Alex Guarnaschelli recently celebrated her birthday AND an engagement. She got engaged to Michael Castellon, her boyfriend of four years, on her 48th birthday.
Guarnaschelli is the latest celeb to break from the conventional diamond engagement ring tradition. Castellon proposed with a striking emerald engagement ring, and we couldn’t love it more.
Before we spill the tea on the bling, let’s find out a little more on the couple.
Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Castellon are both celebrity chefs in NYC, and their chance meeting is no surprise.
Guarnaschelli is a Food Network star, appearing on Chopped, Iron Chef America, All Star Family Cook-off, Guy’s Grocery Games, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. She’s also a former Iron Chef America Winner!
Before Food Network, she worked in kitchens around the world. First in Burgundy, France, then in a 3 star Michelin Paris restaurant–– Guy Savoy.
Back in New York years later, Guarnaschelli opened The Darby (a high end supper club), and taught at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. There she met her first husband, but they divorced in 2015 after eight years of marriage.
Castellon (AKA Chef Mike) is no stranger to the Food Network kitchen. He’s a Chopped champion, and he’s also appeared on Guy’s Grocery Games. In addition, he’s been on Iron Chef America as Alex’s sous chef.
He also has a restaurant in New York City, which is where the couple met.
Guarnaschelli was dining with a friend out in New York and knew the waiter. She was complimenting the steak, to which her waiter friend replied, “Oh my God, my best friend is the cook, the chef, here. He’s amazing. You got to meet him!”
She told People magazine, “I went in to meet him and tell him the steak was delicious and that was it.” Love at first bite!
Four years later, Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Castellon are making it official.
The Engagement Story
Castellon made sure to ask Alex’s daughter for permission before popping the question. Guarnaschelli has a 12 year old daughter with her ex-husband.
She shared the funny proposal story with People Magazine. The couple was planning a socially distant birthday gathering to celebrate, when Alex decided she needed more bread for a cheese tray.
While driving back home from the store, Castellon pulled over claiming to see a stray dog sans leash. He got out to investigate, then ran back to the car after discovering it was actually a baby deer.
Alex recalled the scene for People magazine last month.
He said ‘Shh. Come see it. It’s so cute.’ And I’m like, ‘We’re going to have to do something. We’re going to have to call the animal welfare.’ I’m already rolodexing the situation,” says Guarnaschelli. “We tiptoe out, full-on tiptoe, and he goes, ‘It’s right around the windmill.’ So I look and he’s like, ‘Do you see it?’ And I’m like, ‘No, where’s the baby? You promised me a baby deer.’ “
“And he goes, ‘There’s no deer.’ I turn, and I look and he’s on one knee,” she tells People. “And he said, ‘There’s no deer.’ He’s like, ‘This is why I have to marry you because you just believe me every time.’
He said, ‘Will you marry me?’ and he gave me the ring.”
“It’s funny, I think one of the reasons why we’re a couple, we’ve been together for four years, is because he’ll tell me anything and I’ll believe him,” Guarnaschelli laughs. “I get all worked up, and then he just starts laughing, and he does it all the time about anything.”
The Engagement Ring
We don’t have all the exact details on the ring, but one source reported it to be a family heirloom according to Guarnaschelli.
The ring is right on trend. It features both the vintage factor plus the most popular alternative gemstone– an emerald. The emerald has a round, brilliant diamond accent stone on each side.
It appears to be set on a platinum or white gold band. Since it’s a family heirloom, we can safely guess it’s platinum. Until the mid 1960’s, almost all engagement rings were cast in platinum. It was almost unheard of for a diamond to be set in white gold.
When asked about wedding plans, Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Castellon are in no rush to get married. But when they do, expect a big celebration. “We’re not in any hurry, but I want to have a blowout,” the Food Network star says. “I want a tri-state rager.”
Rest assured the food will be just as kick ass!
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