Allen brings his queer eye to Addison
Bad eating habits are an American tradition that Ted Allen hopes to revolutionize. As the food dude from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," Allen helped our straight brothers overcome culinary phobia, to look beyond the shopping-mall food court and to realize that the French do not dominate fine cuisine.
Compared to the rest of the Fab Five, Allen’s arguably the crew’s most established advisor. Originally from Ohio, he earned a masters degree in journalism from New York University. He cut his culinary teeth as a dining critic and editor at Chicago magazine and was a contributing editor at Esquire.
The "Queer Eye" gig made Allen and his co-hosts overnight sensations. And Dallasites might recall September 2003, when the Fab Five invaded Big D to shoot episodes in North Texas.
Upon arriving, they attended a frenzied flashbulb-popping reception at Neiman Marcus. And for one episode, they made their way to the University of North Texas and hung out with a sloppy fraternity that was desperate for a makeover.
As the food expert, Allen has turned up as a judge on several seasons of "Top Chef," the host of "Chopped" on the Food Network… and now special guest at Taste of Addison, which gets underway this weekend. Allen will be hosting a wine dinner at Mercy Wine Bar on May 8 starting at 6 p.m. And at 8 p.m. he’ll conduct a live cooking demonstration.
Allen won’t be the only foodie celeb at the event, though. Tre Wilcox, formerly with Abacus and one of the stars two seasons ago on "Top Chef," will be doing a demonstration on Mother’s Day. For a complete list of events and participating restaurants, visit Addisontexas.net.
Dine with mom
With Mother’s Day, just around the corner — it’s Sunday, folks — there’s still some time to make a reservation and take Mom out to a special meal for putting up with your coming out… and no doubt much more. Nana offers a four-course brunch ($65) while Aurora goes with three courses ($65). Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty serves an elaborate buffet ($55), as does The Landmark inside the Warwick Melrose Hotel ($55).
The Grape’s chef-owner Brian C. Lusher adds some special items just for kids on Mother’s Day. And every Monday, it’s happy hour with the folks from Times Ten Cellars with sauvignon blanc and their red blend just $5 a glass, plus small plates to complement the wine.
Select from a selection of items prepared by Stephan Pyles at his eponymous kitchen ($60) for Mother’s Day, then be back on May 17 when he returns with Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation fundraiser to help end childhood hunger. The cost is $500 per person and includes wine pairings. Call 214-642-1124.
Beck’s TV camera begins to roll
As I blogged recently, Blythe Beck, formerly with Hector’s on Henderson and now leading the kitchen at Central 214 in the Hotel Palomar, has snagged her own reality TV show on Oxygen, called "The Naughty Kitchen with Chef Blythe Beck." She’ll spend 12 hours a day, six days a week for four months under the watchful eye of the TV camera… and shooting begins on May 11. Pop into the restaurant for your chance at fame (maybe the camera will catch you stuffing your face!), but more importantly, the sample Beck’s "naughty" food like devilish eggs and chicken-fried kobe steak — the girl never met a stick of butter or a cream sauce she didn’t like.
Berry pours at Salum
Dallas’ reigning mix master, Leann Berry, pictured, makes happy hour even happier every Wednesday and Thursday at gay-owned Salum Restaurant on Cole Avenue. She mixes up unique cocktails like raspberry martinis and elaborate margaritas from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., while chef Abraham Salum prepares some complimentary appetizers.
Soley!, the exquisite French-Mexican eatery on Henderson Avenue, has lowered its prices. Charlie Palmer at the Joule hosts a winemaker dinner on May 20, featuring the vintners from Qupe and Verdad wineries. The event is $95, plus tax and gratuity. Call 214-261-4600 for reservations. DeVine Cellars in Coppell welcomes the winemaker from Tolosa Winery to a four-course dinner on May 27. Call 972-304-9463. The cost is $70.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 8, 2009.