Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ted Allen Talks Vegan

Don't we all love Lisa Petty of DallasEats? I know I do! Lisa was one of the few Dallasites selected to attend a VIP dinner with Ted Allen of Food Network's Chopped, and she invited me to be her guest. 

A contest, sponsored by Robert Mondavi Winery, prodded locals to submit a question regarding food and wine pairings for Ted to answer. The five best questions were chosen by a panel of judges, and the winners were awarded a private food and wine pairing event at Mercy Wine Bar with Ted Allen. Lisa's question dealt with food and wine pairings for her vegan friend Eddie G (that's me), so it only made sense that she would ask me to be her invited guest, right? Thank you, Lisa!

Ted answered all sorts of questions regarding food and wine at the event, but he spent a good amount of time on the vegan topic. 

I am a big fan of big, bold reds (cabs, zins, etc.), but they're often hard to pair with vegan cuisine. My typical meals served with big reds often entail some sort of mushroom concoction, which Ted felt would pair better with a medium bodied red (merlot, malbec, and such). He and the Mondavi crew suggested pairing bolder red wines with vegan dishes such as eggplant ratatouille with equally bold spices (cardamom, cumin, etc.), or possibly Indian-inspired dishes...although, that brought on a whole new dilemma I'll discuss on a later post.

The food and wine sampling at Mercy was fabulous (my selections were all were vegan, of course), and the service was phenomenal!

My Vegan Food and Wine Pairings:

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with accompanying Baguette Chips, paired with Robert Mondavi Private Selection Sauvignon Blanc.

Mixed Greens Salad with a Sweet Vinaigrette, paired with Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay.

Sundried Tomato Risotto, paired with Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir.

Roasted Vegetables (broccoli, carrots,  cauliflower), paired with Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage.

Chocolate Torte, paired with more of the Meritage.

The Mondavi rep verified that all of the wines represented at the event were vegan, and all of the dishes I sampled are available at Mercy Wine Bar with advance notice.

After dinner, our small group was transported via shuttle to the Taste Addison festival, where Ted Allen held a food prep demo...not vegan, but watching him at work was a blast!

Prior to the demo, Ted did get a chance to autograph his latest book for me. The Book is titled The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes. According to Ted, nothing in the book is vegan, but he encouraged me to veganize an item in the book and blog about it.

Ted--I did notice a few items in your book that are already vegan! But do keep an eye out for a vegan version of one of your "meat" dishes. I'll dedicate my efforts to you, good sir.

Top photo by Arnold Wayne Jones


Kit Chen said...

Have you seen What to Drink with What You Eat? It's a comprehensive guide of...well, I love how the book's title gets right to the point.

Anyway, I have a crazy theory that each cuisine has developed its own ideal food/drink combinations through centuries of refinement, and trying to pair wines to food from parts of the world where wine is not traditionally made is a bit of a foolish exercise. This isn't to say that it couldn't be done, of course, but if you're an amateur (like most of us), the chances of success are slim, IMO.

Oh, I changed my name. It's a pun; you'd probably appreciate that.

Eddie G said...

I *do* love the name change :)

Classy&Sassy said...

We did have a blast, Eddie! How fun! Look out for my DallasEats post on Monday...

Eddie G said...

Will do!

Unknown said...

This looks fabulous! I'm so jealous. Great meeting you last night!

Eddie G said...

Great finally meeting you, Margie :)

Jamey said...

wow, that Chocolate Torte looks awesome! looks like you had a fun time

Anonymous said...

i love him!