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From the Eater Lounge: Alex Guarnaschelli

Throughout the Food & Wine Festival this weekend Eater is welcoming bloggers, journalists and food world personalities to our lounge, The Eater Lounge, at MILK Studios. As the peeps pass through, we're going to chat them up and spit out the dialogue here in this business, From the Eater Lounge.

2008_10_alexg.jpgSo what do you make of this whole festival thing? I'm not a festival junkie. I'm a native New Yorker, and I used to live in the West Village. It's sort of sacred ground for me. So the idea of a festival made me nervous. But I like the way the format conforms to the nature of the neighborhood. Festivals can be like constipated little tents where you're holding 14 plates of food you don't want. This has a much more organic feel, and that's very New York.

I went to the Burger Bash on Friday night, and I didn't even know it was the cool place to be. The Adam Perry Lang burger was my favorite. Screw the meat, screw the fries—it's all about the acid. The onion/vinegar/pickle family. To me, that's the heart and soul of a really great burger. The BLT and the Shake Shack leviathans are really wonderful, but APL was there in a t-shirt, working the grill. I saw him salting the burgers himself on either side, and I was like, forget it, sold.

What's going on in your world? I just finished taping a bunch of episodes of The Cooking Loft for the Food Network. It's me cooking with four students who chose to put themselves on the chopping block and cook with me. You think you know how to cook until you cook on TV. You're trying to communicate with the television screen, teach, and it's hard to make that come across.

And what time can Eater readers tune in? You're too sweet. 9:30am on Saturdays. I actually TiVo it myself—my husband makes fun of me because I can't even wake up in time to watch my own show.

Beyond the kitchen of Butter, where you're the executive chef, what's driving you wild these days in the New York food world? I'm loving pretty much anything Sara Jenkins does at Porchetta. She's just cooking. Seeing a four-star review [in NYMag] for a restaurant that casual, it reminds you that it really is all about the food.


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