Alex Guarnaschelli is an Iron Chef, the executive chef at NYC’s famed Butter restaurant, a cookbook author, host of Food Network’s Cook Me a Plate, partner with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, and frequent Chopped judge. Needless to say, she wears a lot of hats. Despite her many impressive roles, Alex says she’s “a mom first and foremost.” So, how does one become one of the most esteemed chefs on the planet? The Iron Chef shares, “I’ve been surrounded by food since childhood as the daughter of a cookbook editor and an Italian and Chinese cooking enthusiast. I honestly feel as if I learned to eat according to whatever cookbook my mother was working on at the time: one year was devoted to Indian as she cooked her way through the manuscript of Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni; another year was devoted to Italian with The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. That year was intense. My father claimed that if he saw another sprinkle of Balsamic vinegar in the kitchen, he might consider moving out!” We had the pleasure of hosting this trailblazing culinary boss in our NYC HQ, and had a blast—it’s truly no surprise that Alex has well over a million social fans. Below, she shares a typical evening in her busy life. 

6:30 P.M. I am either at the restaurant or trying to head home to have dinner with my daughter around this time. I often shop at the Union Square Greenmarket to buy stuff to serve at Butter so I often also buy a few things for my daughter to cook at home! She loves to simply roast vegetables like eggplant and potatoes…I also love to go to the Lobster Place at the Chelsea market and buy fish like Mackerel, Porgy and Sardines to roast in the oven. My daughter is quite the connoisseur… 

7 P.M. I usually let my daughter make dinner because that’s what she likes to do. Then we settle into a lot of homework. She is quite the busy sixth grader and I sometimes have to book “chill time” with her… I also try to set aside some time most nights to relax and read. I am an avid cookbook collector and so I am always trying to keep abreast of great new books. I also read old ones. I am currently reading “The Nordic Cookbook” by Magnus Nilsson and “The Beetlebung Cookbook” by Chris Fischer. Once settled, I like to pour a glass of wine – lately I’m enjoying the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Chardonnay. I love its versatility this time of year. I also like how it goes with the kinds of simple, tasty dinners I make at home. 

8 P.M. If I’m not reading or we’re hanging out and she’s finished her homework, we really like our bath time. My daughter likes to fill the bathtub with bubbles until it almost overflows? I was the same way as a kid… Sometimes a great bubble bath can take most of the day’s stresses away. She sits in her bubble haven and we go over the day. She loves “Lush” fizzy bath balls. She also goes old school with half a bottle of “Mr. Bubble” … Sometimes she talks a lot and sometimes it’s mellower. I find this is good think time for me too.  I’m working on a new cookbook and that requires, for me, a lot of daydreaming and cooking.

8:30 P.M. We also love tea. Some Twinings “Lapsang Souchong” is a smoky tea she says reminds her of her grandpa. It’s amazing how an aroma can take you to another place or remind you of someone special. I often do a face mask. “Yon-ka” brand is one my favorites. My daughter isn’t too into grooming but perfume is something she loves. We are heavily into Laura Mercier pistachio and fig sprays and her bath products. Of course, even the bath products are about food in my house! 

9:30 P.M. My goal is to hear my daughter snoring lightly by this time. I often sneak out of her room and try to use this quiet time to write, catch up on emails or read some magazines. I love print magazines. I read New York Magazine religiously. I also love Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street for recipe inspiration and information. I also love cars? So I read “Car and Driver” and “Muscle Car Review” for fun. I love auto auctions like Barrett Jackson. What can I say? Besides onions and chocolate, I love cars!

9:30-10 P.M. Time for bed!

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