Ted Allen Dishes on 'Chopped,' Chef Schadenfreude and Spicy Drinks

Food Network host says he could do without standing all day.

April 18, 2014, 11:01 AM
PHOTO: Ted Allen is pictured on April 9, 2014 in New York City.
Ted Allen is pictured on April 9, 2014 in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

April 18, 2014— -- Being a Food Network star can certainly take its toll on the body. Your feet get sore from standing for long hours, your middle thickens from sampling multiple dishes in succession and you're constantly courting heartburn from consuming different spices and drinks.

"It's a 12-hour day and I'm standing the whole time -- that I could do without," said Ted Allen, who is entering his 20th season as host of the cable network's competitive cooking series "Chopped."

So is he all "Chopped" out?

"No, I'm not 'Chopped out' at all," he told ABC News. "When you say 20 seasons, it sounds like 20 years but we started airing in 2009. And I'm honestly not bored doing it. It feels like I should be, the show is a pretty tight format, but it's very pure and simple from a food standpoint and I like that."

READ: Paula Deen Gets Cash Infusion: Time for a Comeback?

He also likes his newest project for Food Network -- hosting the competitive series "America's Best Cook," which launched this month. The show pits teams of amateur cooks against one another while receiving strategy tips from professional mentors including Tyler Florence, Alex Guarnaschelli, Cat Cora and Michael Symon.

"The sadistic side of me enjoys watching my friend Alex Guarnaschelli being put in the position of having amateurs represent her in the art and craft of cooking," said Allen. "[The mentors] are all perfectionists, they all hate to lose and it drives them freaking crazy--and I find that enjoyable. It's not schadenfreude, exactly, but it's sort of like that."

Allen conceded that his position on the culinary battlefield is an enviable one.

"They're the ones that are doing the real work," he said. "I'm lucky, I'm an observer. I don't have to be in the battle. I'm in a tall, safe watchtower with a nice packed lunch and some San Pellegrino."

Allen was most effusive, however, about the constant battle of ingredients assaulting his insides and which over-the-counter tablet he uses for relief. On this particular evening, he was moonlighting as the host of a fiery Thai dinner sponsored by Pepcid and Eater.com.

READ: 7 Surprising Heartburn Triggers

"Not to sounds like a salesman, but taking Pepcid is just a reality for me," he said. "It made sense."

Plus, a renewed supply leaves him in a good spot to celebrate one of the spicier holidays coming up: Cinco de Mayo. Although, he won't necessarily be sipping margaritas along with the masses.

"A lot of people send me wine, cheap wine as a rule, and I love white wine specifically," Allen told ABC News. "So instead of a margarita for Cinco de Mayo, what about making a white sangria by infusing some Sauvignon Blanc with jalapeno and cilantro then adding some salt and dried lime zest to the rim? That sounds pretty good, if I do say so."

Incidentally, red wine has been shown to be a worse trigger for heartburn than white.

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