Earlier this week, I had the super cool opportunity to meet Ted Allen of Chopped, Food Detectives, Queer Eye (my personal fave) and numerous other food shows!
Ted has paired up with Cascade to spotlight the “Best Food Merger Hall of Fame” – a collection of yummy but hard to clean food pairings. In the running are fried chicken, mac & cheese, and spaghetti & meatballs. While I think mac & cheese is the clear winner (there’s nothing harder to clean than crusted on cheese, and that includes my trying to bite the hardened cheese off the serving plate. Come on, you know you’ve thought about it ) – the results remain to be seen.
We discussed his motivation for partnering with Cascade, entertaining tips, favorite foods, and his show – Chopped.
Want to know some tidbits about Ted? Keep reading…
1. His simple go-to party appetizer: strawberry and tomato bruschetta with aged balsamic
2. A quick/easy dinner option for those rushed weeknights: Quesadillas. Vary up the fillings, and the meal can be quite healthy.
3. Foods that he isn’t crazy about: Marrow. Additionally, he’d prefer a juicy ripe tomato over foie gras.
4. Underrated Foods: A good hot dog, with wholesome ingredients, is very satisfying. Ted recommends hot dogs from The Meat Hook, where the butcher can tell you exactly what’s in each hot dog.
Ted’s Tips on Entertaining:
1. Get a drink into your guests’ hands within 5 minutes of their arrival; this signals that it’s time to relax and have fun!
2. Votive candles are an easy and inexpensive way to dress up your decor
3. If you have the room for it, invest in a foldable rolling rank to hang guests’ coats – a neater and more presentable alternative than the bed.
Yes, the mac & cheese was in front of me by this point; what of it?
Ted on his Show “Chopped”:
1. There’s an entire team that puts together the mystery baskets of ingredients that contestants must use.
2. That team will not group together ingredients for which it hasn’t already thought of a recipe (I’m curious about their recipe involving wonton skins, gummy bears, kiwi and blackberries)
I also received a copy of Ted’s cookbook, The Food You Want to Eat:
I had a wonderful time at this event. It was great to engage with Ted in such an informal setting. After talking to him about sea urchin, I even suggested Basta Pasta for their linguine with fresh sea urchin in pink sauce. Will he take heed of my recommendation? Only Ted will tell…