21 questions

Ted Allen Gives Directions With Gusto

Michelle Bachmann

Name: Ted Allen
Job: Host of the Food Network’s Food Detectives, Esquire scribe, author of The Food You Want to Eat.
Age: 43
Neighborhood: Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
Toss-up between Dorothy Parker and J.J. Hunsecker.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
“Battle Parmigiano” on Iron Chef America with Mario Batali and Andrew Carmellini.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
Eat. Complain. Repeat.

Would you still live here on a $35,000 salary?
Yes, if it were 1963.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Wicked — niece was in town.

Do you give money to panhandlers?
I give money to street musicians, especially if they’re playing something improbable, like a harp. And the guys who break-dance in subway cars.

What’s your drink?
Gin. Then a Robert Mondavi reserve Cab.

How often do you prepare your own meals?
About four nights a week, when there’s time. There’s almost nothing more tantalizing than the smell of olive oil heating up in a pan.

What’s your favorite medication?
Claritin-D. And gin.

What’s hanging above your sofa?
Three little paintings of scary-looking bunny rabbits by Laurie Hogin.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
With hair like this, I should probably just go to Supercuts.

When’s bedtime?

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
Another toss-up: muggers and junkies vs. sidewalk-hoggers and Olive Garden?

What do you think of Donald Trump?
That he spends more money on his hair than I do on mine — to even more dubious effect.

What do you hate most about living in New York?
Trucks and jackhammers.

Who is your mortal enemy?
High-fructose corn syrup.

When’s the last time you drove a car?
Today. I love Clinton Hill, but the grocery stores suck.

Who should be the next president?
This is the first time in my life I’ve given money to a political candidate: www.barackobama.com.

Times, Post, or Daily News?
Times, of course. Frank Rich is the main reason I haven’t committed suicide during the past seven years.

Where do you go to be alone?
What, I’m gonna tell everybody in the city where I go to get away from them?

What makes someone a New Yorker?
Giving directions to out-of-towners with gusto and authority. Also, correctly pronouncing, “How ya doin’?”

Ted Allen Gives Directions With Gusto