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T Allen

T Allen

I feel privileged to work with the great chefs who judge and cook on Chopped, with our crackerjack crew and producers, and with the food obsessives who run Food Network. It’s often said that people in the restaurant industry are in the Happiness Business; it’s a culture of celebration, exploration, love of craft, and love of people. It’s also one of the last bastions of ritual in this modern world. There’s nothing I love more than the “ta-da!” moment when a group of well-trained waiters simultaneously lift cloches from plates, or when they turn, like soldiers, one arm tucked behind their backs, as a customer passes them in a hallway. It’s such a wonderful gesture of deference, respect—and, paradoxically, of pride, of excellence and precision. It’s like traveling through time to a royal court; like a little moment of ballet. In fact, chef Gale Gand once described the restaurant kitchen as “a ballet with knives and fire,” and while that might sound a little dramatic, it is also true.

Anybody with a roof over their head and food in the pantry is a lucky person, particularly if that roof is in the United States. I’m grateful to be one of those people. But I’m also appalled that, despite our country’s wealth and swagger, one in six of our neighbors’ children is going to bed on an empty stomach, night after night, a cycle of poverty that only gets worse over time. It’s hard to concentrate when you’re hungry. It’s hard to learn when you don’t have energy. Having a job in food television, it’s a natural fit for me to speak out on hunger issues—and it is also, in my view, a duty. I think we have a chance to make a difference on this issue.

So let's do this!

Best - Ted


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