Food Network Star Alex Guarnaschelli Is Engaged: 'I Want to Have a Blowout' Wedding, She Says

Ana Calderone
·4 min read

Wedding bells are in the air for Alex Guarnaschelli and her new fiancé, Michael Castellon!

On Saturday, the Food Network star, 51, announced that her boyfriend of four years had finally popped the big question and proposed on her birthday.

Guarnaschelli tells PEOPLE that while the newly engaged couple is in "no hurry" to officially tie the knot, she is excited to have a big celebration. "We're not in any hurry, but I want to have a blowout," the Supermarket Stakeout star says. "I want a tri-state rager."

The bride-to-be also revealed the hilarious way Castellon proposed, sharing that her now-fiancé utilized her gullibility to pull off the surprise.

"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."

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Cindy Ord/Getty Images Michael Castellon and Alex Guarnaschelli

The couple had been planning a socially distant get-together with some friends in celebration of Guarnaschelli's birthday when she decided she wanted to run to the grocery store to get some more bread for a cheese tray.

While the pair were driving back from the store, the Chopped judge says that Castellon pulled the car over, claiming to see a stray dog. "So we were right by my house and he just pulled over on the side of the road anxiously. And he said, 'I see a dog running around,'" Guarnaschelli recalls. "There's this little park with a windmill. He like, 'I see a dog running around in there without a leash.' "

Castellon then left Guarnaschelli in the car to go and inspect what he had seen, only to run back and tell her that it was actually a baby deer.

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"So he's like, '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," Guarnaschelli explains. "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," the chef recalls. "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."

The ring is a family heirloom, according to Guarnaschelli, who shared a photo of the gorgeous emerald rock on Instagram with the caption, "Ok @chefmike808 , you’re on! 💍."

Guarnaschelli and Castellon, a fellow chef, met four years ago when she was out to dinner with a friend at the restaurant where Castellon worked. "I was out to dinner with a friend, and at a restaurant, and I knew the waiter, and I was eating dinner and I said, 'This steak is just so good,' " she recalls. "And the waiter, my friend, said, 'Oh my God, my best friend is the cook, the chef, here. He's amazing. You got to meet him.'"

"I went in to meet him and tell him the steak was delicious and that was it," says Guarnaschelli, who was previously married to ex-husband Brandon Clark, with whom she shares 12-year-old daughter Ava.

The celebrity chef also tells PEOPLE that Castellon spoke to her daughter about one day asking her mom to marry him. "I said, 'He asked me to marry him.' And she goes, 'All right. I mean, I guess you can, Mom,' " Guarnaschelli laughs. "Such a 12-year-old."

Guarnaschelli raved about her fiancé on her Instagram Story, showing closer looks at her engagement ring. "We chefs can be commitment phobes and I've been married before? I'm going to soak in a moment of true joy," she said on Sunday, which was also Father's Day.

"I lost my dad almost two years ago. He would've liked to see this. @chefmike808 said he would've asked permission. I don't know if my dad would've ever said ok to anyone," she joked, later adding, "He would be proud of @chefmike808 asking. Just miss my dad is all. We all experience loss and this is a joyous moment I share with my dad's memory.