With her trademark spiky blonde hair and sparkling personality, Anne Burrell is the hugely popular and fan favorite host of Worst Cooks in America, Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition, as well as the new Food Network series Vegas Chef Prize Fight. Burrell is an industry veteran and passionate teacher who prides herself on creating rustic Italian dishes that celebrate simple and pure ingredients.
Growing up in upstate New York, Anne’s passion for food and cooking began at an early age, triggered by her love of watching Julia Child and her own mother’s talent in the kitchen. After graduating with a degree in English and Communication from Canisius College in Buffalo, she pursued her interest in the restaurant business by enrolling in the Culinary Institute of America. Following her graduation in 1996, she furthered her education by spending a year in Italy attending the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners. During that year, she did apprenticeships at La Taverna del Lupo in Umbria and the Michelin-starred La Bottega del ‘30, a 30-seat restaurant that offered one six-course seating a night in Tuscany. It was during this period that Anne developed her true love of the Italian kitchen and grew to appreciate and understand the philosophy of Italian cuisine.
Upon her return to the United States in 1998, Burrell was hired as a Sous Chef at Felidia Ristorante in Manhattan alongside Lidia Bastianich. Anne then went on to become a Chef at Savoy Restaurant in Soho where she created flavorful Mediterranean-inspired menus while cooking over an open wood fire.
After several years of working in restaurants, Anne took the opportunity to spread her culinary knowledge and passion as a teacher at the Institute of Culinary Education where she taught for more than three years. Seeking her next challenge, Burrell returned to restaurant life and accepted the role of Executive Chef at Lumi Restaurant while continuing to teach part time. From there she moved on to be the Executive Chef of the Italian Wine Merchants where she curated and executed wine-pairing dinners. It was during this time that Anne began her TV career, appearing as a Sous Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef America. From there Burrell went on to be the Executive Chef at New
York hotspot Centro Vinoteca. It was during her tenure there that Anne was offered her own show on the Food Network, the Emmy-nominated Secrets of a Restaurant Chef which ran for nine seasons.
Since then, Anne has become a much-loved staple on Food Network appearing regularly on shows such as Chef Wanted, Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped, Food Network Star and others. Burrell is also the author of two cookbooks, the New York Times top ten bestseller, Cook Like a Rock Star, and the follow-up Own Your Kitchen: Recipes to Inspire and Empower, both of which give home cooks the confidence and support to be rock stars in their own kitchens.
Burrell has served on the Garden of Dreams Foundation Advisory Board which brightens the lives of children facing obstacles, and is also a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Celebrity Ambassador, where she is an advocate for juvenile diabetes awareness. She travels frequently around the country in her role as both a mentor and guest speaker where she discusses her career and love of cooking. Throughout Anne’s culinary journey she has always said, "I feel so lucky to be able to share my true passion in life with others."