Old-School Comfort Food
The Way I Learned to Cook
By Alex Guarnaschelli
(Clarkson Potter, Hardcover, 9780307956552, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
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How does one become an Iron Chef and a Chopped judge on Food Network—and what does she really cook at home?
Alex Guarnaschelli grew up in a home suffused with a love of cooking, where soufflés and cheeseburgers were equally revered. The daughter of a respected cookbook editor and a Chinese cooking enthusiast, Alex developed a passion for food at a young age, sealing her professional fate. Old-School Comfort Food shares her journey from waist-high taste-tester to trained chef who now adores spending time in the kitchen with her daughter, along with the 100 recipes for how she learned to cook—and the way she still loves to eat.
Here are Alex’s secrets to great home cooking, where humble ingredients and familiar preparations combine with excellent technique and care to create memorable meals. Alex brings her recipes to life with reminiscences of everything from stealing tomatoes from her aunt’s garden and her first bite of her mother’s pâté to being one of the few women in the kitchen of a renowned Parisian restaurant and serving celebrity clientele in her own successful New York City establishments. With 75 color photographs and ephemera, Old-School Comfort Food is Alex’s love letter to deliciousness.
ALEX GUARNASCHELLI is the executive chef of the New York City restaurants Butter and The Darby. A graduate of Barnard College and La Varenne cooking school, she trained with acclaimed chefs Guy Savoy in Paris and Daniel Boulud in New York. An Iron Chef on Iron Chef America and a judge on Chopped, she has hosted and appeared on numerous Food Network shows, including Alex’s Day Off and The Cooking Loft, and writes a blog on foodnetwork.com. She makes her home in New York City with her daughter.
“I can only think of one thing better than enjoying Alex Guarnaschelli's food in one of her restaurants . . . cooking Alex Guarnaschelli's food in your own kitchen, preferably while wearing pajamas.”
“Some of my best recipes are from Alex, who has taught me a lot about cooking just by being my friend. Reading her book is just like hanging out with your best friend in the kitchen.”
“I really have had a good time watching Alex graduate from a young line cook at my restaurant to the soulful and successful chef she is today. Her book’s approach to simple home recipes has many restaurant tricks that I am sure inspired cooks will be happy to discover.”
“Alex Guarnaschelli, who rightfully won her chops working with the great names in cuisine on both sides of the Atlantic, brings her skills to real-world food. This is where most of us live with our tight schedules, hungry families, and a yen for something really good at the end of the day. Alex lives there, too, but she has the solutions. This is one of those books destined to become very messy.”
--Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Host of The Splendid Table® from American Public Media
“Alex Guarnaschelli is a brilliantly talented cook and this book makes me want to throw on my apron on a Sunday afternoon and start cooking for my family!”