Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Reality Check With ... Ted Allen (Bravo's "Top Chef")

Ted Allen, best known as the Food Guy on Bravo's hit show "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy", joins Top Chef this season as its newest judge. Ted can be seen as a guest judge often on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America" and is starring in his own PBS show, "Uncorked: Wine Made Simple" due out this summer. His book, "The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes" is available now on Amazon. Ted takes time out of his busy schedule to dish about the hot new season of Top Chef, which kicks off tonight with a special featuring the best of seasons 1 & 2 battling it out in a no holds barred cookoff.

RC: When did your interest in food begin?
Ted: My mom always encouraged us to cook growing up. When I got older, I got a job at Chicago Magazine interviewing chefs & tasting good food.

RC: Does it ever still surprise you how huge the Fab 5 have become?
Ted: It's a never ending surprise! I never thought the show would go anywhere. We've made 100 episodes, with the last 10 airing on Bravo later this year. We've all moved on since filming & everyone has their own projects.

RC: You're so busy! You're on so many channels, doing so many shows, plus all the writing you do. How do you find time for it all?
Ted: I have a couple weeks off & I'm really digging that. We shot the first part of Top Chef in Miami but the finale is being taped this July so I don't even know who wins! I know who doesn't win but I'm not going to tell you that.

RC: Were you a fan of the previous Top Chef seasons?
Ted: Oh yeah, I've been addicted!

RC: Why did Top Chef decide to film this season in Miami?
Ted: Miami is a really sexy city - somehow, everyone is really good looking! Top Chef Miami is about sexy people, nightclubbing, the beaching, and wearing virtually no clothing ... not the chefs, they do wear clothes. Season 1 was filmed in San Francisco, season 2 in L.A., and now season 3 is in Miami. Bravo looks for really eclectic cities to film in.

RC: Tonight, Bravo is airing a special featuring a charity cookoff between seasons 1 & 2. Did each chef choose a charity of is there one central charity who will receive a donation?
Ted: Each season got together to decide which charity they would be cooking for. We're bringing back some of your favorites as well as some villains. The chefs did serve the food to us to judge (myself, Padma, Tom, Gail) as well as the new season 3 contestants.

RC: Are there any chefs we should look out for this season? Any standouts?
Ted: I like a lot of them! There's a chef from Dallas named Trey who's really great, Hung from Vegas who works at Caesar's Palace, and we have a couple of good ol' boys from New York.

RC: Where else can we find you this year?
Ted: Well, I've got my PBS show, "Uncorked: Wine Made Simple", I still appear as a guest judge on "Iron Chef: America" and I'm also talking to the Food Network about another show.

RC: I'm excited to be seeing you so much on my tv this year!
Ted: Well, it's going to be a large version of me with all the food I'm eating!

Check out Bravo's all-star special airing tonight at 10pmEST
Top Chef: Miami kicks off next week, June 13!
Get all your Top Chef & Queer Eye links at

No comments: