15 Things You Didn't Know About Anne Burrell

15 Things You Didn't Know About Anne Burrell
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15 Things You Didn't Know About Anne Burrell

Did you know these 15 things about Anne Burrell?

Decided to Take the Chef Path When...

"I had an epiphany one day when I was 23," Anne Burrell explains. "I had a horrible job. I remember everything about the moment. I said I'm 23 years old and I'm too young to be this miserable, so I'm going to go to culinary school. I got a job as a prep cook, washing lettuce, cleaning shrimp and cutting vegetables. [I] just really want[ed] to work hard and put my hands on food. I did that for a year and then I went to the Culinary Institute of America."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Favorite Thing About Cooking Is...

"I still get turned on when I go into kitchen supply stores and see wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, pots and pans. I get excited walking through the farmers market. [I love] creating and being able to spread happiness."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Signature Look Came From...

"[My hair] sort of evolved. People can't tell if it's just a mess or if it's supposed to look that way. I've always had nutty hair," she says. The chef is also known for wearing skirts. "It's comfortable, it's cute, it's a way for me to maintain my femininity in a masculine field and it's just fun!"

Image Credit: Robin Marchant via Getty Images Entertainment

New 'Do Is...

"I am actually rocking a pink faux-hawk these days. I just turned 44 and needed a little change on my birthday. I've had the same haircutter for more than 10 years. It looks like a big cotton candy fluff."

Image Credit: Mireya Acierto via Getty Images Entertainment

Got On TV Through...

"Mario Batali. I worked for him and he called me up one day and asked if I wanted to do Iron Chef with him. Mario, Mark Ladner and I went against Morimoto. We won and Mario said, 'that's it. You are my Iron Chef team for forever.' Then the Food Network wanted to see if I could cook and talk." Burrell then debuted Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, then Worst Cooks and most recently Chef Wanted.

Image Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images Entertainment

Landed The Gig With Mario Batali...

"I answered an ad in the New York Times and got hired at a wine store that [Batali] used to be a partner of, The Italian Wine Merchants. It was doing private wine dinners and pairings. I was hired for the job and it wasn't until a month later that I met Mario. It was sheer luck that I happened to answer that ad."

Image Credit: Mireya Acierto via Getty Images Entertainment

Favorite Food Growing Up Was...

"There are so many. My mom was a really good cook. I'm pretty lucky. It was always fun in being able to plant and harvest the garden. My mom would ask me to pick lettuce for dinner and that kind of thing." Her favorite meals were the ones she could help with.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Favorite Restaurants Right Now Are...

"At any given time I have a lot of favorite restaurants. I travel so much that I'm lucky that I get to experience a lot of places. Del Posto [is a perennial favorite], and [I like] Mission Chinese. I think Danny Bowien is really talented and creative. His food is delicious. Smith & Wollensky is always super fun. You can't beat the coconut cake."

Image Credit: Getty Images

Greatest Culinary Icons Or Mentors are...

"Clearly, Mario. My first job in New York City was for Lidia Bastianich. [Also] Julia Child.

When I was three, I went to my mother and said 'I have a friend named Julia,' and she said, 'You do? Who?' I said, 'Julia Child; I watch her every day on TV.' Julia Child and my mom got me started on that path. Lydia and Mario have been huge role models, teachers and mentors."

Image Credit: Boston Globe/Contributor via Getty Images

The Quirkiest Thing About Mario Is...

"I adore Mario Batali. He has been so good to me in my life and in my career. [He is] so supportive, so much fun and freakishly smart. He really is a force of nature and one of a kind. To say just one quirky thing about Mario would not do him justice."

Image Credit: D Dipasupil via FilmMagic

Favorite Memory With Mario Is...

"We were doing Iron Chef in our first season when it moved here to New York. I was doing these little mascarpone sugar cookie grissini as a garnish for the dessert. [I] coated them with turbinado sugar, tossed them in the oven and promptly forgot about them. Twenty minutes later, Mario goes to put something in the oven and he pulls the tray out. It was a tray of black worms and he was like, 'I think these are done, honey!' He didn't freak out. He was just so funny, [even] in the pressure of Iron Chef. I had some dough left that I had tossed out. I looked around and totally dove in the garbage can, got the dough out and made more cookies."

Image Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images Entertainment

Favorite Dish To Make At Home Is...

"Bucatini all'Amatriciana. It has everything that I love. My holy trinity, olive oil, salt and bacon, is in it, even though I use guanchiale, a nod to the pork product. But it is a spicy, onion-y tomato sauce with big thick chewy ropes of pasta. I could just put my face first into a dish of that.

Image Credit: Getty Images

Food Network Friends Are...

"I'm very good friends with Alex Guarnaschelli. Clearly Mario. I adore Bobby Flay. We are all also super busy so its not like we get together for lunch. Festivals are fun when we get to catch up and touch base with everybody."

Image Credit: Lou Rocco via Disney ABC Television Group

The New York City Wine & Food Festival Is Fun Because...

"New York is so fun because usually it is beautiful, perfect fall weather. I love the fall in New York. Everyone is coming back together after being dispersed over the summer. The festivals are so fun because you get to catch up with fellow cooks and chefs. The fans are fantastic. [I am] hosting the Slice's event. I'm a big fan of a pizza."

Image Credit: Getty Images

If I Wasn't A Chef I'd Be A...

"Therapist. If you think about it, as a chef you are kind of a therapist already. People eat emotionally and it also has to do with memories, your childhood, your family and community. You smell something and it takes you back to an amazing time and place. When you get together with your family, what do you do? You eat. There [are] a lot of feelings and emotions that go into food."

Image Credit: John Parra via Getty Images Entertainment


Every chef begins somewhere.

Chef Anne Burrell began her career working in a restaurant after college graduation. She loved working there, but when her mom requested that she make use of her degree, a quick stint as a physician head hunter lead her right back to the kitchen. She decided to make cooking her career. To this day, she is still excited and challenged by her career as a chef.

Ever wonder where her signature spiky, blonde hairdo comes from? Or what it's like to work with Mario Batali? We've got all your burning questions answered.

Check out the slideshow above for 15 things you didn't know about Anne Burrell.

Catch Burrell at the New York City Wine & Food Festival.

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