IBTimes recently caught up with Ted Allen at the 2011 New York City Wine & Food Festival.
Allen hosted the sold-out Oyster Bash at The Standard Biergarten in New York's Meatpacking District. The event brought out the best and brightest oyster purveyors for a Sunday brunch of oysters, beer, and bubbly.
The Oyster Bash had an all-star collection of artisanal oyster farmers who were on hand shucking and serving up the delicious delicacies.
It wasn't all oysters and champagne at the brunch. Most people came for the chance to chat with Ted Allen, host of the primetime competition series Chopped on Food Network, and a frequent contributor to the network's show The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Of course Allen is also known as a judge on the first four seasons of Bravo's Top Chef and as the food and wine specialist on the groundbreaking Bravo series Queer Eye.
IBT: So, we know you're working on two shows for the Food Network right now, but do you have anything else on your radar?
Allen: Aside from Chopped? Well I have a new book coming out.
IBT: Oh yeah? What will the title be?
Allen: Well, I'm still working on that. Maybe In My Kitchen or Into My Kitchen. I don't know. What do you think? Kind of boring right?
IBT: So we're at an oyster event. Do you have any tips for those of us who feel like we're slurping down the oyster? How can we look better while eating these?
Allen: Well, it's not difficult unless it wasn't shucked completely - and I don't think you'll have any problems with that here. These guys are the best.
IBT: So you're a judge, which chef has been your favorite here at the Oyster Bash?
Allen: I have not had one oyster today.
Allen: It's an occupational hazard. It's so hard to talk and eat.
IBT: You've been on Top Chef, Queer Eye, your Food Network shows and may others. Who is your all-time favorite judge to work with?
First of all, that is the best fringe benefit of my job, getting to talk with other chefs. I can call Isaac Mizrahi or call Scott Cohen's cell about a pasta recipe. But I don't abuse it!
IBT: Gay marriage just passed in New York; do you and your partner Barry Rice have any marriage plans?
Allen: I don't know. We're super excited about the passage of marriage equality. We already have a civil union. We may just hold out for federal when it's going to change the tax structure. I don't know yet.
You can see Ted Allen on Chopped Tuesday nights at 10 p.m ET/PT on the Food Network.