With her second title, The Home Cook, due next month, Food Network star and executive chef of the restaurant Butter Alex Guarnaschelli always feels at home out east.
Tell us about the new book. What can we expect? I wrote this thinking it would be extremely useful to the home cook. I want readers to get the pages dirty while they try out recipes for appetizers, main courses, salads, vegetables, desserts, and snacks. There are entire chapters on many of my favorite things to eat and to cook, chapters with recipes on cakes, salads, mushrooms, soups—just delicious!
Any new restaurant projects on the horizon as well? I like to be at Butter and cook with my staff. I’m thinking of expanding into more catering, special events, and cooking classes as an additional layer of my business. More to come on all of that this fall.
What do you like about your work on TV—and who’s your favorite cohost on Chopped? My favorite part is meeting and working with so many passionate, talented people who love food and cooking. I also really like competing with myself on TV. Choosing a favorite fellow judge on Chopped is like asking me to pick a favorite child. I love them all; we’re like a family.
What’s your favorite summertime ingredient? Blueberries, especially for pies. I love tomatoes and strawberries in a salad. Just so fresh.
What are you drinking this summer? I love a Miami Vice—half a frozen strawberry daiquiri swirled with half a frozen piña colada. So colorful and refreshing!
What’s your favorite activity out East, other than cooking? I like to go antiques shopping and look for special finds. I like to drive to Montauk and explore the quaint shops and seaside restaurants.
Now that you’re a “local,” do you have a favorite spot to eat? Estia’s Little Kitchen is one of my absolute favorites. I really like the whole feel of the place and their use of great ingredients.
What’s your own favorite place to get ingredients? I love Pike and Balsam Farms and Mecox Bay Dairy—great produce and cheese.
Who’s on your dinnerguest bucket list? I would love to cook for chef Anne- Sophie Pic. Butter, 70 W. 45th St., New York City, 212-253-2828; butterrestaurant.com