With her trademark spiky blond hair and pumped-up personality, Anne Burrell has worked at some of the top restaurants in New York, studied the culinary landscape and traditions of Italy, and has battled alongside Mario Batali as his sous chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. Anne eliminates the intimidation of restaurant dishes and reveals concise, easy-to-master techniques for the at-home cook on her Food Network series, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. Anne also co-hosts Worst Cooks in America, a prime-time reality show where Anne leads a team of hopeless home cooks from around the country through culinary boot camp.
Growing up in upstate New York, Anne’s passion for food and cooking began at an early age. After obtaining an English and communications degree from Canisius College in Buffalo, she pursued her interest in the restaurant business by enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America. Following graduation, she spent a year in Italy attending the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners while working at La Taverna del Lupo in Umbria and La Bottega del' 30, a one-Michelin star restaurant in Tuscany. During this year, Anne grew to truly appreciate and understand the philosophy of Italian cuisine and culture, which left a lasting impact on her culinary point of view.
Upon her arrival in New York City, Anne was hired as a sous chef at Felidia Restaurant, working with Lidia Bastianich. She then served as a chef at Savoy where she cooked over an open wood fire and created flavorful menus inspired by countries around the Mediterranean. Here, Anne developed her personal culinary style – a real love of rustic food made with pure and simple ingredients with intense flavors.
Anne then took the opportunity to spread her culinary knowledge and passion as a teacher at the Institute of Culinary Education. After three years, Anne went back to the restaurant business, serving as the executive chef at Lumi Restaurant. Shortly after, she joined the Batali-Bastianich empire by accepting a job at Italian Wine Merchants. The job also included salumi production and traveling to off-site events with Mario Batali. When Mario became one of Food Network’s esteemed Iron Chefs, he knew exactly who to enlist as his sous chef – the talented and dynamic Anne Burrell.
As the executive chef at New York hot spot Centro Vinoteca from its opening in July 2007 through September 2008, Anne served up her "creative-authentic" Italian menu of small plates (piccolini), antipasti, pastas and main courses accented by her trademark bold, pure flavors.