Celebrity Chef Ted Allen Tells Me Martha Stewart's Message
At the James Beard Foundation's sumptuous "Chefs & Champagne" event at Wolffer Estate Vineyard in the Hamptons, honoree Ted Allen--the Queer Eye food guy who's now the host of Food Network's Chopped--talked edibles with me between courses.
Hi, Ted. What are the hot new trends in food these days?
I'm terrible with trends because I don't much care. Sometimes I try to convince people it's goat--goat is the new pork. And it should be because when it's well done, it's great.
What are people doing foodwise in this economy?
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We've tried thinking, "How can you deliver great flavor at lower cost?" Some of the favored cuts are always less expensive ones--skirt steak, flank steak, hanger steak, and pork secreto--cuts that only take knowledge.
Or goat secreto! Anyway, I didn't realize steak was what would get the common man through a financial crisis. I love skirt steak. Bring on the recession.
I like skirt steak too. You only need to know five things: Hot fire; sear it well; never overcook it; rest it for 10-15 minutes or when you cut it, the juice will come out; and cut against the grain.
I always do. What do you think of Martha Stewart?
I've learned more from her than anyone, but some people find her off-putting because she's such a perfectionist. I think Martha's sending out the message: "You can do it, just not as well as I can."
And she's right.
We ended with a chat about my Italian background and Ted admitted, "I wish I was Italian! I have some vague English-Welsh background ethnicity that's contributed very little to the culinary world."
I'd gladly swap him my identity for his goat recipes.
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