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Alex Guarnaschelli
Born Alexandra Maria Guarnaschelli
(1969-06-20) June 20, 1969 (age 54)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Education Barnard College (BA)
Spouse Brandon Clark (2007–2015)

Alexandra Maria Guarnaschelli (born June 20, 1969) is an American chef, cookbook author, and television personality. She currently serves as an executive chef at New York City's Butter restaurant and was executive chef at The Darby restaurant before its closing. Guarnaschelli had studied cooking extensively in France.

She appears as a television personality on the Food Network shows The Kitchen, Chopped (as a judge), Iron Chef America, All Star Family Cook-off, Guy's Grocery Games (as both a judge and a competitor), and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. She hosts Alex's Day Off, The Cooking Loft, and Supermarket Stakeout. In 2012, she won that season of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. In January 2022, she premiered her newest show, Alex vs. America, also on Food Network.

In 2013, Guarnaschelli's first cookbook was published. Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook mixes autobiographical details with favorite recipes from her professional life that she adapted for the home.

Early life

Guarnaschelli is the daughter (and only child) of cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli and John Guarnaschelli. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but the family moved to New York City when she was just a few days old.

Guarnaschelli's culinary experience started while watching her mother test numerous recipes at home while editing cookbooks.

She graduated from Barnard College in 1991 with a degree in art history.


In 1991, she worked for minimum wage in a restaurant, An American Place, for one year.

Guarnaschelli worked under Larry Forgione (whose son is Iron Chef Marc Forgione), and then at a number of restaurants in France, New York and Los Angeles, including Guy Savoy's La Butte Chaillot. She also worked at Daniel Boulud's eponymous restaurant and Joachim Splichal's Patina before becoming the executive chef at Butter. She was executive chef at The Darby restaurant before its closing. She chairs the Museum of Food and Drink's Culinary Council.

Television appearances

Guarnaschelli was a competitor on The Food Network's Iron Chef America, taking on Cat Cora in the 2007 "Farmers' Market Battle." Cora won the challenge. Guarnaschelli has since appeared as a judge on the program. In 2011, she competed in the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef, where she placed as the third runner-up. She also competed on the Food Network Challenge Ultimate Thanksgiving Feast episode and lost the competition. After competing in the fourth season of The Next Iron Chef, Guarnaschelli became a sous chef to Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian.

In 2008, she became the host of The Food Network's The Cooking Loft with Alex Guarnaschelli, in which the chef teaches a small group of students how to construct new variations of classic dishes.

Guarnaschelli has been a judge on Food Network's competition show Food Network Challenge, and frequently appears as a judge on Food Network's cooking competition show Chopped, Cooks Vs. Cons, Young and Hungry, and Guy's Grocery Games, as had appeared on the Food series The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Guarnaschelli starred in the Food Network television show Alex's Day Off, which premiered in October 2009. It ran for three seasons and 32 episodes

She competed in season 5 of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, winning in the final Kitchen Stadium showdown against chef Amanda Freitag. Her debut challenge as an Iron Chef on Iron Chef America aired on December 30, 2012.

Guarnaschelli made two guest appearances: first on the Nickelodeon television show Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, on the one-hour special "Go Hollywood" on November 25, 2015 and later on the ABC television show The Real O'Neals in the episode "The Real Thanksgiving" on November 15, 2016.

She later made three appearances: as a judge in episode five of Iron Chef Gauntlet, where chef Gruenberg was eliminated before the final showdown in episode six "The Gauntlet". on the Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay. She challenged Bobby with her signature lobster dish. She also won that challenge. She made a guest appearance on Billions and as a mentor on season 20 of Worst Cooks in America as the captain of the Blue Team, opposite Anne Burrell. Alex ultimately became the winning mentor.

In 2022, she premiered Alex vs. America, also on Food Network.

Personal life

On April 29, 2007, Guarnaschelli married Brandon Clark. The two met in 2006 at New York's Institute of Culinary Education while Alex was teaching a fish class. Their daughter, Ava, was born in July 2007.

The couple's marriage eventually ended, and in June 2020, Guarnaschelli announced her engagement to chef Michael Castellon, a Chopped winner who had proposed to her on her birthday over the weekend of June 19–20. In February 2022, it was announced that the couple ended their engagement.


Year Show Role Notes
2007–2018 Iron Chef America Herself / Iron Chef
Sous Chef / Judge
Was a sous chef under Geoffrey Zakarian before becoming an Iron Chef
2008 The Cooking Loft Host
Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving Herself
2009 Food Detectives Herself Season 2 episode 1: "Tastes Like Chicken"
2009–2011 Alex's Day Off Host
2009–2018 Food Network Star Host / Judge
2009–present Chopped Herself / Judge / Competitor 216 episodes
2009–2019 The Best Thing I Ever Ate Herself 45 episodes
2010 Dear Food Network Herself Episode: "Thanksgiving Top Ten 2"
Chefography Herself Episode: "Alex Guarnaschelli"
2010–2020 Worst Cooks in America Herself / Mentor Blue Team mentor - Season 20
Critic - Season 1 episode 6: "Final Test"
2011–2012 Thanksgiving Live! Herself TV special
The Perfect 3 Herself 4 episodes
2011–2013 The Best Thing I Ever Made Herself 10 episodes
2012–2015 Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off Herself / Judge 4 episodes
2012 Iron Chef America Countdown Herself 6 episodes
Unique Eats Herself 3 episodes
2013 Southern Fried Everything Herself Episode 2: "Fair Fare"
2013–present Beat Bobby Flay Herself / Judge / Competitor 45 episodes
2014 America's Best Cook Herself / Mentor
Deadliest Catch: The Bait Herself 2 episodes
2014–2021 Guy's Grocery Games Herself / Judge / Mentor
Competitor / Judge and Competitor
28 episodes
2015 Best. Ever. Herself Episode 3: "Best. Burger. Ever."
Burgers, Brew and 'Que Herself Season 1 episode 3: "Finger-Licking Good"
Thanksgiving at Bobby's Herself
Christmas at Bobby's Herself
2015–2016 All-Star Academy Herself / Mentor / Judge 16 episodes
Chopped After Hours Herself 14 episodes - 1 episode as host
Guilty Pleasures Herself 8 episodes
2016 The Real O'Neals Herself Season 2 episode 5: "The Real Tradition"
2016–2017 Cooks vs. Cons Herself / Judge 15 episodes
2016–2019 Chopped Junior Herself / Judge 11 episodes
2017 Legend of Iron Chef Herself
Iron Chef Eats Herself
2017–2019 Guy's Ranch Kitchen Herself 15 episodes
2018 Iron Chef Gauntlet Herself Season 2 episode 4: "Ingenuity"
Ideal Home Alex
Young & Hungry Herself Season 5 episode 20: "Young & Yacht'in"
2018–2019 Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge Herself / Judge
2019 Bottle Service Herself Episode: "Sip, Savor, Spit with Alex Guarnaschelli"
Martha Bakes Herself Season 11 episode 12: "Pantry Milks"
Billions Herself Season 4 episode 12: "Extreme Sandbox"
Family Restaurant Rivals Herself / Judge Episode 8: "Family Freezer Burn"
Good Eats Herself Season 15 was dubbed on screen as Good Eats: The Return
Season 15 episode 5: "My Shakshuka"
2019–present Supermarket Stakeout Host
2020 All-Star Best Thing I Ever Ate Herself 8 episodes
2020–present The Kitchen Herself / Co-host
2022–present Alex vs. America Herself
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