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Source: discovery

Exclusive: Alex Guarnaschelli Still 'Loves to Cook' After All These Years in the Food Industry: 'I Really Like What I Do'

Mar. 4 2024, Published 10:10 a.m. ET

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It's hard to stay so passionate about one thing, but chef Alex Guarnaschelli is living proof that it's possible!

Despite working in the food industry for three decades, she isn't stopping anytime soon. "I want to do more of the same things. I really love cooking. I really like what I do," the 54-year-old, who is teaming up with Nutella this pancake season to help shine a light on local firehouses who spread positivity in their local communities through “Stacks for Giving Back,” a program that supports firehouses across the country through pancake fundraiser breakfasts, exclusively tells Morning Honey.

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Source: @guarnaschelli/instagram

The star still loves to cook after all these years.

However, the Food Network star has other things she'd like to get into. "I'd like to take a painting class and do flower arranging. I'd like to work on the aesthetic beauty of things in the universe because I think it helps my cooking — but it's actually not really doing something else," she quips. "It's like studying other things for cooking, but I like that. However, I don't want to clean up anymore, but that's another matter."

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In order to stay motivated, the TV star relies on good sleep and a lot of water. "If you find what you like to do and then you can stop to take care of yourself a little bit, it's a great to way to not only keep yourself alive but keep your favorite things as an active part of what you do," she says. "I do a lot of stretching and walking because cooking can be taxing."

"I went to an acupuncturist, and he told me to walk a lot — but pay attention to the sounds of my feet touching the pavement. I've started to slow down and be more present," she notes.

guarnaschelli
Source: @guarnaschelli/instagram

Alex Guarnaschelli said she is trying to be more 'present.'

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The cookbook author doesn't look back on her impressive career too often, though. "It's not ending, so I take it one day at a time," she shares.

For now, Guarnaschelli is thrilled about her latest partnership with Nutella.

"As a chef, I build my community around food, and a pancake breakfast is something we see through all America. So, the 'Stacks for Giving Back' program allows anybody to nominate their local firehouse to win a pancake breakfast kit so that they can use that for their next pancake breakfast, which raises critical dollars for firehouses, and fundraising and partnering with Nutella to do that is a win-win. Let's take something super delicious and benefit firefighters," she explains.

Guarnaschelli then came up with her own pancake recipe to use with her favorite hazelnut spread called "Alex's Soufflé Pancakes With Nutella."

"We are creating a pancake with more protein in it, and it's drastically different than other types. When you spread Nutella on top, you get these hazelnut notes with the brown pancake. I was recipe testing them a lot at home," she says. "It's an exciting new look. I feel good about the recipe! I made them steadily for a few days and then I pulled away. I had a grilled cheese sandwich, I daydreamed and came back and made them fresh. I needed the space from it."

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guarnaschelli
Source: @guarnaschelli/instagram

Alex Guarnaschelli is close with her daughter, Ava Clark.

Additionally, the great cause was something she could talk about with her daughter, Ava Clark. "We're going to help firefighters make one pancake at a time, which is really inspiring. On Chopped, we have had many firefighter episodes, and they have to feed their entire staff! I love breakfast, I love pancakes, I love the hazelnut spread," she says. "I love the combination of it all. The most inspiring thing for me right now is this partnership that gives back to the community and involves cooking — and it shows my daughter that being part of a cause for firefighters is part of who I am and who I hope she becomes. I get to cook my way to those goals, and that feels pretty amazing. It's a career goal we should all have."

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alex guarnaschelli
Source: michael simon

Alex Guarnaschelli is excited about her partnership with Nutella.

For the recipe, see below:

  • 1-1/2 cups full fat buttermilk
  • ½-stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½-cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ¼-teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Nonstick spray
  • 2-3 tablespoons Nutella
  • Cook time: 8-9 minutes per batch
  • Yield: 4 cups batter –8-9 pancakes- serves 3-4
  • Equipment: circle mold/cookie cutter, 3 - 3-1/2 inches in diameter

1. Start the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, butter, vanilla, salt and the egg yolk. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder right over the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.

2. Preheat oven to 300F.

3. Add the egg whites: In the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form, 4-5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter. Don’t mix a lot. There should be streaks of egg white not fully combined. The key is to mix as little as possible and keep the whites fluffy.

4. Start the pancakes: Heat a large skillet with a fitted lid over low heat and spray with nonstick spray. Spray the inside of a (3 – 3-1/2 inch in diameter) ring mold with spray. Place the ring mold on one side of the skillet. Using ½-cup measure full of batter, fill the mold with the batter. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Gently remove the ring. Turn the pancake on its second side and let it cook 3-4 additional minutes.

5. Pancake: Clean and spray the ring and make a new pancake some distance from the first. Repeat and start a third one. Cook each pancake 4 minutes on the first side or until they brown and an additional 4 minutes. Spread a generous teaspoon of Nutella on the center of the pancake.

6. Storing and serving: Keep the pancakes warm on a baking sheet in the oven. Arrange on a serving platter.

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