Super Chef Journals: Alex Guarnaschelli

Get an inside look at the top-secret journal of the Next Iron Chef rival eliminated this week.
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Photo By: Kevin Lynch ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Arturo Lorenzo/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Alex's Last Day

Alex Guarnaschelli, chef at Butter and The Darby in NYC and host of Alex's Day Off, was sent home in the second-to-last episode after a strong run at the Next Iron Chef title. Her journal reveals lots of ideas and inspiration — and the neatest handwriting we've seen so far among the eliminated Super Chefs.

Well-Prepared

Speculating before the very first challenge, Chef Guarnaschelli outlined some ideas for dishes "if whole animal" was involved. The chefs did, in fact, end up with whole suckling pigs to cook in the wilderness.

Teamwork

Chef Guarnaschelli was paired up with Chef Falkner to cook two pork dishes. They served up a hit and a miss and escaped the Secret Ingredient Showdown by virtue of their ingenious Pork Four Ways dish.

Baseball Fan?

Though she admitted that she's "not a ballpark kind of gal," Chef Guarnaschelli embraced the next challenge at San Diego's Petco Park.

Victory at the Ballpark

Chef Guarnaschelli's transformed ballpark fare, outlined here in her journal, gave her a Chairman's Challenge win. The judges raved over her creative spin on sausage and peppers and her palate-cleansing lemon sherbet served in a hollowed-out lemon.

Advantage at the Movies

As the previous challenge winner, Alex got a big advantage: picking her movie snack in the next challenge and assigning concessions to all of her fellow rivals.

Time to Improvise

After surviving the movie concession challenge, Chef Guarnaschelli faced a test of improvisation with octopus, kumquats, tortillas and marshmallows as the randomly selected ingredients. In her journal, she brainstormed ways to make these four ingredients work together somehow.

Octopus Success

Chef Guarnaschelli pressure-cooked her octopus and presented Octopus With Napa and Red Cabbage Cooked in Marshmallow With Tortillas, Chili, Shallots, Kumquats and Toasted Marshmallow. Simon Majumdar's reaction: "I did actually just lick my plate clean."

New York on a Plate

The next leg of the competition was particularly exciting for Chef Guarnaschelli, a native New Yorker. Tasked with creating a dish and a story to represent the Empire State Building, she jotted down tastes and smells that evoke that iconic building.

Browsing Grand Central

Chef Guarnaschelli wanted badly to win this challenge and watched it slip away when some of her food fell into the pasta cooker: "I can't believe I'm feeling this way in this particular challenge. I hope my story is enough to make the difference between winning and losing."

Shopping List

The chefs had $250 to shop (quickly!) for ingredients in the Grand Central Market. Chef Guarnaschelli noted how much she had left over when all was said and done: 27 cents.

Storytelling Master

Chef Guarnaschelli's dish had some flaws, but she was spared from the Secret Ingredient Showdown because her story about walking by the Empire State Building was so strong. "The story is great. I'm afraid the dish is not as good as the story," Simon Majumdar said.

Dinner for 20

The final Chairman's Challenge brought the chefs out of the city to Montauk in the Hamptons, where they learned they'd be cooking a seafood tasting for 20 people. Chef Guarnaschelli immediately began to flesh out her ideas.

Bring the Passion

Alton told the chefs to show passion on their plates. "What does he mean? Should I draw hearts on the plate? I'm passionate about finding great ingredients," said Chef Guarnaschelli.

Hamptons Shopping Spree

Chef Guarnaschelli documented everything she needed for this intense challenge. This time, the chefs got $500 to work with and she came in just under budget with 62 cents remaining.

Dish Sketch

Chef Guarnaschelli visualized her trio of seafood in this journal drawing.

Finished Product

Her sketch proved to be a great blueprint for the finished dish. The judges had a few small issues with seasoning, but at this point in the competition, that was enough to send Chef Guarnaschelli home.

Friends and Rivals

The chefs all bonded through the tough challenges they endured and no one wanted to see Chef Guarnaschelli go.

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