date published: January 29, 2007

5 questions with...

Ted Allen    
by Josh B. Wardrop

Food and wine expert Ted Allen is best known for his role as one of the ever-so-helpful “Fab Five” on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” The Chicagoan, author of the new cookbook The Food You Want to Eat, brings his culinary expertise to Boston for the Boston Wine Expo.

Q: In what capacity are you attending the Boston Wine Expo?
I’ll be there representing Robert Mondavi Private Selection, which is a group of 10 very high quality, affordable wines from Mondavi. I’ll be doing at least one cooking demonstration—something related to romance—and helping people master the concept of pairing food and wine.

Q: Do you have any favorite restaurants here in Boston?
Well, I do love Todd English’s place, Olives. And I once had a stunningly great meal at Ming Tsai’s place, Blue Ginger. Incidentally, are all Boston chefs tall, dark and handsome?

Q: Any food trends you’re hoping will go away in ’07?
Truffle oil. I’m really sick to death of chefs being obsessed with these sort of fetishized luxury food items. Honestly, I’m less impressed by a dish with truffles than I am a great juicy beefsteak tomato in August.

Q: What’s it been like being in the middle of the “Queer Eye” phenomenon?
I’ve never laughed so much in my life, working with the Fab 5—especially Thom (Filicia) and Carson (Kressley). And I’m still amazed that something with that title and subject matter could not only get on the air, but become a hit and really help grow the Bravo network.

Q: Do you have any guilty food pleasures?
Absolutely. When you have a job cooking on TV, people think you only eat [fancy] meals. But I have a weakness for potato chips. And PB&Js—I just make them with really good peanut butter, jelly and bread.