Instagram Is Raining Hearts Over Alex Guarnaschelli's Sweet Pic Of Her Late Mother

Celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli is something of a culinary icon, but her mother, the late Maria Guarnaschell was also quite the venerable figure herself. After earning a master's in Russian lit from Yale, she spent several decades as an award-winning cookbook editor and publisher. She was responsible for the 1997 update of a 1931 classic, "The Joy of Cooking," per The New York Times.

Through her work, Maria became well-known for her rigorousness, often leading her to earn a reputation among some chefs for being stringent and demanding. Chef Alex confirmed this, noting her mother spent years constantly testing recipes, remaining a stickler for precision and attention to detail. But she also said this was one of the qualities that made her mother's work successful. "You have to break some heads to get great work," she told Food & Wine in 2015. "My mother is cantankerous, difficult, and fabulous."

Ultimately, the cookbook author's fierce commitment to excellence worked out for the best, as a number of works she edited went on to win many awards. On top of that, per The Kitchn, by 2013, the edition "Joy of Cooking" she edited was one of only two versions of the book still in circulation, the other being the 75th-anniversary edition from 2006. With that in mind, it's not surprising the "Chopped" judge has said her mother significantly influenced her love of cooking, even crediting her as the reason she pursued it as a career.

Maria Guarnaschelli's legacy lives on

Earlier this week, Alex Guarnaschelli took to Instagram to post a loving tribute in remembrance of her famous mother. A throwback photo showed Maria Guarnaschelli sitting at a desk piled high with papers. Alex wrote, "This is my mom 30 years ago having just spent 3 sleepless years editing & revising the "Joy of Cooking" cookbook. She was a piece of work herself & I miss her so much. Lost you a year ago, Ma. Hope you & dad are arguing somewhere in heaven about whether tomato paste belongs in tomato sauce. #rip."

Thousands of fans have since liked the post, while many showered it with heart emojis. Words of support flooded in. Based on several replies, it's clear the late cookbook editor had admirers across the food and publishing world. "Brains and beauty," wrote one user next to a broken heart emoji. "Legend," read another reply from Maile Carpenter, current editor of Food Network magazine.

Others expressed appreciation for both Guarnaschellis' culinary contributions. Food writer Nick Solares shared that he still possesses a 30-year-old copy of Maria Guarnaschelli's edition of "Joy of Cooking," writing "It's the only cook book I've held on to. #rip." A self-described 72-year-old who only learned about Maria's work on "Joy of Cooking" through the post called it "my cooking bible" and thanked Alex "for sharing." Another user kept it simple and sweet: "Your mom and the 'Joy of Cooking' are works of art, so are you."