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Interview

Feast on These Food Faves (Courtesy of the Celebrity Hosts of Tasty HIV Fundraiser Dining Out for Life)

April 19, 2017

Mondo Guerra, Daisy Martinez, Pam Grier and Ted Allen

Volunteer spokespeople for the 2017 Dining Out For Life event hosted by longtime partner Subaru include (from l-r) Mondo Guerra, Daisy Martinez, Pam Grier and Ted Allen (Credit: 15 Minutes Inc. and Nick D'Amico)


On April 27, 3,000 restaurants in more than 60 cities across North America will host Dining Out for Life, according to its organizers. This annual event generates contributions for HIV-related education and services in each of the host cities.

With volunteer national spokespeople including Ted Allen, Pam Grier and chef Daisy Martinez, TheBody.com was hungry for details about their food-focused take. Here's what they told us:


Ted Allen

Ted Allen

Ted Allen (Credit: Peter Ross)


JD Davids: For you, what one food or meal captures the flavor of Dining Out for Life?

Ted Allen: Well, the real answer is, any food or combination of foods is equally appropriate for Dining Out for Life -- the diversity, the incredible range of flavors from all over the world is, for me, the greatest thing about food! But, I will tell you what's on my mind right now: spicy fried chicken with champagne. An excellent pairing, and both celebratory and slightly naughty.

JD: What's your favorite nutritious food or recipe?

TA: Here's one that might be a little counterintuitive: chili, at least turkey chili. If you think through the ingredients, it's very good for you. Beans, tomatoes, a very low-fat meat: it's a protein bomb, with lots of vitamins and minerals, too. And it derives its bold flavors from spices and chilies, not fat. Now, that changes if you add a bunch of sour cream or cheese. ... Reach for cilantro, instead!

JD: What's your favorite quick snack?


Grilled Gulf shrimp salad with endives

Grilled Gulf shrimp salad with endives, frisee and watercress, queso fresco and lemon dressing, Café Annie, Houston (Credit: Nerio Photography)


TA: I always keep some cleaned, deveined shrimp in the freezer and a couple of jars of cocktail sauce in the pantry. The shrimp thaws very quickly in cold water. Great when people drop in unexpectedly.

JD: You're having a dinner party to celebrate the accomplishments of the HIV movement and to fortify us for the coming time. What's on the menu?


TA: Pulled pork on brioche buns, coleslaw, corn on the cob and ice-cold beer -- and, some kind of pie. Let's say an apple pie, with a touch of freshly grated ginger.


Pam Grier

Pam Grier

Pam Grier (Credit: Nerio Photography)


JD: For you, what one food or meal captures the flavor of Dining Out for Life?

Pam Grier: Comfort food. My pot roast with potatoes, carrots and peas with Mom's homemade biscuits and creamery butter. Another yummy comfort food is late summer ripened peaches baked into a cobbler with fresh, churned cream, or anything Italian.

JD: What's your favorite nutritious food or recipe?

PG: Mixed vegetable curry sauté with brown rice and fried plantain bananas.

JD: What's your favorite quick snack?

PG: Sliced apples, grapes and cheese or, having access to a blender, an apple, celery and mint smoothie.

JD: You're having a dinner party to celebrate the accomplishments of the HIV movement and to fortify us for the coming time. What's on the menu?


Chicken stew empanadas

Chicken stew empanadas, Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia (Credit: Lee Shelly Photography)


PG: Tapas! I would include several meals: vegan, vegetarian, meat and fish, both savory and garlicky. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. Variety is the spice of Dining Out for Life. Now, if I can just learn how to cook Brazilian cuisine!


Daisy Martinez

Daisy Martinez

Daisy Martinez (Credit: JD Urban)


JD: For you, what one food or meal captures the flavor of Dining Out for Life?

Daisy Martinez: Of all of the wonderful meals I have had at Dining Out for Life, I would be hard pressed to pick my favorite. The essence of the Dining Out for Life experience is coming together in solidarity and joy to celebrate life and the advances in research that have led to a better quality of life for sufferers of this disease. Whether it was the deep-fried lobster at the now-closed Route 6, the perfectly seared scallops at Parc or the spatchcocked chicken at Tallulah's Garden, the soul of Dining Out for Life lies within its members and the joy of breaking bread in celebration.


Sea scallops

Sea scallops with serrano ham, crab and corn quinoa and merquen vinaigrette, Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia (Credit: Lee Shelly Photography)


JD: What's your favorite nutritious food or recipe?

DM: My favorite nutritious food would have to be a perfectly roasted chicken; it doesn't get better than that! My favorite nutritious recipe would be my mom's arroz con pollo with white beans and calabaza.

JD: What's your favorite quick snack?

DM: My favorite nutritious snack is an ice cold, crisp pink lady apple or a perfectly ripe, end of summer tomato with sea salt and good olive oil.

JD: You're having a dinner party to celebrate the accomplishments of the HIV movement and to fortify us for the coming time. What's on the menu?

DM:

  • Guacamole served with tostones.
  • Tortilla soup with crab ceviche garnish.
  • Watercress salad with blood oranges, red onion and black olives.
  • Puerto Rican roast chicken and rice with pigeon peas.
  • Spanish almond cake with apple compote.

For more information, visit www.diningoutforlife.com and follow them on Twitter @DineOut4Life.

JD Davids is the managing editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow JD on Twitter: @JDAtTheBody.


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