Alex Guarnaschelli’s Daughter Ava is All About Cooking Plant-Based Extras
She may not be vegan, but we absolutely adore Food Network celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli. She’s laugh-out-loud funny, has no shortage of spunk, and always wows us on our TV screens whether she’s beating Bobby Flay in the kitchen or serving as a judge on Chopped.
In a recent interview, Guarneschelli caught up with Women’s Health on behalf of her partnership with nonprofit Vitamin Angels, fans got to take a peek inside her fridge and pantry. While her New York City restaurant is named Butter, after all, we were impressed to learn how many vegan staples the celeb chef keeps in her kitchen—in no small part to her teen daughter, Ava.
“My daughter has a pickled vegetable project going on right now,” Guarnaschelli explains, adding that after the pickled veggies are gone, the liquid gets used as an ingredient when cooking. We love to hear that her culinary experimenter of a kid is whipping up a culinary storm sans animal products. Requiring only a handful of plant-based ingredients like cucumbers, cauliflower, or peppers, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, and pickling salt, making homemade pickles is one of our favorite kitchen DIY adventures, too. (Check out our guide on how to make healthy pickles at home here.)
When you head over to Guarnaschelli’s pantry, the chef also stocks plenty of vegan staples, as she’s become especially tuned in to the importance of long-lasting, shelf-stable goods in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “The pantry is almost more important than the refrigerator right now. It’s made me think, ‘Okay, what if I’m stuck in my house for three weeks?’” she says to Women’s Health. In her pantry, you’ll find some of our favorite vegan go-to's, including chickpeas, dried beans, lentils, and bulgur.
Coupled with all the fresh veggies Guarnaschelli grows in her garden like tomatoes and jalapeños, we sure hope plenty of fancy chef-made bulgur salads with heaps of produce and garnished with plenty of pickled vegetables à la Ava are in this foodie family’s future.