BYLINES BY SCOTT
Alex’s Day Off
With a sense of comedic wit and an iron chef title under her belt, chef Alex Guarnaschelli packs a mean culinary punch.
Alex Guarnaschelli’s tough exterior and technical prowess give way to a softer side once you peel back the onion. This I know. Alex has many tales to tell. And on this Saturday, it was all friendly banter behind the cooktop.
Asking chefs to cook on their day off is not an easy feat. It wasn’t my smartest move, but I knew that Guarnaschelli would indulge me if we could invite some friends and show off the new Bakes & Kropp kitchen she just finished in her Bridgehampton cottage. I also figured I’d bring my dad; Guarnaschelli likes him better than me (as do all the chefs), and he could add a layer of defense for the barrage of loving sarcasm and zingers Alex loves to dish out.
So when we showed up, the stage was set. “Hey, do I need to brush my hair for this thing?” is how Guarnaschelli greeted us. And within seconds, a parade of groceries entered the kitchen courtesy of her best friend Egg (actually Kristen but affectionately nicknamed by Guarnaschelli in college) and boyfriend Michael in tow. A chef himself, the two met through an industry colleague. This self-professed “super fan” tells the story of how quickly he fell under Guarnaschelli’s charming spell.
Then quickly a “chef thing” began to occur in the kitchen, and like an episode of Iron Chef America, magic was happening. A berry cobbler was quickly prepped, a Bundt cake filled with fresh marmalade slid into the oven, and a rotisserie chicken began to slowly turn. It took no more than 15 minutes for the cooktop to light up and the room to fill with the smell of bacon and eggs. Simply presented tomatoes with kumquats and dill and raw zucchini layered with thinly sliced mini pickles were the eye candy.
In true Guarnaschelli form, and as easy as the one-liners coming off her tongue, she made it all look effortless—among the organized chaos and belly laughs that afternoon, her preparations looked like an exercise in meditation. That’s classic Alex.
Read the Article at ModernLuxury.com HERE.