Alex Guarnaschelli Appeared on Billions and Made Pancakes

The Iron Chef is a major fan of the show – and it’s totally mutual.

Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, during Battle Blue Cheese, as seen on Iron Chef America, Season 13.

Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, during Battle Blue Cheese, as seen on Iron Chef America, Season 13.

Photo by: Anders Krusberg

Anders Krusberg

The TV show Billions, on Showtime, is not just about money and power and ego and status and loyalty and corruption and all things NYC finance and politics and law and love. It’s also about how food deliciously interplays with all those elements.

"Food and restaurants are a kind of currency," Billions co-creator and showrunner Brian Koppelman told Esquire in 2017, "and our show is interested in currency in all its forms."

The show regularly shoots in New York City restaurants and food purveyors – both high- and low-brow – and tracking the various venues its characters visit has become something of a favorite foodie pastime. (See here, here, here, here and here. Oh, and also here.)

“We often shoot early in the morning, before service. But, on occasion, the restaurant does close for the day,” Koppelman recently revealed in a tweet. So if you’ve set yourself a goal of visiting the same restaurants Bobby and Chuck and Wendy and Bryan and the rest of the Billions gang are dining in, you probably don’t have to worry about running into them. (Although … how cool would that be?)

Last night, Billions notched a new foodie milestone: an appearance by Food Network star, Iron Chef and Butter restaurant executive chef Alex Guarnaschelli, who played herself on the show. In the episode, Guarnaschelli was called in by Axe (Damian Lewis) to make pancakes for Sanford Bensinger (Richard Thomas, yes, none other than John-Boy from The Waltons).


“Alright @briankoppelman you get @guarnaschelli one of if not the most talented iron chef on @FoodNetwork to guest star and she makes pancakes??? Out of everything she could have made,” griped one watcher on Twitter, adding, somewhat conciliatorily, “I’m sure they were fluffy pieces of heaven.”

“Writer’s choice and brilliant one. Everyone eats pancakes. Even billionaires douse them in syrup,” Guarnaschelli responded. “I would have made Melba toast with cheese spread for these great actors and this fine show.”

Guarnaschelli is a major Billions fan. (She’s Team Wendy all the way.) And apparently the feeling is mutual.

“Great having Iron Chef @guarnaschelli visit @SHO_Billions. And believe me, actors and crew went to town on those pancakes!” tweeted David Levien, also a Billions co-creator and showrunner.

Guarnaschelli responded that it had been “the biggest honor of” her “career.”

Koppelman was equally ebullient: “Yes. @guarnaschelli rules!” he wrote.

“No one eats pancakes like billionaires. It was an honor,” Guarnaschelli replied.

The only one who seemed bummed about it was actor Kelly AuCoin, who plays Dollar Bill on the show and is a major Guarnaschelli admirer.

“I wasn't shooting that day....” he tweeted of the onset Guarnaschelli-made pancake fest, punctuating his post with a sad face.

No worries, though. Guarnaschelli wrote back promising AuCoin a pancake breakfast at a future date. Levien said he planned to crash and Guarnaschelli then invited him.

Let the good feelings and mutual admiration rain down … like syrup on pancakes.

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