Alex Guarnaschelli has become ubiquitous on Food Network lately, first on “Chopped” as a frequent judge, and now on her own show, “Alex’s Day Off,” which airs Sunday mornings at 9:30 am ET/PT. The premise of her new show is showing how a working mom, restauranteur and TV personality can juggle all of that and still cook great meals at home.

But our questions focused on Alex regarding her role as a judge on “Chopped.” A few months ago, we published a post asking the producers of the show why the judges have to be so angry and tough on the contestants, and it spawned a lot of comments from viewers who also felt the judges were too harsh. So we had the opportunity to ask Alex about the show–and in particular if the harsh criticism is real or fabricated by producers……

Premium Hollywood: I think I speak for anyone who has watched “Chopped”….are you guys told by the producers to be as harsh as you are to the contestants, or is that how you want to come across?

Alex Guarnaschelli: The producers don’t tell us how to act. We talk a lot, we deliberate, we argue, we struggle with what some contestants make, we wish everyone could be a winner, we sympathize with how the contestants feel, we sweat along with them, because we know how hard it is to compete under such pressure. Sometimes, I may have spoken 10 minutes with someone about their dish and had it edited down to a facial expression due to time. That can be hard to watch! I also think we use a lot of “chef speak”. We speak to each other as we would in the kitchen.

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