01/07/2013 08:20 am ET

Homecoming Meals: What Ted Allen Likes To Cook For Himself At Home

What the 'Chopped' host cooks for himself, once he settles in at home.
In this May 9, 2012 photo, TV personality Ted Allen poses at a launch party for his cookbook "In My Kitchen," at The National
In this May 9, 2012 photo, TV personality Ted Allen poses at a launch party for his cookbook "In My Kitchen," at The National in New York. (AP Photo/Starpix, Amanda Schwab)

It feels like every year gets a little busier. As we get older there's more travel, more dinners to attend, more work to do. It's all rewarding and usually a lot of fun, but as we all know, there's no substitute for a home-cooked meal, and for a lot of us, part of that satisfaction comes with cooking it ourselves.

As the amount of personal information we can share with each other invariably increases, we find ourselves fascinated by the eating and cooking habits of even those we don't know. It got us to thinking especially about the well-known chefs, musicians, comedians, actors and others whose career frequently takes them out on the road, into more airplanes, restaurants and hotel bars than they can count. When they finally settle back in at home, what do they want to cook for themselves?

We asked, and they just started telling us! For our inaugural installment of Homecoming Meals, we talked to the host of Food Network's "Chopped," Ted Allen. Allen is no stranger to the kitchen, nor to the have-to-be-in-three-places-at-once lifestyle. Known first to us as the Food and Wine Connoisseur on Bravo's "Queer Eye," Allen has gone on to author cookbooks and generally remind us what kind of food we want to eat. After giving us some tips for stress-free holiday entertaining, we asked Ted what his ideal Homecoming Meal would be.

Weather permitting, I want to go in my backyard and smoke a pork shoulder. I’m a very slow food person. I love cooking things that take a long time to develop flavors, many of the best foods require a lot of time (which is one of the reasons “Chopped” is so hard for Chefs, they have such a limited amount of time to put together an amazing dish).

If I don’t have a lot of time, or am tired from traveling, I turn to my freezer. I love anything home cooked and my freezer is stocked with meals that I made before I hit the road.

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