Ted Allen

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This article is about the American writer and TV food and wine expert. For the Canadian author, see Ted Allan.
Ted Allen
Born (1965-05-20) May 20, 1965 (age 50)[1]
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater Purdue University
New York University
Occupation TV host and writer.
Website TedAllen.net

Ted Allen (born May 20, 1965) is an American writer, cookbook author, and television personality.[2] He was the food and wine connoisseur on the American Bravo network's television program Queer Eye and has been the host of the TV cooking competition series Chopped since its launch in 2009. As of April 13, 2014, he is also the host of another Food Network show, originally called America's Best Cook; a retooled version of that show, retitled All-Star Academy, which debuted on March 1, 2015.[3] In early 2015, he also hosted a four-part special, Best. Ever., which scoured the country for its best burgers, pizza, breakfast, and barbecue. He is a longtime contributing writer to Esquire magazine, the author of two cookbooks, and regularly appears on the Food Network show The Best Thing I Ever Ate and other television cooking shows.

Personal life[edit]

Allen was born in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Donna K. (Evans) and Lowell Reese Allen.[4]

Allen is openly gay and lives in New York City with his partner of 20 years, Barry Rice.[5] On June 26, 2013, he announced that he was engaged to Rice.[6] On July 30, 2013, the two were married in New York City.


Education and early years[edit]

Allen graduated from Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, in 1983, and was inducted into the school's Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011.[7] He received a degree in psychology from Purdue University in 1987. Subsequently, he enrolled in Purdue’s Krannert Graduate School of Management, but left to accept a job as a copy editor at the Lafayette, Indiana, Journal & Courier.

He later returned to graduate school, gaining an M.A. in journalism from the Science and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University. He then moved to Chicago, where he worked as a reporter for Lerner Newspapers, a chain of community weekly newspapers. He got his start in restaurant criticism there as one quarter of a bi-weekly group-review team called "The Famished Four", along with Barry Rice, then the chain's entertainment editor (and today Allen's husband), who initiated the concept with Lerner food editor Leah A. Zeldes.

Allen then became a freelancer for Chicago magazine, eventually becoming a senior editor, and often writing about food, wine and luminaries of the culinary world. He joined Esquire in 1997 as a contributing editor. He contributed to an Esquire food series, profiled many celebrities and co-authored the magazine's popular "Things a Man Should Know" series. He has written for a variety of other magazines and continues as a contributing editor for Esquire.


Allen gained great visibility in 2003, when he became a cast member of the television makeover series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Allen was the show’s food and wine specialist. He continued to make television appearances as a gourmet, including as a frequent guest judge on Food Network's Iron Chef America. Allen hosted a six-part documentary, Uncorked: Wine Made Simple, on PBS starting May 7, 2007.[8] Beginning June 13, 2007, Allen appeared as a regular judge on seasons 3 and 4 of Bravo's reality television program Top Chef,[9] following several guest judge appearances during the previous two seasons. In 2008, he left Bravo when Food Network offered him the host job on two shows: Food Detectives, which debuted on July 29, 2008, and Chopped, which launched a 13-episode season on January 13, 2009.[10] "Detectives" returned for a second season of 13 episodes, also in January 2009. "Chopped" was renewed for 26 episodes, and went back into production in March 2009 in New York. The show took off with viewers and was renewed for another 33, which shot in January and February 2010. Now one of the highest-rated primetime shows on the network, as of April, 2015 Chopped has shot 350 episodes. Since moving to Food Network, Allen has made appearances on many of that channel's programs, including "Beat Bobby Flay," Best Ever," multiple episodes of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Dear Food Network, and The Next Food Network Star. On November 16, 2008, Allen returned to Iron Chef America as co-floor reporter for the show's Thanksgiving special. Allen reprised the role as co-floor reporter for the Thanksgiving special on November 20, 2011. On December 2, 2012, Allen served as a sous chef to Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and chef Robert Irvine in a special "Holiday Battle", pitting the Food Network stars against reps of the sister network Cooking Channel, Ben Sergeant, Nadia G, and Michael Symon. Morimoto's team won.



In May 2012, Allen received a James Beard Foundation Award for his work as the host of Chopped, and the show itself also won for best in-studio television program.[11] In 2004 he won an Emmy Award along with the other cast members and producers of Queer Eye for "Outstanding Reality Program" from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The show was also nominated again for that category in 2005. He contributed to an Esquire food series that was a finalist in the National Magazine Award 2003 awards. In 2011 he received a Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign in San Francisco. He also holds two awards from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for Queer Eye, presented in 2004 and 2005.


  1. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1388270/
  2. ^ "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: Bravo Fab Five Say Goodbye". TVSeriesFinale.com. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "All-Star Academy : Food Network". Food Network. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ http://www.leppertmortuary.com/obits/obituaries.php/obitID/10623/obit/Lowell-Reese-Allen
  5. ^ ":Echo Magazine". Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. 
  6. ^ "Ted Allen Engaged". 
  7. ^ "Alumni Hall of Fame". Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "UnCorked". TV.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Bravo Announces Contestants for Top Chef 3 Miami". MovieWeb. 2007-05-09. Archived from the original on 2007-05-14. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "On the Chopping Block – Washington Blade". Archived from the original on 2009-01-21. Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "2012 James Beard Foundation Award Winners" (PDF). The James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 

External links[edit]