|Born||May 20, 1965|
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
|Alma mater||Purdue University (BA)|
New York University (MA)
|Occupation||Television host, author|
Edward Allen (born May 20, 1965) is an American author and television personality. He was the food and wine connoisseur on the Bravo network's television program Queer Eye, and has been the host of the TV cooking competition series Chopped since its launch in 2009, as well as Chopped Junior, which began in mid-2015. On April 13, 2014, he became the host of another Food Network show, originally called America's Best Cook; a retooled version of that show, retitled All-Star Academy, which debuted on March 1, 2015. In early 2015, he also hosted a four-part special, Best. Ever., which scoured America for its best burgers, pizza, breakfast, and barbecue. He is a longtime contributing writer to Esquire magazine, the author of two cookbooks, and regularly appears on the Food Network show The Best Thing I Ever Ate and other television cooking shows.
Allen graduated from Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, in 1983, and was inducted into the school's Alumni Hall of Fame in 2011. He received a degree in psychology from Purdue University in 1987. Subsequently, he enrolled in Purdue's Krannert Graduate School of Management, but left to accept a job as a copy editor at the Lafayette, Indiana, Journal & Courier.
He later returned to graduate school, earning an MA in journalism from the Science and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University. He then moved to Chicago, where he worked as a reporter for Lerner Newspapers, a chain of community weekly newspapers. He got his start in restaurant criticism there as one quarter of a bi-weekly group-review team called "The Famished Four", along with Barry Rice, then the chain's entertainment editor (and today Allen's husband), who initiated the concept with Lerner food editor Leah A. Zeldes.
Allen then became a freelancer for Chicago magazine, eventually signing on as a senior editor, and often writing about food, wine and luminaries of the culinary world. He joined Esquire in 1997 as a contributing editor, where he wrote features, food pieces, and profiles, and co-authored the magazine's popular "Things a Man Should Know" series. He also has written for GQ, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Epicurious.
Allen gained great visibility in 2003 when he became a cast member of the television makeover series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, serving as its food and wine specialist. He continued to make television appearances as a gourmet, including as a frequent guest judge on Food Network's Iron Chef America. Allen hosted a six-part documentary, Uncorked: Wine Made Simple, on PBS starting May 7, 2007. Beginning June 13, 2007, Allen appeared as a regular judge on seasons 3 and 4 of Bravo's reality television program Top Chef, following several guest judge appearances during the previous two seasons. In 2008, he left Bravo when Food Network offered him the host job on two shows: Food Detectives, which debuted on July 29, 2008, and Chopped, which launched a 13-episode season on January 13, 2009. "Detectives" returned for a second season of 13 episodes, also in January 2009. "Chopped" was renewed for 26 episodes and went back into production in March 2009 in New York. The show took off with viewers and was renewed for another 33 episodes, which shot in January and February 2010. Now one of the highest-rated prime time shows on the network, as of September 2016, Chopped has shot 450 episodes, and "Chopped Junior" has shot 52.
In an interview with the Food Network about his favorite moments on Chopped, Allen stated, "My favorite mystery basket ingredient remains the whole chicken in a can, not so much because I love the food, [but because] I love the sound it makes when it plops out of the can."
Since moving to the Food Network, Allen has made appearances on many of that channel's programs, including Beat Bobby Flay, Best Ever, Cutthroat Kitchen, multiple episodes of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Dear Food Network, and The Next Food Network Star. On November 16, 2008, Allen returned to Iron Chef America as co-floor reporter for the show's Thanksgiving special. Allen reprised the role as co-floor reporter for the Thanksgiving special on November 20, 2011. On December 2, 2012, Allen served as a sous chef to Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and chef Robert Irvine in a special "Holiday Battle", pitting the Food Network stars against reps of the sister network Cooking Channel, Ben Sergeant, Nadia G, and Michael Symon. Morimoto's team won.
|2006||Top Chef||Guest judge||Episode: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"|
|2014||America's Best Cook||Host||Main role|
|2015-present||Chopped Junior||Host||Main role|
|2019||Modern Love (TV series)||Himself||Episode: "Rallying to Keep the Game Alive"|
|2020||The Rocketeer||Cast-Iron Chef (voice)||3 episodes|
In May 2012, Allen received a James Beard Foundation Award for his work as the host of Chopped, and the show itself also won for best in-studio television program. In 2004, he won an Emmy Award along with the other cast members and producers of Queer Eye for "Outstanding Reality Program" from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The show was also nominated again for that category in 2005. In 2001, he was a finalist in the National Magazine Awards for an Esquire feature on the little-known phenomenon of male breast cancer, and later contributed to an Esquire food series that was a finalist in the National Magazine Award in 2003. In 2011, he received a Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign in San Francisco. He also holds two awards from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for Queer Eye, presented in 2004 and 2005.