Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs," and the baffling chef Alex Guarnaschelli

Alex Guarnaschelli is an unpleasant, scowling, foul, sour, insulting, annoying, repellent woman who for some reason continues to appear on programs airing on the Food Network. Considering this is the cable channel that has inflicted upon us Guy Fieri, Duff Goldman, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, Sandra Lee, Robert Irvine, Troy Johnson, and Bobby Flay, you might think it would be difficult to decide just who is the least likable and most irritating human being ever to appear on its airwaves. This, however, is not the case. The owner of that dubious distinction, hands down, is the human equivalent of runny brie smothered in wasabi that is Alex Guarnaschelli.

For reasons that baffle me, this condescending, hectoring, supremely unsavory person has been given at least two of her own shows -- one of which is apparently still on the air (who would watch her? I'd rather eat a plate full of undercooked chicken smothered in raw eggs and possibly poisonous mushrooms than subject myself to watching her make that scowling face that somehow acts as her "smile" while she tells me about her favorite breakfast in bed moment for 30 minutes) -- and she regularly appears as a "judge" on the alleged cooking competition "Chopped." Someone at Food Network has a Chef Guarnaschelli fetish that is as mystifying as Spam wrapped in Fugu.

The only thing that's even remotely remarkable about her is unfathomable ability to get herself on television.

I've often thought that I must be missing something -- she can't possibly be as bad as I think she is, and moreover there can't possibly be some grand conspiracy to force her upon us. But now that Ms. Guarnaschelli is a contestant on the newest season of "The Next Iron Chef," (which is laughably subtitled "Super Chefs" -- what exactly is so "super" about Ms. Guarnaschelli?) I have irrefutable proof that Ms. Guarnaschelli is just as irritating, unpleasant, hateful, vituperative, nasty, and repellent as I've always thought. And that there is a conspiracy to force her upon us, no matter what.

On the episode that aired tonight, November 27, Ms. Guarnaschelli served the judges burned peanut shells in a bag. Literally. That is literally what she served the judges. She told them they were inedible. And she served them. Burned peanut shells in a brown paper bag. I am not exaggerating that.

And she didn't even land in the bottom two.

No, please do not ask me to explain the premise of this ridiculous show. It's bad enough that I actually watch, and it's bad enough that I'm actually blogging about it now. The remaining chefs had to create dishes inspired by New York City landmarks, and then tell stories about their food (shouldn't the food itself tell the story?). Ms. Guarnaschelli's landmark was the Empire State Building, for which she concocted some cockamamie story about smelling burned peanut shells -- it's street food! -- every time she walked past the Empire State Building to get to her first job in a restaurant.

Moreover, as for the edible portion of her dish, at least one of the judges -- Simon Majumdar -- complained that her potatoes were as rancid and hard to take as her personality (I'm paraphrasing). But no, it was Chef Elizabeth Falkner who landed in the bottom two because she allegedly didn't "sell" the story behind her Brooklyn Bridge inspired schnitzel, or something.

Maybe Chef Marcus Samuelsson deserved to land in the bottom two (the whole enterprise is dubious!), but there is no way that either he nor Chef Falkner should have gone home before Ms. Guarnaschelli because you know what? Neither of them served the judges in an Iron Chef "Super" Chefs competition a bag full of burned peanut shells.

A bag full of burned peanut shells!

During the final cook-off between the Chefs Falkner and Samuelsson, the Chef Anne Burrell (who is a cool refreshing drink of Mojito on a hot summer day next to Ms. Guarnaschelli) turned to her and said something to effect of, "I'm worried about that schmear on the bottom of Chef Falkner's pan. But I hope it tastes good." To which the backbiting scold Ms. Guarnaschelli replied, "No you don't."

Ms. Guarnaschelli, you see, wishes villification upon others, and she projects that unpleasant calumny that comes so naturally to her onto everyone else.

And I'm not even going to mention -- I'm too irritated! -- the incident in which she dropped her potatoes into the water and she overstated "There was nowhere in the universe I'd rather not be than in that kitchen at that moment." This woman has absolutely no perspective. Would she have rather been in Iraq at that moment? How about on the other side of Pluto?

Okay, I get it. Reality shows are supposed to have villains. But in a cooking competition, shouldn't the contestants -- even the villains -- actually serve, you know, edible food to the judges? Otherwise we might start to get suspicious.

She thinks that smug, condescending scowl is a smile.

Bonus: You can read my Food Network and Hunger Games belittling book, The Hungry Game, here.

41 comments:

JC said...

I completely agree with most everything you say here, although you might say it a bit harsher than I would choose to.

I've really hated her ever since the very first episode of next iron chef, where she freaked out because she burned some pork. That's not a quality that an iron chef should have.

I'm astounded that she continues to not get cut.

A.Jaye said...

Food shows, gardening shows and anything that concerns the (current) Royal Family is an obvious attempt to send the average city dweller into spasms of aspiration or deprivation.

I'll stick with the Real Housewives. I get to feel superior.

Ricky Sprague said...

A.Jaye, I guess that's how people can tell us apart: I view the Real Housewives as aspirational.

JC: I tend to get a bit hyperbolic about important issues that drive me batty.

Anonymous said...

I think you are misunderstanding her. My wife and I like her and always get a laugh watching her. But..uh...we're watching the cooks, and the food. #relax

Anonymous said...

i am someone that is easily irritated by the type of person you described alex as...but i like her. i don't find her to be most of those things i actually think she's good hearted and perhaps i find her facial expressions and comments charming (as opposed to what some people would see as sarcastic) or part of a shtick.

i don't know. the chopped judges...i'm a fan of most of them. think it's part of the act and if you can get past that, you can find the comments and the scowls or pouts rather amusing. i agree with the guy above that said she could be misunderstood.

Sheila said...

Wow... Get some fresh air and chill out.

Anonymous said...

I was just looking at Best Thing I ever ate "Bar-B-Que" and learned from her that Bar-B-Que sauce was not around before 1950! Wow. Funny the next place on the show was a place that started doing pork w/sauce in 1948 but what the heck forget about all the folks that did pork, ribs or beef since the start of time in food history, I'm sure she was talking about when the Kraft food company started putting to suff out right?

Anonymous said...

I didn't like her at first but after seeing her a few times, she grew on me, and now I really like her. She's tough and I like that. If you wanna talk condescending and sour face...look at Scott Conant or Jeffrey Zakarian, or even Aron Sanchez.

Anonymous said...

Ricky,

Holy crap!!! Are you out of your
meds? My, my, my --- curious
about your opinion on Casey Anthony,
George Zimmerman and Conda Britt (BL Season 13)?
I would suspect you are on their Christmas card list. Lordy be.



Alex may not be wearing a constant
smile or halo but heavens
she isn't anywhere as vile
as you paint her.



Try to round out your blog after
you have that obstruction
removed from your backside.
Chances are you wonder where
your head was when you wrote this vicious blog.



Oh - happy eating!

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous or should I say Alex, you are a fat slob and your shows suck..... Great blog only complaint is you were too nice about the vile face stuffing pig who calls herself Alex!!!

Anonymous said...

Alex you make the scum of the earth like Casey Anthony seem like decent individuals!!!

Sadie said...

Sh is such a I cant stand her. I fully understand why her husband left her!!!

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching The Next Iron Chef 2012 in which this spiteful untalented human piece of shit won over Amanda Freitag. I am so furious over it. She is such a fucking cunt. As of now I will never watch another episode of Iron Chef! All of my friends think the same way. That no talent ass clown! She is an ugly person who spits venom from her mouth. Does anyone still remember what that fucking bitch said to Iron Chef Zukarian during an episode of Iron Chef in which he brought that douche on...called him fucking princess during the show. What a disrespectful diseased ridden cockwaffle. The only good thing about that final episode was watching that fat waddling thundercunt struggle to climb that podium at the end...god damn fucking waste of life. FUCK THE FOOD NETWORK AND THOSE ASSHOLE JUDGES WHO PICKED THAT COCK SHRIVELING SHE BITCH!

Anonymous said...

She did not deserve the ICA title, other more superior chefs were looked over for her. It is unethical to have your mentor on the judge panel.

judy gulas said...

i' m just happy to know that i' m not the only one who thinks alex guarnasc helli should not be an iron chef. Amanda Freitag is clearly a superior chef. i think that show was decided from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of Alex's although you have a right to your opinion, I feel you are being very harsh with your words.

desiree marana said...

My question is what's behind your contempt for her? It sounds personal... and I don't think her smile is a "smug condescending scowl." I think your obvious rage against her is very suspect...just saying.

Anonymous said...

Alex is indeed a condescending fat pig and I really hate that she won. Her ego was too much to handle before she won. If her husband really did leave her, I understand. I can't imagine being married to her. I'd rather have bamboo under my fingernails.

Anonymous said...

Alex is a piece of crap and foodnetwork is all staged now with mystery diners and those other stupid spy shows the next iron chef was staged as well I hate you foodnetwork go to hell

Anonymous said...

I Googled "Alex Guarnaschelli is a cunt", it brought me here.

She is a fraud. So is her food, and her restaurant.

Utter fraud.

But great marketing.

Unknown said...

The biggest problem with food network in the contestants, judges, and "persolalities" are all interchangeble. One week Alex is a judge, dissing everything placed before her. The next she's a contestant, her ex-fellow judges gushing over her brilliance, even though she can't cook herself out of a wet paper bag. It's insulting, but I admit, entertaining. Alex is a hack. Iron Chef? I think not.

Jesse Brannon said...

Sombody is jealous LOL...really tho who cares what you think or anybody else for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand that stupid, smug cow either. This woman has all the personality of her burnt peanuts. I don't think she is iron chef material. She must be screwing somebody to get on all these shows and win.

Mlbrown said...

I More than Agree with You, She in Absolute JOKE as a Chef & as a Television Personality. Everytime she appears on Iron Chef or Chopped, I Absolutely Change the Channel & Refuse to Watch that Particular Episode. She is an Absolute Downer as spoken by MANY People, PLASE 86 Her & Move On!!! A Waste of Air Time & Money!!!

Anonymous said...

No she's a bitch

Anonymous said...

I agree...watching her is like sucking on a lemon

Anonymous said...

Why do you watch someone you find so distasteful? Could it be that you are a generally angry person who enjoys finding safe targets for your vitriol? If so, that's sad. If not, here's an idea: change the channel or turn off the TV and Alex will never bother you again.

Anonymous said...

yes AG is the a sour, pouty loser

Anonymous said...

Thanks. You're absolutely right. I can't understand how anyone allows her on TV. She seems like someone who would kick a hungry dog if it got in her way.

She is ruining Iron Chef America...along with the annoying realty show trends popping up in the show.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I'm watching reruns of Chopped and I'm cringing at that witch. It's like a permanent PMS. Those faces and the eye-rolling... put her back in the kitchen and off my TV.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the article. She is one nasty person. Now... she just showed up on The Best Cook in America and did not have the skills to help her team member from being eliminated. And, this is someone that likes to sit as a judge on Chopped and critize other people's cooking.

sasi said...

I doubt her culinary skills. I would want to see her kitchen in Gordon Ramsay's kitchen nightmares. He might yell at her "you food network pig" lol.

sdr said...

Right because that show isn't staged either.. please

sdr said...

Right because that show isn't staged either.. please

Lily T said...

I googled: I hate Alex Guarnaschelli and this was one of the options. I totally agree with you, Ricky. I'm sitting here watching Chopped Junior and Alex's sour, nasty, smirking makes me want to scream! I have NO idea why this nasty fat B is on tv at all. She is sooo unpleasant. It occurred to me that she always seems to be in the same mood - that mood us women can get into a few days before that wonderful monthly visit.
Now I know why Elvis shot his tv set - irritating, smirking, unpleasant people like this fat ugly B.

LMarieCassidy said...

Omg, I'm so glad people are still googling this and leaving comments! I whole heartedly agree with Lily T too. And the fact that on she's a judge on practically every stinking foodtv show! All of them!

LMarieCassidy said...

Omg, I'm so thrilled to see this blog still going! I did the same Lily T, googled that verbatim! I'm getting so sick of every show on food network having the same people judging over and over. I whole heartedly can't stand her. When she gives that smug look I want to swat it off her. Iron Chef my butt!

Anonymous said...

I

Anonymous said...

Fuckin cunt face bitch. I hate how condescending she is. Her face shows her true personality, which is that of a devil witch.

Anonymous said...

I could not have said it better. I still wonder what pictures she has over the top executives that allow her to keep appearing on the network. If I'm flipping channels and she is on...I change the channel and not go back for a couple days. Not back after the show but literally a couple days later. Turns me off that much. Her commercials are even worse. If you don't want to sell your product...just go ahead and use her to sell it.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch any show that she's appears on. I will never watch "chopped" because of her...also that the show is rigged. How do you not get chopped with plating raw or brunt food. I will also never watch " Beat Bobby Flay". This show is also rigged. How do you not win when you are supposed to make a traditional and authentic dish...and you do so but Bobby Flay goes so over the top and the dish maybe good but misses the traditional and authentic...but still wins. I call BS on these show network excutives. It's just like watching the WWF. All choreograph BS.