Ted Allen, Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour

September 24, 2010 10:12:36 AM PDT
Wine lovers have the opportunity to meet Ted Allen on Saturday, September 25, at the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine set at Chicago Gourmet.Ted travels the country with the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine tour to demystify common food and wine hesitations and make consumers feel more confident entertaining and taking charge in the kitchen

The Tour is a great way for consumers to learn about winemaking and wine pairing interactively during Chicago's most popular foodie festival -- boasting live entertainment!

Chicago Gourmet
201 E. Randolph St
Chicago, Ill.
Saturday, 9/25, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m.: Ted Allen: Ribbon Cutting
3:30 p.m.: Ted Allen Cooking Demo, Robert Mondavi Discover Wine site
4:30 - 5 p.m.: Ted Allen Book Signing
5:30 p.m.: Ted Allen Cooking Demo with Chef Jose Garces, Main Stage

Fall Entertaining- without breaking the bank:.

Here are some of Ted Allen's simple tips for impressing guests all season long with charming décor, presentations and creative spins on serving.

Use interesting, unusual serving pieces! And start your search for them in your own basement and garage. Do you have a stack of extra 12-inch stone or ceramic tiles left over from renovating a bathroom, kitchen, or screen porch? Stick some adhesive felt feet to them, and you have some really cool serving pieces for bread, cheese, appetizers, or (if you're not serving anything too saucy) entrees. Also, felt feet (unlike rubber or plastic) make it possible to warm the pieces in the oven. Another great place to hunt is the odd-lots bin of tile shops and stoneyards.

Decorate with food! When it comes to decorating a table, mantle, sideboard, whatever, take a page from the old cornucopia idea: There is nothing more beautiful than food. Loves of bread, gourds, lemons, stalks of wheat, bunches of kale.

Decorate with yard waste. Nothing is more chic than a big glass vase filled with attractive branches from your own trees. Flats of wheat grass look great on tables, and can be juiced or fed to the cat later. Autumn leaves can look great scattered on a table, or can be used as nametags for assigned seating?write on them with silver or gold markers.

Think about medium-bodied blended red wines as you make the transition from warm months to cooler ones. Wines like the Meritage from Robert Mondavi Private Selection, really pair nicely with the kinds of foods popularized in fall -- duck, burgers, steak, turkey, charcoal-roasted chicken. Also a great, seasonal-transition wine: Pinot noir. Pairs well with so many foods, including all the above.

Go Potluck: Just because people are gathering at your home, doesn't mean you should be responsible for all of the work or all of the costs. Get everyone involved by asking guests to bring their specialty dish to create a diverse spread, with a nostalgic feel.

Theme Party: Ethnic tapas is always a hit, be it Spanish, Greek, or any other cuisine. What better way to learn about a particular culture than through their food? Get into the spirit with décor and a regional playlist from iTunes to get the full effect -- Los Lobos and Buena Vista Social Club with Latin dishes, Tony Bennett, Sinatra, even Pavorotti with Italian, you get the idea.

Not everything should be hot or cold: Always feature some side dishes that can be eaten at room temperature. That way, you won't have to worry about running out of precious oven or refrigerator space in the hours leading up to the party. There are lots of different options to choose from: grilled vegetables, rice salads, pasta salads, etc. A day or two before, make enormous volumes of those dishes, pour them in ziplock bags, stick 'em in the fridge and you're done.

Think like a Chef: When budget is an issue on all of our minds, why pay $20 for a cut of meat that needs to be coated in sauce (like beef tenderloin) to taste like anything when you can choose more flavorful cuts for a fraction of the cost? Most chefs actually prefer things like pork shoulder, hanger steak, and flank steak when cooking in their home kitchens.

Gift-wrap your food. Everybody loves surprises inside attractive packages. Food that's been wrapped, cooked, and presented in banana leaves or parchment paper makes for dramatic presentations?and, of course, terrific aromas and flavors. Cooking meats, fish or veggies in a salt crust is another exciting alternative; you can uncover what's inside right at the table.

BIO- from Tedallen.net

Emmy Award winner Ted Allen is host of the hit primetime competition series "Chopped" on Food Network, and a frequent contributor to the network's new show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." He was a judge on the first four seasons of Bravo's "Top Chef" and Food Network's "Iron Chef America," and was the food and wine specialist on the groundbreaking Bravo series "Queer Eye." He is author of "The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes" (Clarkson-Potter), a collection of vibrant, all-natural dishes, and co-wrote the New York Times Best Seller "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab Five's Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better, and Living Better."

Ted also serves as the spokesman for Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines. In that capacity, he works with media and consumers on wine education and food/wine pairing, and shares advice about food, wine and entertaining on www.Discover-Wine.com.

Since 1997, Ted has been a contributing editor to Esquire magazine, where he writes about food, wine, style and everything else the American man needs to know. He was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for his Esquire feature on the little-known phenomenon of male breast cancer. Ted also writes for such publications as Bon Appétit, Epicurious and Food Network Magazine. Before joining Esquire, Ted was a senior editor and restaurant critic at Chicago magazine.

Ted holds an M.A. in journalism from New York University, with an advanced certificate in the school's Science and Environmental Reporting Program, and a B.A. in psychology from Purdue University. He lives in Brooklyn with his longtime partner, Barry Rice.


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