Log In   ·   Become A Member

INTERVIEW: Alex Guarnaschelli On James Beard Foundation's "Chefs & Champagne," Her New Cookbook, And More

Nicole Barylski

James Beard Foundation Award Winner Alex Guarnaschelli is among Chefs & Champagne participants. (Courtesy Photo)

James Beard Foundation (JBF) Award Winner Alex Guarnaschelli is among the talented group of chefs that will showcase delicious dishes at Wölffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack on Saturday, July 29 during Chefs & Champagne, the James Beard Foundation's annual fundraiser in the Hamptons, which will fête James Beard Award-winning chef, author, philanthropist, and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson.

We recently caught up with Guarnaschelli to chat about sourcing in the Hamptons, what she'll be presenting Chefs & Champagne attendees, her new cookbook, and more.

What are some of your favorite spots to source ingredients at in the Hamptons?

AG: Mecox Bay Dairy, Pike Farms and Balsam Farms are three of my many favorites for produce, cheese and pickled vegetables. Great, tasty stuff. Wonderful people.

Since it's summer, A.K.A. BBQ season, what are some of your BBQ must-haves?

AG: I know we always talk about meat when we talk barbecue. Great classics like hot dogs, burgers, chicken and steak are some of my favorites. I also really love thinking about vegetables when we think about barbecue. Things like cooking a whole zucchini, eggplant in BBQ sauce and treat it like meat. Tomato salads. Grilled onions. Love a well-rounded BBQ menu!

You've competed in a number of Food Network challenges. Which was the most difficult and why?

AG: Iron Chef is the hardest mind game. So difficult to pick the best dishes to highlight the secret ingredient. It takes all the brain power I have to come up with the right fit!

Is there an ingredient people would be surprised to learn you're averse to using?

AG: Asparagus! It's so beautiful and healthy and grassy and seasonal. Asparagus has done nothing wrong. I just need some time away from it to fall back in love again.

What's the hardest part about judging a Chopped episode?

AG: When people work really hard on a dish and forget an ingredient. That's tough. It's also difficult when someone has a great idea in mind and it just doesn't translate in the plate. There is a 75 percent chance of getting chopped. Best to find other reasons to feel rewarded by competing!

Your new book, The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart, is coming out this fall. How did you choose which recipes to include?

AG: I have kept a running list of recipes over the years. It includes a lot of recipes that my mom cooked when I was growing up (and my dad's too... ). It's just a giant chef's diary translated into home cooked recipes and is meant for reading, enjoyment, and use!

What was the first dish you learned to make without using a recipe?

AG: It may not sound exciting to learn how to scramble eggs but there is an art to it. Just simply and well-scrambled eggs with a little Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and butter is ethereal and never gets old!

You'll be participating in this year's Chefs & Champagne. What will you be whipping up for attendees?

AG: Baby Back Ribs with Yellow Gage Plum Barbecue Sauce, and Cucumber Salsa.

Tickets to Chefs & Champagne start at $200 for JBF Members and $275 for the public.

For tickets or more information about the James Beard Foundation's Chefs & Champagne, visit www.jamesbeard.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
Please type the word 'water'
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.

Calissa is Mykonos in the Hamptons.
Our menu focuses on seafood and Greek dishes such as salt baked fish, seafood pasta and Mediterranean mezze. Our wine list has been awarded The Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator and boasts the largest selection of rosé in the Hamptons. The name Calissa is derived from the brightest constellation in the summer sky.Our sister restaurants in New York are Amali and Bar Marseille, opening 2020 in the Rockaways. Calissa offers private dining spaces for groups from 10 to 300 people. To plan your next wedding, corporate event or gathering, please email events@calissahamptons.com. 1020 MONTAUK HIGHWAY, WATER MILL

Suburban Propane in Bridgehampton, New York has been serving proudly supporting our community for 90 years.
Suburban Propane has been serving the energy needs for home owners and business in the Hampton’s for decades. We offer friendly service by local professionals you know and trust, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are among the leaders in the industry for safety.

WordHampton Public Relations
We build client revenues and reputations. Our reputation is built on delivering a strong media presence and, as a result, demand for our clients' offerings, resulting in a positive impact on sales. Successful campaigns start with understanding the goals of our clients and developing a customized strategy that will achieve those objectives.

SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster.
SGF Acupuncture, PLLC. Is owned and operated By Sandra Geehreng Foster. Her treatments are based on five element acupuncture. She also offers Far Infrared Sauna treatments. PEMF cellular excerise.

Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez.
Spanish Maven was founded by Marisa Ramirez after she experienced learning English as a second language upon relocating to New York.