The Two Foods Alex Guarnaschelli Absolutely Refuses To Eat

What are the two foods Alex Guarnaschelli absolutely refuses to eat? It's honestly a little hard to believe that someone working in food, especially someone who judges food competitions, would be timid about eating anything. Then again, if you've tried it all, it's likely that you know what you do and don't like. We can't enjoy everything, right?

Chef Guarnaschelli is proof positive of that statement. She's judged on many a show, including Food Network's Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay, among others. Guarnaschelli can also be seen featured as a fierce competitor in the kitchen on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption. And since she has such a tight relationship with the Food Network, Guarnaschelli sat down with the popular food television station to chat about some things you may not know about her.

In addition to some other fun facts, like Guarnaschelli's difficulty ingredient being hot dogs and her affinity for fried squid/clams (which she says "Tastes Like Deep-Fried Ocean"), the chef spilled some tea about foods that she not only likely doesn't cook, but just plain doesn't like. Surprisingly, there's not one, but two different foods that Guarnaschelli doesn't plan to eat anytime soon. One seems pretty understandable if you're aware of what it's made of, but the other is a seemingly common ingredient and may not be exactly what you'd expect someone so ingrained in the culinary world to despise.

What food could be such a turn-off that a chef won't eat it?

In slide 13 of the Food Network's review of Guarnaschelli and what you likely wouldn't know about the chef, the channel dishes that she can't stand pattypan squash or haggis. Haggis, especially when canned as the Got Licorice blog writes, has a smell that would remind one of dog food more than human food, so it stands to reason that may not be on Guarnaschelli's list of faves. 

Not surprisingly, it seems some of Guarnaschelli's fellow chefs are aligned with that thinking. According to IMDb, on an episode of Chopped: Champions, producers filled their well-known mystery box with sweet dough, unripe plantains, and haggis. When prompted on Twitter as to whether a mystery box ingredient had ever made a chef faint or get sick, Guarnaschelli responded "no." However, Duff Goldman quickly followed up with a nod to his unpleasant experience, saying, "I dry heaved when I smelled canned haggis."

According to BBC Good Food, the taste of haggis is akin to a spicy, crumbly sausage. They note that it has "a coarse oaty texture and a warming peppery flavour," and can be used in "stuffing for poultry and game, or fried up for breakfast like crumbled black pudding." But it seems like the effervescent Guarnaschelli would rather stick to the sausage she knows instead.

Turn-off number two

Pattypan squash, on the other hand, Guarnaschelli dislikes for an opposing reason. "They're cute, but have no flavor," she spilled to Parade Magazine. And Guarnaschelli has reiterated her disdain for the squash several times, including on Twitter when fans have inquired about her tastes. Interestingly enough, Guarnaschelli seemed to imply on Twitter that she actually enjoyed them when she was younger, but her tastes have changed with time. 

An author on MyRecipes seemed to feel similarly when she first tried to cook pattypan squash, noting her first attempt was to make the squash the same way she'd cook others like zucchini. However, she quickly found that "the flavor wasn't nearly as sweet and flavorful as my usual summer squash rounds, and I was horribly disappointed." But with time, the author discovered new methods of cooking the squash and ended up truly loving it. Similarly, Country Living has a ton of pattypan squash recipes for fall side dishes. Perhaps, armed with this knowledge, it's time for Guarnaschelli to flex those cooking muscles and give the gourd another chance?

It all makes sense now

While Guarnaschelli does mention in a Q & A on her website (on her "Go Ask Alex" page), that she doesn't "like to eat patty pan squash or mussels, but will if need be." Indeed, it doesn't sound like she's going to be jonesing for it or even adding it to her recipe repertoire anytime soon. 

However, with Guarnaschelli's sound reasoning, one can kind of better understand her thought process and why, as a chef who uses tons of flavor and spice in her dishes, she might be hesitant to give something so bland another try when she has so many other, better options to choose from. Just look at some of the fantastic recipes she provides on her site alone. After all, is there anything worse for a chef — especially one who's been exposed to many strange flavors on Iron Chef and Chopped –- than lack of flavor? What's the point? 

So, have Guarnaschelli's tastes influenced your opinion on either of these eats?