Chopped Host Ted Allen Blends Style and Efficiency in His Home Kitchen
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Chopped Host Ted Allen Blends Style and Efficiency in His Home Kitchen

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By Kathryn McLamb
Presented by Build.com
The American author and television personality takes us inside his personal kitchen, and reveals his top tips for everyday cooking and entertaining, including the dish he’s still trying to perfect.

Whether he's at home or at the chopping block, Emmy Award–winner Ted Allen knows a thing or two about good food. Longtime host of the Food Network’s hit prime-time competition series Chopped, the culinary influencer has also traveled across the United States in search of the best cuisine, as well as written two cookbooks and won several prestigious awards in the process. Given his adoration for cooking, one can’t help but wonder what Ted’s very own kitchen looks like.  

When American author and television personality Ted Allen moved into his 1879 Victorian brownstone with his husband, interior designer Barry Rice, in Brooklyn, New York, the house came with a lot of unique details still intact, including old, beautiful banisters, pocket shutters, and wooden floors. To pay homage to the historic characteristics yet still integrate modern flair, Ted notes: "We wanted to design an efficient, capable kitchen but have it blend in with the existing wood."

When American author and television personality Ted Allen moved into his 1879 Victorian brownstone with his husband, interior designer Barry Rice, in Brooklyn, New York, the house came with a lot of unique details still intact, including old, beautiful banisters, pocket shutters, and wooden floors. To pay homage to the historic characteristics yet still integrate modern flair, Ted notes: "We wanted to design an efficient, capable kitchen but have it blend in with the existing wood."

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"I live in an 1879 Victorian brownstone with my husband [interior designer Barry Rice] in Brooklyn." Ted states. "The kitchen is located on the ground floor next to a backyard patio, and was designed by Barry and our architect, Jarek Tresko." 

"Barry and I are both fans of a clean, crisp white kitchen. We really love stainless-steel countertops—think restaurant-style kitchens—because you can’t really damage them. While stainless steel can sometimes come across as cold, we weren’t worried since there is so much warmth in the kitchen already from the walnut cabinets."

"Along one wall of our rectangular kitchen, we have stainless-steel counters with a small prep sink, a large, deep sink for washing, and two dishwashers. On the other side, we have a small bar sink with a coffee maker and banquette," Ted explains. "Our double-oven is in the center under the vent hood. Over the years, I’ve learned ventilation is key in the kitchen. There’s so much you can’t do if you don’t have proper ventilation—like pan-fry a steak."

"Along one wall of our rectangular kitchen, we have stainless-steel counters with a small prep sink, a large, deep sink for washing, and two dishwashers. On the other side, we have a small bar sink with a coffee maker and banquette," Ted explains. "Our double-oven is in the center under the vent hood. Over the years, I’ve learned ventilation is key in the kitchen. There’s so much you can’t do if you don’t have proper ventilation—like pan-fry a steak."

Through his experience working on various cooking shows, Ted has learned the value of designing a kitchen to not just be aesthetically pleasing, but also efficient in terms of flow, function, and practicality. "Chopped is a bad example when it comes to kitchen design, but that’s on purpose," he says. "The pantry especially is not very logical. The Chopped kitchen is designed inefficiently to make the challenge more difficult."

"Do not design your kitchen like the Chopped kitchen—it will create panic."

"Our kitchen works because it was well thought out," Ted notes. "We wanted it to be a place where we could both cook and entertain, with plenty of room for people to gather. Plus, when you have a kitchen that is very easy to navigate—even if you’ve never stepped foot in it before—it makes it possible for two or three people to cook comfortably and makes it simple for guests to find drinks, plates, and tools.

When creating a space that is functional and efficient, Ted recommends starting your project with Build.com. Offering high-end appliances, trending and stylish home improvement products, and free project advice, the online retailer can serve as a trusted resource for any renovation. 

Lighting is another key ingredient in Ted’s kitchen. From task lighting to accent and under-the-cabinet lighting, he depends on layers of illumination to make the space (and his food) really shine. "Dimmable lighting is also important," Ted explains, "as it can easily set the mood and create a relaxed ambience when entertaining."

Lighting is another key ingredient in Ted’s kitchen. From task lighting to accent and under-the-cabinet lighting, he depends on layers of illumination to make the space (and his food) really shine. "Dimmable lighting is also important," Ted explains, "as it can easily set the mood and create a relaxed ambience when entertaining."

"In our kitchen, a priority was to have a six-burner-plus-grill Viking Range stove with a strong vent-hood above it, which meant the stove had to be at the island, because neither it nor the hood would fit anywhere else," Ted explains. "Having this allows me to do things like pan-fry steaks or roast turkeys without the whole house smelling like food for three days, and it creates a good setup for a class or cooking demo."

Along with the aforementioned stove and hood, Ted notes that when having friends and family over for a meal he also relies heavily on a few other kitchen appliances that help to facilitate easy entertaining, such as his single-serving coffee machine, stand-alone ice maker, and warming drawer.

From sleek stainless-steel appliances to modern lighting and cabinet organization solutions, you can easily replicate the efficiency and aesthetic of Ted's kitchen with the assistance of Build.com. Offering a vast array of trending and stylish fixtures, the online home improvement retailer sells products in every category, for every style.

From sleek stainless-steel appliances to modern lighting and cabinet organization solutions, you can easily replicate the efficiency and aesthetic of Ted's kitchen with the assistance of Build.com. Offering a vast array of trending and stylish fixtures, the online home improvement retailer sells products in every category, for every style.

Open shelving is another important concept in Ted’s kitchen. "To the right of our fridge is a six-inch gap that we turned into a shallow cabinet, now lined with six-inch shelves. We bought glass jars and filled them with pastas, dried beans, and lentils," he states. "Everything is visible—I wish I could somehow find a way to do this for all of my spices!" When asked about how to create more storage and organization in the kitchen, Ted advises: "Look at places along the wall that might otherwise go to waste, as these could be terrific spaces for storing things."

"We wanted to make the kitchen usable by even a stranger," Ted says when describing the importance of a well-organized layout. "In this room, we don’t want anything hidden. For instance, knives are visible behind the prep sink; our cutting board is out all the time; we have a lot of pots hanging from the rack above the knives. We want this to be a space where anyone can find anything."

"We wanted to make the kitchen usable by even a stranger," Ted says when describing the importance of a well-organized layout. "In this room, we don’t want anything hidden. For instance, knives are visible behind the prep sink; our cutting board is out all the time; we have a lot of pots hanging from the rack above the knives. We want this to be a space where anyone can find anything."

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"A great kitchen will make you want to cook. Not only is cooking at home a healthier option, cooking and eating with family is of course wonderful, too." When he’s not on set filming, Ted concludes that you can find him in his own kitchen diligently trying to master one dish in particular. "I’ve spent my life trying to perfect the roasted chicken, and I’m still working on it."


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