Friday, May 25, 2012

Read My Mind: Ted Allen's "In My Kitchen"

Ok, Ted isn't in my kitchen but he has a fabulous new book titled In My Kitchen.  The book details his favorite recipes focusing on whole food ingredients as the basis for a delicious and real food meal.  There are "100 recipes for food lovers, passionate cooks, and enthusiastic eaters" as stated on the cover.  Some recipes require a little effort, as any good meal should.  But for the most part the book is filled with the potential for your next meal to be the talk of your dinner table.

A quick glance of the book and I find a Chocolate-Sour Cream Cake recipe (page 211) calling me to make them into cupcake form.  I'm always looking for THE best mac and cheese, and his recipe (page 94) includes aged gouda and cheddar and might be worth the calorie splurge.  My son is interested in the Twice-Baked Potatoes (page 46) because it includes bacon and he requested a finishing of truffle salt.

Who is Ted Allen? Mr. Allen is the host of the Food Network series, "Chopped". Both Chopped and Mr. Allen are James Beard Award recipients for their incredible work.  Chopped is a reality/TV game show that features baskets with random ingredients that chefs must thoughtfully prepare an appetizer, entree and dessert with the possibility of being eliminated after each round.   Prior to Chopped, Mr. Allen was one of the Fab Five on the Bravo series, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" serving as the food and wine specialist. An accomplished writer, TV personality and philanthropist Mr. Allen has made his mark in the culinary and entertainment world.

I was fortunate enough to attend an intimate cooking demonstration led by Mr. Allen at Williams-Sonoma in Bellevue Square.  There was a small group gathered around the indoor kitchen grill, enjoying his company and his take on grilling skirt steak.  He answered many questions from the audience, mostly about the inside happenings of his television show, Chopped.

I was brave enough to ask him, "If you were to entertain your out of town guests, what restaurant in Manhattan would you take them to?"  After explaining that he would love to cook for them in his kitchen, he mentioned a restaurant that he hasn't quite made it to....Eleven Madison Park.  Oh my goodness!  I have totally been there and just wrote a blog entry last week.

Of course I was star struck!  Mr. Allen has an elbow that any foodie would love to rub.  I enjoyed the afternoon of humor, talks of his food colleagues and left with a signed copy of his book.

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