynn

    1. I find there are still some good chickens out there. As for stock, I like to make my own for soup. I buy two chickens, roast one and eat it and then use the remains for the stick for the soup!

  297. Dear Alex,

    Help! I am a Type 2 Diabetic & I’ve been told to cut all processed foods including flour from my diet. Breads/starches/sweets were the hardest to drop but I’m doing it. So far, my mom & I are handling it but we’ve running out of ideas of what to do. I can eat pretty much all meat, poultry & seafood (I’m not fond of scallops & hate lamb) & I eat pretty much all types of fruit & veggies. Do you have any ideas of where I could look for recipes (books & other) for ideas of what I can do to make things more interesting at the table? Any help or direction will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you!

    Melynda Gascoyne
    Tonawanda, NY

    1. I think the best resource would be to check your local library for come cookbooks that specifically address diabetes. Additionally, check on line for the same? I love to stroll a local market for inspiration, Ingredients give me ideas…

  298. I watch you alot my favorite moment was when you became an iron chef Congrats. I would like to know how to try to get on the academy. I have been trying gourmet and new recipes for years. I am 76 and would love to meet you even if I don’t make the show thank you for your consideration Elaine Smith

    1. Elaine: Thanks for writing. Information about All Star Chefs Academy will be on food network.com

  299. Dear Alex,
    Hi! My name is Elizabeth Barassatian and I am a huge fan and Food Network junkie!!! I Love you on Chopped
    and, my favorite, All Star Academy!!!! I am a home chef who learned from her grandmother, mom, books, tv,
    on line and of course you. You inspire me to think outside the box when I am in the kitchen and to take risks
    most home chefs wouldn’t, and the fact that you are a women at the top of the chef food chain is AWESOME!
    With all that being said I NEED to be on All Star Academy! I watch each episode several times and find
    myself yelling at the tv, yearning to be on the show and on your team so much that I can’t put it into words. To
    cook with and for you would be a check mark on my bucket list, I feel I could learn so much and make you
    proud, and fyi I would never tell my idol and mentor no. I have gone to the FN website several times trying to
    find out how and when I can audition just to have the chance to be able to learn from you, and the other chefs,
    but especially you, but have had no luck. Please tell me how and when? Pretty Please?!?
    Thank You
    Sincerely Yours
    Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth: Keep watching food network.com for information. It will be coming up in the next few months, I imagine, but I am not sure. I don’t have knowledge of, nor do I participate in that part of the process.

  300. I purchased tickets for your Old School Comfort Food demo at Pebble Beach to take my 15year old granddaughter who loves to cook with me. Now I just read the fine print and learned she can not attend with me since she is not 21. I purchased 2 of your books to have you to sign them for us. Is there a way to get the books signed and avoid total disappointment for her? .. Thanks … Granny

    1. Of course. Bring the book when you come to the demo if you would like or mail to Butter c/o Cassa 70 west 45th street NY NY 10036

  301. Alex, I watch you on TV quite often.
    As you are on the Fisher Nuts commercial, I wonder if you would be interested in a
    recipe that I concocted.
    It uses Black Walnuts and cherries.
    Would you be interested?
    If so I will send it to you.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Feel free to send recipe. I am always looking for new recipes to try…

  302. Hi, my name is Angelynn Craft. I have an interest in becoming a chef when i grow up. I am 13 and would love and be very thankful if i could interview you for my career project for my school. thank you very much.

    1. Of course! Please send questions…

  303. Hi Alex,
    I am and my cousin are big fans of yours. We watch chop, All Star Academy, Iron Chef and any other show you are part of. I am taking my cousin (we live in NJ) and she hates to go to NYC, but I told her I would treat her for her birthday a lunch at your new restaurant,. Butter, in midtown NYC. I was wondering if you would be there on Wed. March 25h for lunch. Thanks and we love you and your cooking, Roseanne Mistretta

    1. I am sorry I missed you. Thank you for watching!

  304. Hi Alex,

    I’ve never written a “celebrity” before, but I just watched you on tv again today and felt compelled, for some odd reason, to send this. I’m sure I could spend all day picking your brain in a feeble attempt to soak up all the knowledge you have regarding produce, ingredients and how to best combine them to create something wonderful, but the real reason I’m writing is just to tell you how much I adore you. Your personality shines through and you are the reason I watch Food Network. The other chefs are great, but you’re my absolute favorite! You have an authenticity that pulls people in, a mischievous smile and twinkle in your eye when you’re telling stories or describing a dish and you are always fully engaged with not only the viewer, but with whatever ingredient you’re working with at the time.
    Ultimately, this message isn’t about food or having a question to ask of you. It’s simply a love letter. I know all TV personalities get nasty feedback from Negative Nancys, and you put yourself in that line of fire every day. I just wanted you to come in to work today and receive a virtual hug, knowing that there are those of us who you may never meet but whose days you make better just by engaging us in our kitchens and living rooms, making us laugh and helping us formulate devilish plans to go ahead and make that stickey, ooey, gooey delicious treat and hide it all for ourselves. You always make me smile and I just wanted to do the same for you today. Thank you for brightening up my day, every day! Sending you lots of love, light and positive energy to go forth and be the very best version of yourself that you can be! The world is a better and happier place for having you in it.

    Sincerely,
    Ami Jones

    1. Ami: thank you for writing and sharing your perspective. Your note made my day!

  305. Hey Alex,
    I saw your AMA and missed it so I figured I would ask here. As an aspiring food photographer what would you say is a dish I definitely need to shoot?

    1. A dish in general? I always vote for pies or fried chicken. Mouth watering photography will ensue!

  306. Hiya, Alex! I love Chopped and I loved the premier of All Star Academy (only you could win while “burning” an ingredient)! I love your book and all the helpful tips you give to us, your fans. Quick question: Are you planning on any appearances in the South (namely Texas)? It would mean so much to meet my cooking inspiration.

    1. Thank you for writing and for watching. Alas, I don’t have the south currently on my agenda but will work to change that in the near future!

  307. Hi Alex,

    A couple years ago I came across a video from the 90s that was some sort of infomercial/special detailing the wonders of the internet. You were one of the main people involved. I have been unable to find any trace of that video. Can you elaborate?

    1. Not familiar with that. Apologies.

  308. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy watching you on Food Network. You are very professional; smart; polite when criticizing chefs. Brava, keep up the excellent work.

    1. Thank you for sharing your positive feedback. It means a lot!

  309. Dear alex,
    You are my fave judge on chopped.I have a question: How can you make a buttercream frosting with good consistency? I also tried your parker house rolls, and they were great!

    1. Check out my recipe on line for “Dobosch Torte” (it’s also in my cookbook) and try that recipe out to see of you like it. It’s chocolate buttercream and a pretty reliable recipe. Thanks for watching!

  310. Your the best chef ever

    1. Thank you so much for watching! Appreciate it.

  311. what is your favorite thing to make?

    1. Eggplant Parmigiana and Chocolate Chip cookies are two of my favorites.

  312. Hi, Alex! I love you on Chopped, you’re the bestest.

    I’ve actually been watching Chopped a lot, and I just have a question that I’ve tried to reasearch and figure out, and I can’t. A lot of chefs on the show get criticized for having dry meat because they sliced it without letting it rest. I get why you would need to let it rest, but what has me perplexed is why in the world do the NEED to slice it?? Is this just a chef thing? I keep thinking that if I know that if I cut my meat it’s going to bleed out, I’d much rather let it rest on the plate until the judges cut into it. Maybe it’s so the blood doesn’t go all over the place? Still, you could risk it and maybe it will be rested enough, once that happens!

    1. Good point. You do not need to slice it but it’s easier to eat. Thanks for watching!

  313. I am wondering: I am cooking a birthday dinner for my mom, and she loves charred roasted peppers. How can I get a good char on them? I am a huge fan of yours.

    1. Like my mom always did: put each one right on a gas burner over medium low heat and turn until charred on all sides.

  314. I was on a recipe website and your recipe for the “best oven cheese soufflé” was listed but not available, Please forward the recipe. Thanks.

    1. It should be on line. Unsure exactly where but has been published many times.

  315. Hello Ms. Guarnaschelli,

    My name is Hannah McCausland and I am 17 years old. I live in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and am in high school. I am such a fan of yours. I watch Chopped all the time and am always so excited when you are featured as a judge. I am a Food Network junkie. 🙂 I have taken some of your tips into my own life and cooking with my mom. You are so creative and fantastic and have truly showed me the art in food and taste. From you I have learned how special and cherished food should be and how it can truly shape a person and their mood and happiness.

    I will be coming to your restaurant, Butter, in NYC for brunch on Sunday Feb. 15 2015 and am so excited. Your menu looks absolutely fabulous. My parents are taking me and my brother is coming along too for a nice family weekend in New York. We are so excited and thrilled that we get the chance to dine at your restaurant! I just wanted to tell you how much your inspired me to see food as something precious in life. I have had some past mental problems with food but your cooking and attitude toward food has inspired me to see it in a totally new light. Food is a gift and I am so thankful that you have helped me to see it that way.

    Thank you so much and I just wanted to let you know how much of a role model you are for me.

    Hannah McCausland

    1. Hannah: I am seeing this now and hoping that you enjoyed your meal. I am glad we share the thought that food is precious. I hope it inspires you to cook and share food with others!
      Thanks for writing me.

  316. Hi Alex,
    Okay, so first of all, I want to say I’m a huge fan! I see so much of myself in you. I love the vibe you give off. You just come off as an extremely intelligent, classy, woman! Your style of cooking, has inspired me. I’m 23, and for the longest time I had no idea what I wanted to do. I just knew I had to love it! About 3 years ago I picked up a spatula. I haven’t had an easy life.. so my anxiety had kind of been out of control. I ended up taking meds, and had a seizure so I never ever took them again. Cooking is just an outlet for me. Relieves so much stress, and anxiety. My hair stopped falling out, and I really credit this all to the peace that cooking brought me. It’s like a canvas, the kitchen is. Just another place in our wonderful world to express yourself. I really hope one day to make a career out of this, and be on food channel with you. That’d be so sick! Lol. You’re the business woman! My favorite lady to watch on FN by far! You’re the BAR baby! I’m gonna keep the lookout for open casting calls for home chefs! I’ve never been out of my little New Mexico, but one day I will fulfill my dream of not only dining at butter, but also cooking there. I know I have the potential to be great. Can’t wait! Excited for your new show All-star academy! Keep up the great meals & entertainment! Love you!

    P.S. if you are ever in New Mexico, please come see us in Carlsbad. Home of one of the largest underground caves in the world! The Caverns! & a really cool Bat flight!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate the feedback!

  317. I made your recipe for braised chicken thighs with tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. Not having the cinnamon sticks required by the recipe available (and being too lazy to get into my car and get them!! 🙂 ), I substituted them for 1/2 tsp. of garam masala. I don’t know if you use garam masala much… but the substitution worked beautifully! This comment is not meant to encourage you to use garam masala (God forbid I should suggest anything to my number one and favourite Chef!!), but just to say that the recipe was a complete success. Not to mention tasty!!!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. Like you, I am always learning too. Will try it out next time.

  318. First off I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I’d
    like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center
    yourself and clear your mind before writing. I have had a tough
    time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Many thanks!

    1. I have days where I simply accept I have nothing to write and other days that are more fruitful. For me, I also find reading a good book or watching an old movie clears my head. Writing is tough. Stick with it.

  319. Hi Alex,
    Im a great fan, and bucket list includes eatting at BUTTER!! I do visit NYC several times a year,
    and hope to do that this year. I want to order your cookbook, and I would like to have it
    autographed. Can you suggest how I might accomplish that?
    I follow your posts on FB and appreciate that you are so “human”.
    Keep stirring the pot!
    Carmen

    1. Thanks for writing Carmen. Simply email your request for a signed cook at reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  320. Hi Alex!
    Just watched you cook on Chopped for your charity St. Jude. Love your cooking! In late April or May I am putting on a cabaret (I’m a pianist but doing Broadway with singers) and we are sending all money made to St. Jude and Mid-South Pride. Would love to have you involved since I know you feel so strongly for that organization. Would you like to be involved in any manner?

    Hope all is well.

    Best Wishes,

    Jason Bell

    1. Jason: Thanks for writing. I am really, quite honestly, over-commited for 2015. Perhaps we can revisit this next year? In the meantime, I wish you all the best of luck!

  321. Alex, when is coconut oil the oil to use? I’ve been making healthier choices due to high blood pressure and use olive oil or canola oil. I’ve been told coconut oil is good for you as well but I’m not sure when to use it. Can you help? Lynne

    PS I’m a HUGE fan!

    1. Thanks for writing. I use it for stir fry and sautéing things at a reasonable temperature. It burns and taste terrible otherwise. For any kind of deep frying, it’s too expensive.

  322. Hi Ms. Guarnaschelli,
    I am a Junior in high school and I want to attend Barnard more than anything. I took a few classes in their summer institute but was wondering if you would tell me about your experience as graduate.

    1. It is a great school if their strengths as an institution match your goals and choice of major. Best of luck!

  323. Hello Chef! Any plans in 2015 to come to Los Angeles?

    1. Not yet! But working on that. One of my absolute favorite cities. Check my website for appearances later in the year.

  324. Alex, is there substitute for Epoisses in the grilled cheese sandwich in new Food and Wine. I’m 45-50 miles from the nearest 8.8 oz box.
    Enjoy your talent and work,
    Louisa Martin

    1. I think anything soft. Brie with a little mustard? Camembert?

  325. Hi Alex,
    How are you? I wanted to know where I can go to get your book signed by you and I also wanted to know if you will be writing another cookbook in the near future?

    Thanks,
    Yitzi

    1. I am writing another book. Thanks! Please email your request to reservations@butterrestaurant.com and we will arrange to get you a signed copy of the book.

  326. Hello! I am in my early forties and looking to make a drastic career change. I love to cook and I think I’m pretty great at it. I have been thinking about attending culinary school, but I am worried that at my age it would be a massive mistake. But, on the other hand, I think not taking the risk would be a mistake, too! I’m so confused.
    You are one of my favorite chefs and I think highly of your critiques and accolades you dole out on Chopped (plus, your Facebook posts are pretty great, too!). What do you think I should do?

    1. Are you able to try working for a few hours (volunteering) in a local restaurant kitchen to test the waters and see how you feel about the work? That would be helpful and a low risk was of exploring potential change.

  327. Why is bread considered a no no in a diet or everyday eating? I think a low calorie and sodium with whole wheat is not a bad thing. Thank you.

    1. I agree with you. And everything in moderation.

  328. Hi Alex!

    I think you are an incredible representative of food, in it’s purity and what it can become. However, I also think you are an amazing human being! What are some of your other favorite hobbies? What else do you and your daughter enjoy doing outside of the kitchen?

    Thank you so much for inspiring the young and the old to become better and whatever they desire. You’re great!

    Adriana
    Phillips Ranch, CA

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I am grateful. I really spend most of my time on food and cooking. My daughter and I love to watch old movies. I love gardening and greenmarkets a lot.

  329. Hi Alex!
    I am a huge fan and I was wondering who was your mentor while growing up?

    1. My parents and my first chef Larry Forgione!

  330. Hello Alex.,

    I am a huge fan of chopped! and you happen to be a judge for chopped.
    I am 15 years old and I love food.
    What is your favorite type of food such as Italian, Mexican, American?
    Mine is Mexican of course cause I am white.

    1. I love Italian, Chinese and Indian food the most.

  331. Which chef was your inspiration?

    1. I have so many! Guy Savoy in Paris is a big inspiration for me.

  332. Hi….My father has to have a very low salt diet due to hypertension….now, I love watching cooking shows but I cringe at times with regard to the amount of salt used. I’ve seen chefs get crucified for under-seasoning. But is there some way to season without salt? As in, some kind of acceptable substitute, but without sacrificing taste for those who love good food but can’t eat much salt? Thank you for your time….enjoy the holidays!

    1. I think vinegar, lemon and spices can really make cooking without salt much easier.

  333. Hi Alex!

    I love getting to watch you on so many different shows. What knife set would you consider a good buy or one that you prefer to use?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. I always say this: go to the store and hold all the knives in your hand and it will become clear which one you should buy.

  334. Hey Alex-

    I have been into cooking for a longtime ,I am self taught. When I first moved out on my own I burned water, lol. I caught one of your episodes ( that only airs in Australia) and I instantly fell deeply in love with your style and class, The episode I caught, you whipped up some fresh butter for your breakfast table, very impressive. I too hope to be that classy one day, hopefully sooner than later. I obviously am very impressed by you and can only hope to be as smooth as you are in the kitchen. If you ever decide to take on a protégé , let that be me 🙂 Oh and I also caught Bobby Flays thanksgiving and your cauliflower really did look amazing ( I am a vegetarian, naturally, that looked amazing ) I wish I had a great question for u, since I don’t , at the risk of sounding crazy , lol ,will u teach me everything u know??? If not Alex, I will still be a huge fan . 🙂 Hugs and have a fabulous holiday season -Miss Andrea Vance

    1. Thanks so much for watching and enjoying the food. It’s the whole point!

  335. The Cauliflower recipe you made on Bobbys thanksgiving show looked amazing…..can you give me the recipe??

    1. It should be on Food Network website under “Thanksgiving at Bobby’s”, thanks for watching!

  336. Hi, Chef Alex. I’ve been a fan of yours for some time, but you really piqued my interest with mention of your recipe for pepperoni and mozzarella turkey dressing during the Thanksgiving at Bobby’s special. It’s so different from the standard cornbread and sausage dressing with enough sage to cure you of ever wanting to taste sage again! What an interesting alternative and I would love to serve it to my family on Thanksgiving or Christmas if you would be kind enough to share your recipe.

    Happy holidays!
    Cindy Railing

    1. It’s in my cookbook and should be online at Food Network.

  337. My mother passed away yesterday. I watched the Thanksgiving episode of Chopped that you won and I have to say it sort of comforted me. But when the ad came on that showed everyone dancing, I suddenly realized I was smiling. I wanted to thank you and all the Chefs for that.

    1. Thank you for sharing such a touching moment. My condolences.

  338. Hi Alex,

    I was watching a show on T.V. and you were cooking with your Mom. (What a sweetie) I would love to have the recipe for the garlic mustard potatoes that you made.

    Thank You.
    God Bless.

    1. Alas I never write a recipe for hat what and don’t remember what I put in there! I have assimilate recipe on line and on my book for baked potato salad. Try that! 🙂

  339. I have watched you cook on food network. You are very a fabulous cook. I would really love to try out the cauliflower steak soaked in coconut milk. Please may kindly ask for the recipe. It aired on November 22 2014; Thanksgiving at Bob flays show.

    1. It should be on the Food Network website under “Thanksgiving at Bobbys” Thanks for watching!

  340. Hi Alex,
    I am looking for some guidance on making a gluten free gnocchi. My daughter in law was diagnosed with celiac disease. She loves gnocchi. I have tried several types of gluten free flours, but they all fall a part in the boil. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for you time, MaryAnn

    1. Why flour at all? I like a few egg yolks mixed with baked, scooped out and fully cooled potatoes and some dry ricotta.

  341. LOVE you, love Chopped, love Iron Chef when you’re on as IC or sous chef! You’ve saved me once before, so I’m hoping you can help this time. I’m trying to make homemade stock, but whether I use turkey or chicken, there’s a “cardboard” aftertaste when the simmering’s done, not the rich bird flavor I’m hoping for. What might be causing this (Using fresh cooked poultry and bones and filtered water so no chlorine or flouride)? Something I need to add to the water, some step I’m missing in preparing the bird? Thank you so much!

    1. Add pinch of salt and cut cooking time down. Overcooking a stock can often lead to this problem. Simmer, skim, cook for a little with a pinch of salt and taste stick periodically. No need to cook for more than 45 mins to an hour once boiling.

  342. Hi Alex, I am working on a project about you and I was wondering at what age did
    you find you love for cooking? Thanks!

    1. 20! 🙂

  343. Alex the commercial you do with the pecans and squash, where can I find the recipe? I would like to make that for Thanksgiving. Thanks love you.

    1. Fishernuts.com/alex

  344. I saw your wonderful and simple recipe for cannoli and I will try it in a couple of weeks….I have a question about pumpkin cannoli I made a week ago using mascarpone cheese… very dry ricotta and whipped heavy cream…up to this point consistence of filling was good…then I added 3/4 cup of canned pure pumpkin and the result was a loose filling even after I refrigerated the filling over night…what could I have done to prevent the pumpkin from adding this liquid to my filling
    Looking forward to your expert help….you are awesome
    Thanks, Fran

    1. Dear Fran: I am not sure what the pumpkin was like. Maybe oven set the pumpkin and chill it then add it in. Or next time mix ricotta and pumpkin and skip the whipped cream?

  345. Alex,

    Vienna Weiner Sabotage….

    You would have kicked ass on Cutthroat Kitchen.

    Your biggest fan.
    Lauren.

    1. Lauren–thank you! That was a tough one. But fun!

  346. You and your Mom (loved seeing her cook with you) appeared on All-Star Family cook off. I have looked on the internet for the past several hours trying to locate your potato salad you and your Mom made on the show which aired on 11/1/2014 Episode ECSP01H and can’t find it. Please share with me your recipe for that potato salad. My mom always made the best potato salad and passed away in May 2014. Loved seeing you with your Mom on the show together. Your potato salad looked great and I would like to try it. (Treasure your Mom every chance you can). I understand that now more than ever.

    1. I am unsure what recipe was used, unfortunately. I have a great recipe in my book that should also be online at Food Network. I hope that will help. And yes, I agree, moms need to be treasured always.

  347. my dearest friend loves tofu but is so bored with her overly simple preparations! she doesn’t eat fish or other meat so seasoning is an issue. my question is – do you have a delicious receipt for tofu that is vegan, not too complicated for a 70+ year old woman to make! I love potatoes almost as much as you and love that you became an Iron Chef!!

    1. I love tofu stir-fried with oregano and sundried tomatoes. I also think it’s wonderful with charred red bell peppers (roast, peel skin, chop) and Balsamic. Hope that helps.

  348. my tech teacher is making us do an assinment on were we want to go on vacation and i picked vegas so do you have a resteraunt in vegas? ps i am in 7th grade and im one of your biggest fans =D

    1. Alas, I do not have a restaurant in Vegas. But there are many wonderful ones. Thank you for watching Food Network!

  349. Hello Alex,

    I stumbled upon this site after doing research on purchasing a high quality chef knife. As one of my favorite chefs, I googled what you use/recommend. Also as a long time food network watcher I appreciated watching your “journey” from your being a judge and cooking shows to becoming an Iron Chef. Your relationship and great mutual respect with Chef Zacharian was great to watch. My spouse works for the Disney Co. and we often make it to the Epcot Food & Wine and Flower and Garden (hops and horticulture I think is a better name ;)) Do you ever visit or appear there?

    Thanks!

    Dave

    1. I was just at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in Orlando and hope to return in 2015! I hope you found a knife you love to use in the kitchen.

  350. Have you ever consider filming outside and cooking on racks instead of grills? I don’t think I have ever seen you do that on your shows. Anyways, have you used oak to make charcoals? There are a lot of Apache people out here in the southwest that still cook like that. Perhaps someday you can visit out here in the southwest in Arizona and see what the people use as cooking utensils. This is just something that I want to see you do sometimes in the future. Thanks Iron chef for reading this…

    1. That is a great suggestion that I will take up with the powers that be.

  351. Hi Alex!
    I am interested in getting involved in your charity but I do not know how to go about it.

    Please let me know

    Best Toni

    1. Checkout alexslemonadestand.org and shareourstrength.org for info. Thanks for asking!

  352. Potato “tater tot” gratin recipe please ma’am, 🙂

    1. Alas, I do not have one. Make a standard gratin and top with a layer of tater tots and bake!

  353. Why did the garlic cloves in my olive salad turn blue?

    1. Old garlic!

  354. Hi Alex. Just saw your recipe for Parker House rolls in Food and Wine magazine. I am wondering if I could make loaves using the same recipe. I’m guessing it would take about three 9×5 loaf pans. Do you think that would work? Or is there something I am overlooking? Thanks, Cal

    1. I cannot say. I have never tried it. The recipe works really well for individual rolls.

  355. any certain foodplace your looking forward too when you get to Chicago?

    1. So many places! Publican quality meats. Antique Taco. The Weiner Circle.

  356. Dear Alex,

    First I have to say you are a girl after my own heart. I watched an episode of “Best Thing I Ever Ate” and it was old school favorites. I’m like you, a good steak, no froofy toppings, no million spice marinade, just butter, salt, pepper, and I use my grandma’s cast iron skillet which is black as the ace of spades and slick as a mambo band (to use a quote from one of your pals, Alton Brown). I like a well marbled, aged ribeye, but I’d never walk away mad from a great NY strip either!

    My question is this: I have an idea for a wonderful show for Food Network, and it’s a truly unique idea, and one I’m sure the everyday, working class folks that have a passion for cooking would both enjoy and be inspired by. It would as well bring a bit of humor into the cooking world, and awesome food and great laughs are just a little bit of heaven together, right?

    How do I get my idea to the powers that be at Food Network? I of course want to be careful about my idea, because truly, there is not another show like it, and I even have the most wonderful title that is catchy and fun.

    I’m a recently divorced mom of three wonderful children. I finally decided to do better for myself and my children than settle for unhappiness with a serial cheater and emotionally cut off father. Cooking is my passion, my creative outlet, and being a Southerner, how we show our love. With our lives being just a bit harder financially than it was before, I believe cooking and my creativity could as well be an answer to providing a happier future for my kids.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I felt you would most likely be the celebrity chef that would make herself accessible to us average Joes, because I sense you are still at heart, despite fame, a down to earth and caring person (with a great wit and a touch of sarcastic humor that I identify with. A bit of sweet n salty, best combo!) Sure enough, you are sweet enough to offer your opinions and advice. That makes me admire you that much more! I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time in reading this.

    With sincerest thanks,

    Angie

    1. Alas, I have no say in programming for food network. Apologies.

  357. Hello Alex,
    I will be in England (London & Cambridge) this fall/winter and I was wondering if there are any restaurants you would recommend?
    Thanks,
    Nicole

    1. What kind of food and price point?

  358. Trying to get more info on Dante from teenage challenge so I can send check to help with college. Thought he should have won competition

    1. I am unsure. Perhaps email Food Network?

  359. Hi, would you suggest any changes you would make to your cold cucumber soup if you did them in shooter glasses? I was thinking about instead of the sauce, is to make some kind of topping. Any suggestions, fyi I need to make this vegetarian.

    Thanks,

    Ken Durbin

    1. No changes. Perhaps a squeeze of lime once in the glasses for extra kick?

  360. Dear Alex,
    I was reading your duck recipe under Recipes: Meat: Roasted Whole Duck with Orange Marmalade and under the instructions, first paragraph, second sentence, I’m reading something that I doesn’t make sense. It reads, “That way, you simply roast the duck the day of an enjoy assembling dew parts of the dish.” I get the gist, but I wonder if there is an error in that sentence?

    By the way, love watching you on “Chopped: After Hours”. It’s amazing what you and the other chefs accomplish in such a short time!

    ~ Dana

    1. It is a typo. Thank you for alerting me.

  361. Alex
    I came across a recipe for BBQ sauce that reads as follows:
    3 cups of apple cider vinegar
    1/4 cup of red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup of ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 cup of Ketchup
    2 tablespoons of Brown Sugar.
    I was very careful to make note of cup and teaspoon vs tablespoons. My question is with that much black pepper and red pepper flakes will this sauce be barely edible? It appears the heat will be outrageous. And the amount of salt is barely detectable wouldn’t you think? Do you think this is edible or an assault on the palate?

    1. That seems extremely spicy and too much!

  362. Hi Alex!

    I am a newlywed and I think I am a pretty good cook (my husband has no complaints, we eat well) and our 1st anniversary is coming up. We aren’t picky eaters but I would like to make some type of steak for him. Can you give me any suggestions!? 🙂

    1. Check out a recipe for Steak Diane. My favorite preparation.

  363. i bought your book and i’m gonna make blackened salmon, the recipe calls for butter but on foodnetwork it doesn’t, i’m using butter but why the change?

    1. The butter can be delicious but it can also easily burn? With or without, recipe delicious. Spicy!

  364. Hello!
    I am 15 years old and am a huge fan of the food network. I actually taught myself how to cook by watching your cooking show and Chopped. I really want to be on Chopped and to one day open my own restaurant. I really admire you and have a question for you. First of all, is there any way I can meet you? It would be an amazing opportunity to meet such an amazing chef like you! Thank you and I would really appreciate it if you could answer my questions! Thanks again!

    1. Perhaps if you come to Butter in NYC sometime, let me know if/when you will be able to be there?

  365. Some time ago I looked online for directions how to clean and store mushrooms. I found an article and video on this topic done by you, but can’t find it now. It was very helpful and I’d like to send a link to it to my sister. Thanks! Sue

    1. Unfortunately, I am unsure of that video. Do you remember anything about where you originally viewed it?

  366. Hi Alex,

    I’m a huge fan! I’m sure you hear that a lot. I was in Vegas back in March for the Cater Source expo and you gave a speech there. Afterwards you did a book signing, unfortunately the books were all sold out and I didn’t get the privilege of meeting you or receiving an autograph. Any help in this matter?

    Joshua Lamb
    7714 Roebourne Ln.
    Houston, TX. 77070

    1. Will do. Sending an autograph. Thanks for writing.

  367. I watch chopped all the time. I hear them using not sure of the spelling Marsapone I would like to know if it is like a whip cream or what is it used for. I wanted to make puff pastry and fill it with the honey nuts they used on the show. I was going to top it with the Marspone. . Help or any ideas. Thanks for your time and love you on chopped.

    1. That’s a great use for mascarpone. Really good for ice cream base and for a Tiramisu as well.

  368. Hi!

    I have tried several times to email Alex at info@alexguarnaschelli.com and every attempt has failed. Is there another email address or a certain browser I need to use? I’ve tried IE, Windows 8 and Google Chrome. I would love to send a message to Alex, can you please help??

    Thank you!
    Janet

  369. Alex, I really enjoy watching you judge on Chopped, my favorite Food Network show.

    May I ask a personal question? On the show of last Tuesday, June 25th, you wore a gorgeous silver multi-strand necklace that I couldn’t take my eyes off. Where did you get it? I want one!!!

    All the best,
    Alicia :o)

    1. apologies–I was unable to find where wardrobe department purchased it. They have had it for some time.

  370. Hey Alex….love you, we are truly sisters in the spirit. Made some Italian Olive Salad and the garlic cloves turned blue. Enlighten me, please. Grazie, Sandina

    1. garlic was old. Buy whole heads to ensure freshness.

  371. Hello Alex,

    I’m going to graduate next year and have decided to major in culinary arts. I don’t know where I want to apply, but the big question is what should i look for in a culinary school. it would be a great honor to get help from my favorite chef. Thank you for your time!

    sincerely,
    Susan from NYC

    1. a place near where you live? A place you can manage financially? a place that specializes in the areas you wish to build a career in? 9ie baking? meat cookery? etc) and if the school has good teachers?

  372. I am curious where the gold “chain” ring you wear on your left hand is from. It’s beautiful
    Thank you

    1. It is from Tiffanys

  373. Hi!
    You are absolutely one of my favorite chefs. I love watching all of the shows you are on. I am aspiring to be a chef and I really wish I have a one on one type of training with you. If you are ever in Minnesota let me know. That would be awesome!
    -Sarah

    1. ok! 🙂

  374. Alex do you cook for wedding receptions? My fiancee and I were joking around that having you cook for us would be awesome. But then we got to wondering if you actually did.

    1. No – not my area of expertise…..Apologies

  375. Hi Chef Alex. I wanted to know where I can go to have you sign your cookbook for me and to take a picture with you because I am a big fan!

    Thanks,
    Joshua

    1. I will be at the new york city wine and food festival this fall…

  376. I saw you on the sunday morning show this Mother’s Day and loved the look of that cake (chocolate)
    (chocolate) of course. Is it possible to get the recipe for it????? would love to make it for
    my family. Doesn’t the frosting melt when you pour the carmel over it??
    Sharon

    1. the recipe is in my cookbook “Old School Comfort Food” – does not melt. Melts slightly the exterior but in a good way!

  377. Hi Alex, Huge fan!
    I’m wanting to go to culinary school but on the fence because of my 8 month old. I’m scared I’m going to miss out on “milestones”. How do you balance work and home life?

    Best Wishes
    Kortne

    1. not easy…

  378. My daughter’s 40th birthday is May 13th. I always make her a birthday meal. Porcupine meat balls, homemade rolls, potatoes and rice. I make a lot of cakes and it is hard for her to pick one. I saw your cake with the chocolate frosting drizzled with a caramel that hardens. Have you or will you share that recipe. I would love to make it for her birthday dinner. My husband was drooling when he saw the cake! Thank you.

    1. Sorry for delayed response – the cake is in my cookbook “Old School Comfort Food”

  379. Can I order your cake featured on CBS Sunday morning? I love yellow cake with chocolate icing and the caramel looks amazing. I don’t cook but would love to buy one of those cakes!!

    1. I serve it at Butter in Manhattan. Contact reservations@butterrestaurant.com for purchase.

  380. Your sfogliatelle demo on Food Network made a lasting impression on me. Thank you, Alex. Is there an “easy” straightforward recipe for making the candied orange and citron at home? ? ?

    1. Alas – not so easy – i don’t have an easy recipe. Head to Di Palo’s in Little Italy to purchase?….

  381. Alex,

    I love your style and I am a true fan of all your works. I consider myself a beer connoisseur and was wondering if you have a favorite beer that like. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers!

    Terry

    1. alas no – not a beer drinker…

  382. am an Art Institute of Atlanta graduate as of March 2014. Sorry I missed your online conversations. A former student and I have been awarded the opportunity of financial backing for a small cafe in the Atlanta metro area. Do you have any tips or pitfalls to avoid as a new restauaranteur?

    1. get a lot of experience before you open anything. Get a good accountant.

  383. Good evening Chef,

    I am watching America’s Best Cook and being from WV, I am looking at your recipes. First let me say yum, second I would love to purchase a signed copy of your book. Can you please give me a link or location at which I can purchase a book signed by you? Finally, I was wondering if you had a recommendation as to a good cheese company? I love good cheese, but finding it locally is not an option, ideas would be wonderful.

    Many thanks and best of luck in all your endeavors.

    Sincerely,

    Justin Miller

    1. For cheese: Murrayscheese.com
      For my book: email reservations@butterrestaurant.com

  384. Dear Alex.
    I’m 8 yrs old and I love to cook. You are my favorite chef and I hope to meet you someday. I have a question for you. What do you think I could make my mom for Mother’s Day. My specialties are homeade Mac and Cheese and also veggie egg rolls. I want to make my mom something with chocolate. Any ideas?
    Thank you,
    Leyna Mae

    1. How about some chocolate cookies or a flourless chocolate cake? I love chocolate too!

  385. Hi Alex,

    I am a big fan. Your homemade ricotta recipe is a staple in our house and I can’t tell you how many compliments I get for it.
    I am wondering if you have a similar type recipe for homemade feta? Maybe one that doesn’t require extra acids and other uncommon ingredients.

    Thanks,
    Tara

    1. I am glad you love the ricotta. No recipe for feta. Apologies.

  386. Hi Alex,

    I’m looking for a good quality white truffle oil or butter and I’ve been searching the web. Everyone says that they all contain truffle flavoring, whatever that is, so I was wondering if you have a specific brand I could buy online or at somewhere like whole foods? Do you use truffle in your restaurant? Thank you off reading this ,

    Peter

    1. I like Urbani brand.

  387. On the broadcast of America’s best cook you just said OU would challenge anyone from any profession to watch while someone did their job and not want to jump in. And you are so so right. I am a professional stage manager with 30 high school stage managers in my charge and if I could only jump in once, it would kill me. I enjoy watching you, I have learned more than simply cooking watching you. Thank you. Elynmarie Kazle stage and production management mentor from Akron, Ohio

    1. thank you for sharing this feedback with me. MAde my day.

  388. I had your fried chicken recipe and I can’t find it. It’s the one with sour cream marinade. Where can I find it? Or can you share it with me. BTW, I watch anything and everything you do on Food Network!!

    1. Where did you originally see the recipe?

  389. I am a big fan of yours. I have to do a research paper and there is question about you that I can not find online. can you help? Thanks so much!

    1. what is the question?

  390. Hi Alex, Are you going to be one of the mentors on Food Network’s new series “Best Cooks In America”?

    1. yes

  391. I Love You On Chopped
    & Amanda
    What’s The Best Chocolate Recipe?

    1. too many to name – my favorites are in my cookbook…

  392. Hi Alex: I have watched you numerous times on food network. You have always impressed me with your detailed culinary knowledge and cooking skills. I wanted to if you would be willing to give a talk to food science students and food entrepreneurs at University of Georgia, Food Science Department, Athens, GA on April 8-9, 2014.

    Every year we conduct an educational workshop for training and education for new food entrepreneurs and it has been my dream of bringing a food network star to present their perspective to these our om-pop type of folks who struggle on a daily basis to bring a single meal to their family. These are the folks who are trying to use their culinary skills or grand ma recipe to create a new food product but don’t know to approach and where to go. Can you please help!

    I can be reached at any time on my cell at 706-424-6392 or at anandm@uga.edu

    This is your opportunity to get involved with educational institutions for a better cause and i am positive you will give us your time and considerations.

    Thank you!

    anand

    1. sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for writing.

  393. Forgot to ask, I don’t see the spring menu for Butter, but can you accommodate a fish and nut allergy?

    1. always

  394. My partner is a big fan. Planning a trip to NYC Butter for her birthday on May 3. Any chance Alex will be there? Any chance of getting an autographed book?

    1. apologies for delay – have autographed copies at the restaurant.

  395. I really want to try your Yellow Tomato Sauce recipe, but when I go online to find it, the typeface is either 8 or 10 ppoint. Too small when I print it out, I cannot read it. Your formatting will not permit me to enlarge the print
    The recipe isn’t available on your web page. Please help me make this sauce. I have already bought the tomatoes.

    1. Sorry for the delayed response. The recipe is in my cookbook – perhaps a photocopy of page from the local library?

  396. Hi Ms. Guarnaschelli:

    I avid fan of yours, and I was pumped that you won Iron Chef America!!!
    I am an 11 year old boy who loves to play tennis, and cook! I hope one day I can
    be a professional in both fields. My birthday is coming up, and I asked my parents for
    as small knife kit. I hope you can answer a quick question for me by recommending
    to me some good knife brands. So far I have looked at Henckels, and some Japanese
    brands. What are your favorite brands?

    Thanks you so much,

    Sincerely,

    Zac

    1. Sorry for delayed response. i like whatever brand you like the feel of when you hold the knife in your hand? It has to fit and feel right. Brand names are secondary to ergonomics….

  397. Alex,

    I live in Charleston, SC and was wondering if you have a favorite restaurant in this city. I love all of the great places to dine in Charleston and I would highly recommend several restaurants. They are: Fuel, Hominy Grill, Husk, and Fig, which are all awesome places to eat. If you’re ever down this way, also try the Tattooed Moose. They have the 2 best sandwiches I have ever tasted. A pork belly sandwich with Kimchi and a Duck club sandwich. Both are dynamite!!! Your’re my favorite chef on the Food Network and you are devastatingly beautiful! Keep doing what you’re doing and rock on!

    1. Love all the places you listed!

  398. Hi Alex,
    You are like my favorite chef. I am doing a report on cooking Italian food and I wanted to know if you could give me some pasta tips. I hope that when I turn eleven that I can be able to go to the restaurant that you cook at. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Love,
    Bella Martinez

    1. what kind of tips for pasta?

  399. Hi Alex! I wanted to know what kind of cutting board you would recommend to someone that cooks frequently and a cutting board that is soft on a wustoff chef’s knife.

    1. go to the store and feel out the boards and pick one that’s good for you

  400. Hi Alex. When I saw the original full episode of Alex’s day off episode GE0211 where you made sfogliatelle, you showed us you out shopping buying the ingredients. You went to this one place where they sold the candied orange and lemmon. Can you please tell me where in nyc that place was and what was the name? I cant find it any where. Thanks

    1. Di Palo’s on Grand street in Little Italy

  401. Hi Alex:

    I do watch you on Chopped and that it’s a fun and fascinating show, and learned a lot about cooking on the fly. While growing up, I didn’t have any cookbooks until I was an adult. I watched my grandmother cook and picked it up by watching her. I cooked my grandmother’s meals without a recipe as she ddidn’t write them down. I now own over 50 books and still working my way on getting the Joy of Cooking. I ready own King Arthur’s baking, but wondering if there is another book that you can to recommend for baking. Thank you for your help.

    1. The cake bible
      The Joy of baking
      Baking out Loud
      are a few of my favorites

  402. Thank you! You care some much from your heart and it shows! My spouse is a diabetic. with a Brain tumor, that caused 6 strokes.I still care for him at home. I love watching your cooking shows they give me great ideas, for each meal, to make for him! He still loves trying my new dishes prepared in a special way for his condition I said this so that to let you know that I still feed him well. small portions through out the day and balance is the key! Starch, Vegetable, protein. in every meal and lots of water! Hope I was helpful. you Thank you for helping me, to used a gift again, you helped me to become excited again and remember how much I love to cook. May God Bless You on your journey Thank you Sincerey Thayon McCoud.

    1. thanks for sharing this encouraging news. Happy Cooking!

  403. do you have any idea where I can find a recipe for ricotta cheese pie? all od the I
    Italian bakeries have closed :99 in my neighborhood and I have to travel to the North /end of Boston and there is no parking that is close to Michaels Bakery. I’m old and have great difficulty walking. if you have a recipe in 1 of your book, I would gladly purchase it just for this recipe.

    Thank you so very much for any help you may have for me
    Eileen Guthrie
    P.S.
    I think your the best of the best. I really wanted you to be Iron Chef the first time. I’m so happy that you are the IRON CHEF!!!

    1. Thanks for writing. I don’t know where to get a good recipe for ricotta pie, unfortunately.

  404. Hi my name is Charles Lewis I am from
    Baltimore Md I like to cook all the time I went to know when you a
    re coming to my town I would love to come and see your show

    1. have no plans presently. Apologies

  405. Hello Chef Alex!
    First of all, you are my favorite chef, ever. My sister and I adore you and your food. I’m finally going to Butter this Sunday for my 19th birthday! I have been wanting to go to Butter since I was 12 years old! I just wanted to let you know how unbelievably excited I am to be able to eat your food and be int he same building as you! AH!

    Victoria Moore

    1. hanks for writing – hope you enjoyed

  406. Alex, I know you are a busy lady and I really appreciate this opportunity to ask you my question.
    In art there is a color wheel showing primary colors secondary colors and complimentary colors.
    As I have watched food network I have learned there is something similar in food.
    Acids cut fat, and savory, sweet, sour, salty, bitter, crunchy, creamy, hot, cold…and on and on.
    So to my question…Is there a guide of sorts for the average cook to learn how different favors and textures combine for balanced out of this world favors?

    1. Good question – not that i know of. This is a great question

  407. Hi my name is Mike I’m 19 yrs old, I would like to say I admire your work. I just got out of high school and finished 4 years of culinary classes now certified, I’m just starting out looking at the different careers that are out there and becoming a pastry chef has more of my interest at heart. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind giving me some tips on places that would give me the first stepping stone in the new world, thank you so much for your time and have a wonderful day

    One of your biggest fans, Mike Thompson

    1. where are you working now?

  408. I just wanted to tell you that I love all of your shows. I so love all the stories you tell about growing up and the excitement you have about your recipes! Janie

    1. thanks

  409. What would you say is the most difficult part of your career?

    1. no balance

  410. Alex, you are my favorite chef and I love watching you. My friends call me Sparkey because I was struck by lightning. I am a diabetic who is having a hard time controlling my sugar levels. I have started following a book called “Sugar Busters” that my doctor recommended. I have been looking for a good simple cookbook to help me along. Any suggestions?

    Sparkey

    Hi Sparkey,
    Alas I am not a medical professional so i hesitate to make health-related recommendations for reading and cooking? I would recommend keeping cooking simple and really knowing your ingredients? I love Alice waters’ books and the Vegetarian Epicure for recipes like this. Hope it helps.

    –Alex

  411. Is it okay to make the Baked Potato Salad in your book the night before and keep in the refrigerator? Or must it be served warm at the last minute?

    Tiffany

    Hi Tiffany,
    You can do either but i prefer it ever-so-slightly when served warm. Your call!

    –Alex

  412. I am doing my biography report for school on you because I love you on Chopped, Iron Chef and the things you do in life to help the less unfortunate. You are always so compassionate and are an incredible inspiration to me. I recently started school at Le Cordon Blue Las Vegas and am in my second block. My written report is due Tuesday the 6 August and m oral presentation is either next week or the week after, I don’t have the date access in front of me. I know you are incredibly busy with your restaurants and things you do but I was wondering and hoping you may be able to come to my school on the oral presentation and say hi and talk to my class. It would be amazing to not only meet you in person but also to have you make a guest appearance for m report. If it is possible I can get back to you with the date.

    Hi Mandi,
    I’m so sorry that I am unable to have made this trip for your presentation and I suspect that it went very well! Thank you for watching! I appreciate it.

    –Alex

  413. What is the minimum power you would recommend for home use in a stand mixer and food processor? Feel free to recommend specific models; I would use it for all sorts of cooking and baking.

    Hi Jim,
    I am a Vitamix and Kitchen Aid fan for home cooking although there are certainly more affordable brands…. These brands endure and do a great job for me? I would buy the mixer or blender that has the capacity you need for the quantities of cooking you do. For example, mixers come in quart capacities…

    –Alex

  414. Hello Alex,
    I love watching you on the Food Network and this week on Zite on my ipad I read with interest an article where you were describing a new subscription app that will be available on smart phones that captures and shares some of the private content you have been amassing. I think it was called “Upfront” but unfortunately didn’t put the article in pocket or otherwise save it. I was looking for some sort of announcement on this on your web site here, but am not seeing it. Is this true or was it a vapor? Would love to hear more about it and when and how it is rolling out!

    Hi Marie,
    Thanks for asking – it’s called Upfront. Check it out at Beupfront.com

    –Alex

  415. I am a 50 yearold who will be culinary arts school very soon and would like your advisce on books, knife sets to begin with as well as practical wisdom for a new comer, and how to excel in this field. I was accepted in a aprogram for those under poverty guidelines and am on a very limited budget. Thank you. Don Biddy

    Hi Don,
    you don’t have to buy expensive knives. GO to a store with a large selection and select the ones that feel good in your hand and meet your budget needs. As for books, why not a library? Start with the basics like The Joy of Cooking (1997), Fannie Farmer and How to Cook Everything and work from there….As for wisdom, I would just say to be patient with cooking and with yourself. best of luck!

    –Alex

  416. Hey Alex, I’m a big fan and I love your book! I would like to make the cherry, pasilla chile, and vanilla custard tart! I live in germany and I cannot find any pasilla chiles here. Any suggestions which chile I can substitute?
    Also a lot my friends and my family love the things I cook from your book! Maybe you should do a german version of it 🙂
    Thank you so much for everything!

    Hi Florian,
    Any mild to medium hot dried chili that you soak and remove the ribs and seeds from should do nicely!

    –Alex

  417. Hi Alex:

    My 8 year old daughter is a huge fan and funny enough her name is also Alexandra. She I was wondering where she could send you a fan letter and if you have considered a show on how to teach children about cooking basics since she is an upscale food critic already at 8! Also please let me know if you are coming to Toronto this year or if you are doing any kids events that we might be able to travel to.

    All the best,
    Cynthia Scott
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada

    Hi Cynthia and Alexandra,
    Alas, I am opening a restaurant so events are limited for me although I will be at The NYC Wine and Food Festival this coming month if that helps…Send letter to
    Butter Restaurant
    415 Lafayette street
    New YOrk, NY 10003-

    –Alex

  418. Hi Alex

    I am a fresh cut flower importer in Miami and have a customer (and great friend) that is the floral director for a very large grocery chain in the NY/NJ area. Both being Chopped addicts we have great fun describing the flowers and bouquets in “chopped” language.

    Its hard for me to pick a favorite but hands down; he adores you!

    I was wondering how I could get a signed copy of your cook book to give to him a present ?
    He is living on his own for the first time (at age 62); grew up all thing Italian and I know this would be a prized possesion.

    Aside from the purchase price of your cook book; for your signature I would gladly make a small donation in your name to St Jude’s Children hospital.

    Looking forward to hearing from you soon and alwasy look forward to seeing you on Chopped and Iron Chef (girls rock ! in a mans world!)

    Ora di mangiare!

    was wondering how I could get a signed copy of your cook book?
    I have a friend who is very happily living on his own for the first time (he’s 62y/o !)

    Hi Janice,
    Thank you for your kind email! You can buy autographed copies of my cookbook from the “store” at foodnetwork.com.

    –Alex

  419. Will you ever come to Salt Lake City?

    1. no plans currently – apologies

  420. Dear Alex:
    I was first at my local library to request your new book and I got it when it came in. I am “sold” on it, and soon will buy a personal copy. I like how you have created recipes in your book. Today when I read more recipes, I found some pasta dishes that my family will enjoy. Thanks for your new creations. We enjoy you on Chopped and will enjoy the food. And, sometime we will take a trip from Long Island to try Butter. It is on my short list of places to visit, along with Red Rooster, etc. Maybe when my sister from Washington state visits!
    Keep on creating and writing like you have!
    John

    Hi John,
    THank you for writing me about my book. I have collected the recipes from Cooking experiences spanning over many years. I am so happy you enjoy the book. I hope to greet you at my restaurant one day.

    –Alex

  421. Hi Alex
    I wanted to ask you as a starting chef i am looking to ways to get in and volunteer in a kitchen but has not had any luck do you got any tips please

    Hi AJ,
    I am unsure about where you live an options. Have you look at local classified or written to some places you enjoy eating at? May be a good way to begin?

    –Alex

  422. Dear Alex,
    I have to thank you for your passion about food and feeding the hungry here in the United States. I consider you one of the leaders on the Food Network. My question is simple and as passionate. There are many many “Seniors” that watch the Food Network, live alone and are on a survival budget. Most are alone and therefore can’t cook half the dishes that are presented because its either too expensive or way too much food.

    Perhaps you can help by teach nutritious dish, that may also freeze well for leftovers another day. My passion is cooking – but I am horrified at what some seniors are eating – because its cheap and one portion.

    Thanks for listening.

    1. excellent request. Will do

  423. I absolutely love your show Alex Day Off, as well as watching you on Chopped. My husband thinks you are fabulous, enjoys every show you are on, and believes you are the best chef on TV today. He is turning 70 on July 13th and I am having a surprise party for him. I want to give him your book, but have been unable to find it. Any possibility of getting an autographed copy? It would be the best gift I could get him. He loves to cook, voluteers for the Peoria Police Department, and is the most wonderful husband I am very lucky to have.
    Thank you,
    Susan D Rotundo

    Hi Susan,
    Absolutely! You can get my book, autographed, at the food network “store” at foodnetwork.com

    –Alex

  424. Hi Alex, I’m a great admirer of yours, when you became an Iron Chef my “YES” made my upstairs neighbor call down to ask if I was ok! I’m Jamaican/American, grew up in Jamaica and now spend most my time there.
    My TV is constantly on the Food Chanel , Chopped and of course agree with all your assessments 🙂
    Have you ever thought of doing a chopped episode using unique Jamaican ingredients, Ackee, Bammy (cassava cake) Calalloo Yellow Yam, Pepper shrimps, Otaheite apple, star apple to name just a few. If you ever need a Jamaican guide for any of this I’m ready.
    Regards,
    Patrick, http://www.patrickwaldemar.com

    Ps I would be honored if you and your family spent an interesting vacation weekend at my villa (no cost) see http://www.amedisja.com

    1. love the suggestion for chopped – will pass it on!

  425. Hi Alex,

    What’s the easiest dish to cook with after having a busy day?

    Hi Mari,
    For me, I like a dish i can cook ahead and just reheat? I love braised chicken thighs with tomato. I also love some baked eggs in the oven? I also love loading a tray with sliced vegetables and oven roasting at 350F until tender. Hope this helps…

    –Alex

  426. Before I ask my question, I will say that when I saw your cookbook at our library and had a chance to look through it, I totally fell in love with it. I did not see it in time for Mothers Day, but it definitely is going on my list for my birthday or Christmas.
    While looking through the cookbook, I found the recipe for purple mustard on page 284. I had made mustard before for gifts and I thought that I would like to make this one for gifts.
    In reading the recipe, you had mentioned garlic and fresh horseradish in the header. In looking further at the recipe, I noticed that neither one of those was listed in the ingredients and the recipe itself. I could use the recipe as is, but it probably would not be as hot or tasty without those two ingredients.
    If you could let me know how much I need and how to use it in the recipe it would be appreciated.
    I realize that you are a very busy person and you do have a private life.
    I appreciate your time and consideration.
    Thank you!
    Severina

    Hi Severina,
    The ingredients in the header are there in error. Proceed with the recipe as written. Thanks!

    –Alex

  427. What advice do you have for budding Chef’s? I am in a Culinary Program and I love everything about it! I am tipping the scale in age and will be 39 this year. Can someone my age make a career out of this?

    Hi Lloyd,
    I say why not? If you have the passion and drive to cook, how can you not have a go at this profession? Go for it!

    –Alex

  428. Dear Alex,

    I just want to say I am a huge fan. I love watching you on Iron Chef America because I think you are a really great chef and you are really entertaining to watch. I was wondering if you could give me advice on how to cook better meatballs that are still healthy. I use ground turkey because it has less fat than beef and I boil my meatballs in water but they are always so dry. They lose all the flavor from the onions and cheese also by the time they are cooked all the onions have fallen out of the meatball but I boil them because it’s healthier. Is there a way of having a crispy, moist and tender meatball with a lot of flavor that is also healthy?

    Hopefully there is a compromising solution where I can be healthy and have good meatballs.

    Sincerely,

    Misha

    Hi Misha,

    1. steam your meatballs. Add an egg to hold together. Crispy hard without adding a lot of fat and calories but tasty is possible!

  429. Hi Alex,
    Please help! I was flipping through a magazine while at a salon and one of your favorite wines were listed. The wine sounds delicious and I could not stop thinking about it. I went back to the salon and could not locate the article. The article was possibly in Real Simple. It is hard to tell because pages were torn out of the magazine. The article also listed a website to place orders. My husband and I are big fans and I would love to surprise him with the wine. Can you help?

    Mia

    Hi Mia,
    Mia I am afraid I don’t recall the wine. I love Gruner Veltliner. My favorite grape. And nice and dry. And affordable. Buy him a bottle of that type, perhaps?

    –Alex

  430. Alex, Love your sense of humor along with great recipes in your book! My question is about that lovely gold braided ring you wear…where did you get it ,just lovely!

    –Jane

    Hi Jane,
    Tiffany’s

    –Alex

  431. In your book, you have a recipe for Purple Mustard. In the notes before the recipe, you mention both horseradish and garlic, but they aren’t in the recipe. It like it would taste great, but my friend and I are confused. Please help!

    –Esther

    Hi Esther,
    Follow the recipe. Ignore the notes.

    –Alex

  432. Hi Alex…
    I seem to be one of those cooks who buys a spice for a recipe and then the spice
    sits in the cupboard for awhile. What is the self life of your basic spices, vinegars
    (sherry,rice wine etc) and baking powder/soda?

    Thanks,

    Lorie

    Hi Lorie,
    I never can say these things for sure but I replace those things every few months if I don’t end up finishing them. Shelf life varies. I keep baking soda in the fridge.

    –Alex

  433. Hi Alex,
    I love chicken. Do you have any good ideas for making a good BBQ chicken like with drumsticks or thighs?

    –Tina

    Hi Tina,
    Check out the BBQ sauce in my book Old School Comfort Food. Perfect for that.

    –Alex

  434. Hi Alex!

    You are my absolute favorite chef, and I’m looking to go to the Darby or Butter next weekend for my birthday. Any chance you’re cooking on Saturday at one of them? It would make my day!

    Thanks,

    Janine

    Hi Janine,
    I never like to say because I’m never sure which place will require attention. I hate to disappoint. Apologies.

    –Alex

  435. Dear Alex,

    I absolutely love you!! I watch food network all the time and I find myself chanting “Alex, Alex, Alex!” Every time I see you. Never stop being so passionate…..and hilarious!

    Now that my gushing is out of the way, my question for you is about hollondaise sauce. I have tried making it on the stove and ended up with scrabbled eggs. I tried using the blender and adding the butter as I pulse but it failed to thicken.

    Eggs Benedict is my favorite comfort food. Aside from buying sauce mix, any tips?
    –Latoya

    Hi Latoya,
    Check the recipe in the 1997 Joy of Cooking and follow to the letter. Lower your heat too and cook gradually.

    –Alex

  436. In your purple mustard recipe it mentions garlic & horseradish up at the top of the recipe but it isn’t listed in the ingredients. Did I miss something?

    Love your Mom’s BBQ sauce recipe!!! Thought I might add a little cipolte chile and taquila & lime zest to it next time.

    Love your cookbook.

    Georgine

    Hi Georgine,
    Nope. Ignore the notes and follow the recipe.

    –Alex

  437. Hi Alex,

    I’m Mari from Palo Alto, CA. I read your cookbook and it’s wonderful how your recipes represent your childhood. I have a question: What’s the best way to temper dark chocolate on the stove without getting it burned or clumpy? I think you said a fact that chocolate and water are “not friends.” Is that true?
    –Mari

    Hi Mari,
    They are not friends. Melt over very low heat. Don’t stir, unless necessary, and if you do, stir with a dry spatula or spoon.

    –Alex

  438. Hi Alex,
    I have really enjoyed watching through the years. would really like for you to consider the trip to Beckley West Virginia put on a show for one of our events. Please contact me for dates or I can mail you a copy of our events schedule or call me.
    – Tim

    Tim,
    Thanks. Will try.

    –Alex

  439. Do you have a good recipe for brining a turkey or chicken.

    Jerry

    Hi Jerry,
    I do have an excellent brine recipe in my book Old School comfort food. Try it out!

    —Alex

  440. Hi Alex,
    I hope you get this…my children went to see you during your appearance at Dave’s Market in Rhode Island last month and had you sign a book to me which read Happy Mother’s Day. I just want you to know that although I truly wish I had been there with them, I was so touched by their thoughtfulness and they have shared the photos with me as well. I will cherish this forever. So, I don’t really have a question, just a big thanks!

    Sandi

    Hi Sandi,
    Thanks for sharing your experience! I appreciate it!

    —Alex

  441. Dear Alex,
    My fiance and I are huge fans of yours! We were wondering if you might be able to help us pick out a signature cocktail for our summer, Memphis wedding. June can be quite hot in Memphis, so we need a light and refreshing beverage to offer cool relief to our guests. We like Mojitos, French-75, and champagne cocktails. Also, we would love to incorporate our Memphis, Peabody Hotel theme into our drink selection.
    Thanks for your help!
    Lindsey

    Hi Lindsey,
    Your wedding sounds incredible. I will only offer my humble opinion and hope that it can be of use for you both as you make your final choice. I love drinks with crushed ice and dramatic presentation (like a Mint Julep in a silver cup) or something refreshing and bubbly that goes with the idea of celebrating your marriage! (A French 75 with a beautiful sugar and salt rum or some other dramatic garnish that goes with your wedding theme. Maybe muddled fruit with a little Him and champagne?)

    —Alex

  442. I voted for you everyday..just love the things you cook..anything new to cook? Thank You, Jeanne

    Hi Jeanne,
    Thanks for your unwavering support! New things to cook? Always. Right now I recommend delving into all of those spring vegetables. I live asparagus: roasted, grilled, steamed, blanched or served raw. I also am obsessed with making a new version of blueberry pie. Stay tuned…

    —Alex

  443. Hi Alex
    We are now getting episodes of “Alex’s Day Of’f” in Australia, but it is hard to find out the series episodes list and details that is correct. I have found several, but they all seem to contradict each other on the sequence and episode number. My wife loves the show and I don’t want her to miss out on one.
    Is there an accurate series episode list available on line?
    Cheers,
    JC

    Hi JC,
    Not that I know of but I will check into it. I appreciate that you are watching!!! In the meantime, check foodnetwork.com?

    —Alex

  444. Got your new cookbook and I love it so far. The writing is great. Last night I was reading the recipe for smoky shallots and was a bit confused. The first step is to pre-heat the oven. But then later you say to put the wok or dutch oven “on” the heat. Is this dish made in the oven or on the stove top. Thanks in advance.
    Randy

    Hi Randy,
    That is confusing. The oven is preheated in case the shallots don’t become tender. It’s more of a precaution. The shallots are cooked stovetop.

    —Alex

  445. Hey Alex!! Whats your go-to meal for comfort?

    Hi Jackie,
    Where to begin? I would say my favorite comfort meal is a roasted (whole) chicken with roasted corn on the cob with Aleppo pepper and some yellow cake with chocolate frosting?
    See pages 130, 203 and 219 of my book 🙂

    —Alex

  446. My wife is a huge fan of Alex Guarnaschelli and I would like to get her new cookbook, “Old School Comfort Food” personalized to her?
    Is that feasible and if so, how?
    I would like to give it to my Wife Patricia as a gift for Mother’s Day!

    Thank you for your time and I wish Alex continued success.

    Warm Regards,
    Larry Fire
    1603 West 21st Street
    San Pedro, CA 90732

    Hi Larry. Sorry for the delayed response. You can purchase a book with an autographed bookplate at foodnetwork.com. Otherwise, mail your book with an envelope with your address to:
    Butter Restaurant
    415 Lafayette Street
    New York, NY 10003

    —Alex

  447. Chef do you have any ideas or uses for flavored Balsamic Vinegars?, Thanks, RAC

    I like the idea of crushed raspberries (or any berry) with some flavored vinegar and a pinch of sugar or honey to flavor a fruit salad. I like it to make an interesting syrup to glaze cakes, muffins or tarts? It depends a lot on the flavor of the vinegar. Taste it and see what you naturally want to put with it…

    —Alex

  448. What was your favorite herb to cook with and why?

    I live them all but I have to say: thyme. I love infusing sauces or vinaigrettes with it. I like pan frying it and stemming the fried leaves into a potato salad. It is an herb that adds something great to anything from lobster to eggs to strawberries….

    —Alex

  449. Yo Alex… they tell me to eat kale and live longer. Any good easy way to prepare it?

    I love kale because it really is a versatile green and there are many great ways to prepare it. Some of my favorites? Of all the different types of kale, I love Tuscan kale the most. Tearing kale into little pieces and tossing it with some olive oil, lemon juice and slices of fresh pear makes a great salad or side dish. I also love pan-frying whole leaves in some hot vegetable oil until crispy on both sides. Sprinkle the crispy leaves with some curry powder and salt. Addictive.

    —Alex

  450. Alex mon amour, where can I get the flakiest croissant south of 14th street in NYC?

    A great croissant is not any easy thing to come by these days. I am partial to the ones sold at Petrossian (182 west 58th street) but south of 14th I have to go with FPB (116 west Houston street). Flaky and buttery. To me, the favor of butter coming through those crispy layers of pastry is what makes a great croissant.

    —Alex

  451. Alex: Am cooking for a new beau next weekend. What’s a sure fire way to melt his heart and impress?

    The hardest thing to remember when cooking to impress is that keeping things simple and within your comfort zone is always the best way to go. I still make the mistake of overthinking (or overdoing the cooking) and wind up in over my head. Pick a recipe that you are really comfortable with, one that has a history or resonates with you personally. Food can be as much about the story it tells (and the story you can tell about it) as the taste. For me, that meal would probably be a simple soup (leek and potato or lentil, for example) loaded with layers of flavors and a roasted chicken with vegetables in the bottom of the roasting pan to catch the drippings. Dessert: anything chocolate.

    —Alex

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