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09.15.11

Fresh Picks

One of New York’s most multifaceted chefs tells us what she’s loving right now.

Alex Gaurnaschelli is the executive chef of Butter Restaurant and The Darby. As the daughter of esteemed cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli, Alex spent her childhood surrounded by food. She studied at La Varenne Culinary School in Burgundy, and what started as a four-day stage at the Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy turned into four years during which Guarnaschelli was rapidly promoted to sous chef at La Butte Chaillot, another Savoy establishment. Guarnaschelli returned to New York and joined the venerable Daniel Boulud at restaurant Daniel, and in 2003 was given the opportunity to become the executive chef at Butter, where she would create her own American and green-market-inspired menu. This past fall, Guarnaschelli opened a new restaurant, the Darby, an old-style New York supper club with live music, a raw bar, and a menu that focuses on seafood and modern reinterpretations of iconic “retro supper club” dishes.

In addition to her restaurant work, Guarnaschelli inspires budding chefs as a chef-instructor at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Guarnaschelli has completed the third season of Alex’s Day Off on Food Network and is a regular judge on Chopped and contributor to The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Guarnaschelli has also contributed writing to Saveur, Wine Enthusiast, Food and Wine Magazine and Food Network Magazine. She is currently working on her first book to be published with Clarkson Potter.

She works to help a number of charities, especially City Harvest, Wellness in the Schools, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and SHARE. She will be participating in the second annual Sotheby’s Art of Farming event to celebrate edible heirlooms and the art involved in their creation, which supports local agriculture and sustainable food options for all New Yorkers.

Recipe

Fall is officially upon us so behold the perfect snack to welcome in this wonderful season.

alex-guarnaschelli-fresh-picks-recipe
Jane Sobel Klonsky

I love apple chips. I am so partial to apples because we get such great ones in this part of the country. This recipe is so simple and so tasty. The simple syrup really makes a difference with these apple chips. It makes them shiny and crispier. You can reuse the syrup to sweeten tea or make another batch of apple chips. Simply keep the syrup in the fridge.

Ingredients
2 cups water
1½ cups sugar
Juice from 2-3 lemons
4 small apples, preferably a crisp, flavorful variety like Royal Gala or Winesap, washed and dried

Directions: Combine the water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Set aside to cool. Place the apples on a flat surface and, using a mandolin or sharp knife, cut each one, placing the core end of the apple in front of the blade, into rounds as thin as you can manage. Remove any seeds as you cut and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Submerge the apple slices in the syrup and allow them to “rest” for a few hours or, even better, overnight. Preheat the oven to 200F. Remove some of the apples from the syrup and lightly dry them on a kitchen towel. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment or on a tray fitted with a baking rack. Bake in the oven until crispy. Enjoy!

Restaurant

If you are looking for a great place with great food to get warm and cozy, look no further.

alex-guarnaschelli-fresh-picks-hearth

I am love with the classics and Hearth is my hometown favorite. From the wine list to the market ingredients, it never disappoints. I love to have a glass of bubbly cider or a super dry white and some appetizers at the bar.

Cookbook

More than just recipes, this book will take you on a culinary journey all its own.

My Calabria Fresh Pics

My Calabria by Rosetta Constantino. This book has simple recipes, riveting pictures and paints a picture of Calabria that makes me want to jump on a plane immediately. The writing is so transporting. It's a cookbook and a storybook at the same time.

Food Destination

Behold one tiny and tasty bakery that can take you miles away for a fraction of the cost, one pastry at a time.

alex-guarnaschelli-fresh-picks-destination

La Bergamote patisserie. This is a simple place—sandwiches, a few salads and pastries. But the fruit tarts? So good: Fruity with a little cream and a nut-flavored tart shell. Textures and flavors galore. I especially love the raspberry ones. They take me right back to my days in Paris.