After five years at the Quilted Giraffe, Alford became manager at various city Greenmarkets, including the renowned Union Square Farmers' Market. Her love of teaching took her to Peter Kump's New York Cooking School (now Institute for Culinary Education) as the director of instruction in 1989. In addition,she served as the special events chef for Gourmet and taught classes across the country. Her interest inteaching also led her to design and teach cooking classes to adults and adolescents at the Van Italie Center for Obesity Research, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.
In 1992, Alford worked on the award-winning Union Square Cafe Cookbook, testing and adapting the restaurant's recipes for the home cooks. She has contributed to Food & Wine, Cook's Illustrated, FineCooking, and Food Arts; has appeared on various national and local television shows as a guest chef andfood expert, and is the author of the book, Caviar, Truffles, and Foie Gras (Chronicle, 2001).
In 2000, Alford joined Food Network. She currently oversees the busy Test Kitchens, developing recipes for Food Network Magazine (2009 New Magazine Launch of the Year, #1 selling food magazine on newsstands), cookbooks, network shows, promotional initiatives, and FoodNetwork.com andCookingChannel.com. Food Network Magazine’s cookbook Great Easy Meals was a New York Time’s best seller. Two of Food Network Kitchens cookbooks, Making It Easy (2004) and Get Grilling (2005) were IACP cookbook award finalists. How to Boil Water: Life Beyond Take Out was chosen by Food &Wine as one of the top cookbooks of 2006. Alford lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.