Thursday is Baltimore's 20th annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser, with some 40 Baltimore-area restaurants joining in the charitable dining event. Restaurants participating in Dining Out for Life agree to donate at least 20 percent of their check total to Moveable Feast, which provides meals to people with HIV and other diseases.
One of the national spokesmen for Dining Out for Life is “Chopped” host Ted Allen, who spoke by phone to members of the Baltimore food press in the weeks leading up to the event.
“Dining Out for Life is a win-win-win,” said Allen. “Restaurants can give back to the community, it brings new customers into the restaurant and it gives you a good excuse to eat a little more than you normally would.”
“A lot of people think that HIV has been conquered but that's not true. The people who are the real heroes are the activists [fighting HIV],” said Allen. “But for people who are stockbrokers, teachers and plumbers, here is something you can do. What's not to like?”
Allen said he appreciates living near the Chelsea studios where “Chopped” is taped because it keeps him from having to leave home for production, something his counterparts on other shows have to do.
But unlike other New Yorkers, Allen has not succumbed to this summer’s fascination with the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid sold only at one Soho bakery.
“I don’t mean to sound like a snob,” Allen said. “It doesn’t sound like my cup of fur.”
A complete list of restaurants participating in Dining Out for Life, with details about their pledged donations, is at diningoutforlife.com.