by Joseph Erdos in Shows, June 24th, 2016
by Joseph Erdos in Behind the Scenes, Shows, June 20th, 2016
You’ve seen him host every single episode of Chopped and Chopped Junior, and he’s even flexed his cooking chops in a few After Hours appearances alongside the Chopped judges, but there’s a lot you don’t know about Ted Allen. Here’s your chance to get to know the man who unceremoniously sends competitors to the chopping block.
Before hosting Chopped, Ted Allen served as a regular judge on Iron Chef America. He’s won an Emmy Award for his work on Bravo’s Queer Eye as the food and wine specialist. As the host of Chopped, he’s won the James Beard Foundation Award for outstanding host. He’s written two cookbooks and has contributed to Esquire magazine (for which he was a finalist for a National Magazine Award), Bon Appétit and Food Network Magazine. But did you know there’s almost no food Ted won’t try, and that cheese is his absolute favorite? He’s also secretly wished he could be the lead singer of a rock band. Find out which one, and get more interesting tidbits about this multifaceted host with the most.
by Kristina Bornholtz in Community, Food Network Chef, Shows, April 26th, 2016
What makes Chopped such a successful competition show, one that, to this day, still excites fans and keeps unsuspecting chefs on their toes? According to host Ted Allen, a number of factors add up to make Chopped great television, but at the heart of it is an unyielding passion for food that’s on display every time a chef opens a basket of mystery ingredients. Whether you watch Chopped, Chopped Junior or the tournaments (Champions, All-Stars, Grill Masters or Teens), the format is the same: There are three rounds of mystery baskets, and each chef has only so much time to cook the ingredients. What changes are the chefs, who each bring their stories to the kitchen and cook with boundless energy and deep passion that emanates in their plates. That’s what makes Chopped one of the best food competition shows on TV.
FN dish caught up with the indomitable host to chat about what makes the show so special, what goes into preparing for an episode, what’s changed over the many seasons — because he’s been there since its inception — and what would happen if he suddenly had to compete. Hint: Ted characterizes his skills as the complete opposite of the competitors’ abilities. Find out what he had to say about the long-running series and more.
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 31st, 2016
Today’s the day! Chopped Junior returns tonight (8|7c) with brand-new young competitors, sharp knives at the ready, prepared to take on the craziest baskets yet. And to celebrate, host Ted Allen is taking over Food Network’s Snapchat Discover.
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, October 11th, 2015
Fresh off the chopping block, Ted Allen joined the ranks of eviliciousness tonight when he stopped by for his first-ever turn as a Cutthroat Kitchen guest judge. The Chopped judge is used to watching chef competitors try their hands at downright oddball ingredients in their mystery baskets, but on Cutthroat Kitchen, he had no knowledge of chefs’ struggles with sabotages — until he experienced them for himself on the After-Show.
Alton Brown and Ted faced off in prepping — what else but — a chopped salad, which was the Round 1 dish of the day. And in true evilicious fashion, they could use only garden tools for their utensils. “Oh, no. Oh, no,” Ted said as he learned of the sabotage. He ultimately chose to work with the weed whacker in his mini battle with Alton, who was left to use a tiller to prep his salad. “Look at that. That’s gorgeous,” Ted proclaimed after successfully shredding lettuce with the weed whacker, though he found out later that the device “doesn’t work as well on the cucumber.” He admitted, “I don’t think I’m going to get an A+ in weed-whacker knife skills on that one.” Though Alton appeared to struggle a bit when it came time to chop a red pepper, he managed to serve a completed salad to a Bob, all while Ted was still working his way through ingredients.
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, August 17th, 2015
“I’m over-the-moon excited with how fun this series is,” said Ted Allen when we chatted on the set of the new kids’ competition show, Chopped Junior, premiering on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 8|7c. Ted hosts the series, in which 10- to 14 -year-olds compete in a very mature arena. The Chopped set may be decked out in primary colors, but the challenge is the same: Transform a set of basket ingredients into a cohesive dish that’s flavorful and well-presented. But these kids, unlike most, can do just that — they’re halfway to being adults when it comes to knowing food.
“These are kids who really love to cook, who have been inculcated with the values of chefs,” said Ted, adding that just like professional chefs, the kid competitors want to cook real, fresh, unprocessed foods. Give them a frozen pizza bite, Ted gave as an example, and they will “lecture you about the ingredients that are in processed foods.” These kids know their stuff, whether it’s how to use a unique ingredient like lemongrass or how to dice an onion like a pro. And Ted was floored by the kids’ mastery of tastes. “They know that if something’s too sweet, you have to balance it with something acidic, like lemon juice or lime juice or vinegar. They like vinegar. They like things that are bitter.” Is there anything that these kids are bad at?
by Joseph Erdos in Behind the Scenes, Shows, July 6th, 2015
There’s something unique about watching kids cook, witnessing their raw talent and passion for food. Once their spark is lit, there’s no putting it out, and it’s a joy to see. That’s exactly what fans can expect from Season 2 of Chopped Teen Tournament, premiering Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 10|9c. The kids taking on the five-part competition are extremely talented and “inspiring,” as Chopped host Ted Allen pointed out in a recent interview with FN Dish.
“The latest tournament is the best we’ve done yet, thanks to the kids,” said Ted of the budding chefs, calling them “the real stars of Chopped.”
by Joseph Erdos in Shows, February 13th, 2015
For the second time in the show’s history, Chopped headed out of the studio and into the great outdoors for Grill Masters. The cast traded in their dress shoes and city blacks for boots and overalls — well, almost! Production moved the entire crew to Queens County Farm on the outskirts of New York City to tape the special grilling tournament, premiering July 14 at 10|9c. FN Dish caught up with host Ted Allen to chat about the challenges the location posed as well as the challenges the competitors will face.
“We’re a studio show, for the most part, and you forget how easy you have it shooting indoors,” says Ted, referring to the fact that Chopped tapes at Food Network headquarters in New York City, which is a whole lot comfier than roughing it in the Tucson desert like the cast and crew did for the previous Grill Masters season — just think sand everywhere. For Season 2 everything still had to happen outdoors, and even though a more convenient location was chosen, it didn’t mean it would be that much easier — there was still the chance of inclement weather, among other uncontrollable factors.
by Maria Russo in Shows, November 25th, 2014
All-Star Academy is Food Network’s new show that brings out the best in home cooks in order to find the single most-talented cook in the nation. That person will walk away with the $50,000 grand prize. Led by one of four mentors, the home cooks have the chance to be molded into some fierce competition, and host Ted Allen has a bird’s-eye view of it all, from the action unfolding on set to the drama brewing behind the scenes. He recently caught up with FN Dish to reveal what viewers can except from the show, premiering on Sunday, March 1 at 9|8c.
Ted also dished on mentors Alex Guarnaschelli, Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone and Michael Symon, revealing their strengths and weaknesses in competition.
by Joseph Erdos in View All Posts, April 12th, 2014
When you consider classic eats like pizza, barbecue, breakfast and burgers, there’s surely no shortage of restaurants at which to find them; from popular chain restaurants and elegant cafes to takeout joints and hole-in-the-wall dives, these tried-and-true bites are everywhere. But how many places make the single best rendition of the dish, those one-in-a-million plates that keep you coming back again and again? Those next-level dishes are hard to come by, but in the all-new series Best. Ever. (premiering Monday, Jan. 5 at 10|9c), Food Network stars are revealing where to find them.
Over the course of four weeks, host Ted Allen and more of your favorite faces, including Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Marc Murphy and Aarón Sánchez, will showcase America’s top pizzas, burgers, barbecue picks and breakfast plates alike. With the utmost mouthwatering detail, they’ll share the ins and outs of these must-try specialties and reveal the hot spots at which to find them from coast to coast. Tune in every Monday night for an in-depth look at each of these four foods, and watch as the stars speak out about what makes their dish picks in Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., Chicago, Boston and more cities the best of the best.
FN Dish is counting down until the premiere of America’s Best Cook on Sunday at 9|8c. On the new show, four Food Network chefs representing the four regions of the United States mentor teams of exceptional home cooks in a competition to find America’s best cook. The winner walks away with the title and $50,000 in prize money. But which region will that winner be from? It could be North, South, East or West. The final result will be a testament to the mentor who coached the winner. Ahead of the premiere, FN Dish spoke with the show’s host, Ted Allen, to find out his take on the competition.
As the host of Chopped, Ted Allen gets to see professional chefs enter the heat of the competition, but on America’s Best Cooks, it’s all about the home cooks. Amateurs who have proven they’re the best home cooks in the nation will enter the competition for a chance to be chosen and mentored by one of four Food Network chefs. According to Ted, each team will show a different dynamic and each mentor will have a strategy — some similar, some a bit different. As the host, he has a unique point of view: He gets to see everything that happens on all four teams.