The Sweet History Of Alex Guarnaschelli's Friendship With Scott Conant - Exclusive

If you're a big fan of Food Network, you've probably picked up on the fact that the world of food TV is a small one. The chefs we've come to know and love across the network can often be found making multiple appearances on a range of shows, and it stands to reason that many of them have developed deep and lasting friendships over the years. This is certainly true of "Chopped" judges and restaurant chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Scott Conant. The two go way back, and whether you see them at the judges' table together, teaming up on "Beat Bobby Flay," or trading sassy comments on social media, it's clear that the two chefs share a strong bond and a whole lot of inside jokes.

We witnessed the dynamic firsthand at the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival presented by Capital One. Guarnaschelli and Conant hosted a signature event, "Peroni's Taste of Italy," and bonded over much more than their love of Italian food and their days on the "Chopped" set. Speaking exclusively with Mashed, Guarnaschelli opened up about their friendship, including one of her favorite memories with Conant.

Alex and Scott have been buddies on Chopped since day one

Alex Guarnaschelli has been a prominent figure in the "Chopped" kitchen since she joined the show 14 years ago. She's judged hundreds of episodes and even competed herself on "Chopped: All Stars." She's no doubt made so many fond memories over the years, including with her longtime friend Scott Conant. In fact, she shared one of her fondest memories with Conant, and no surprise, it happened on the "Chopped" set.

Guarnaschelli told Mashed that Conant was "the only judge I knew before the show started; every other judge I met while shooting." Naturally, the two got close on the set right from the start. "We sat together on the first day of 'Chopped,'" she said. "One of the contestants stood in front of us, and he said, 'You know what, guys? I'd chop me.'" Guarnaschelli laughed, and said the moment of doubt and brutal honesty was a defining moment in their friendship. "There's something about a competitor expressing what we already felt. There was something that happened there that day for me and Scott."

She continued, "There was this holding each other's pinkies under the table, [thinking], 'We're going to get a lot of hate mail, and this show is not going to work.'" There's a definite chance that if "Chopped" had flopped, the shared camaraderie would have made for some good stories to this day — but we don't need to tell you how that story ends. "I'm glad we were wrong on every account," Gaurnaschelli said, adding, "Fourteen-and-a-half years later, here we are."

For the latest from chef Alex Guarnaschelli, follow her on Instagram. Plus, click here to learn more about the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented by Capital One, and be sure to check out the highlights from this year's event.