PW: What do you think of the audio adaptation of Queer Eye?

Ted Allen: [The producers] did so much more with it than I ever thought they would. When I go on the road, I like to download This American Life from and sometimes an audiobook, but I've never heard an audiobook that was anything like this one. I had no idea they were going to put music to it. I had no idea they were going to use sound effects. Sherry Huber and the rest of the team really put a lot of energy into it.

PW: Were you able to approve the abridgement?

TA: That was never really an issue of any concern because they allowed us to collaborate with them completely as we did the sessions.

PW: Was there ever any doubt that you would read the audiobook yourselves?

TA: I don't think so. You could hire someone to do it, but part of what's made the show successful is that people enjoy watching the relationship between us. It's certainly not because of my looks. The highest compliment I think I could pay the people who did the audiobook is that they managed to recapture the chemistry and the friendship that the five of us have even though we weren't in the same room at the same time when we recorded it. And I think that's a tribute to the way they wrote it and the way they cut it. Hardly ever is it Thom Filicia blabbing on and on the way he does. It's Thom blabbing for a while and then a quick interjection from Carson and then some music or a sound effect. It's fast-paced.

PW: How did the making of this audiobook compare to the making of an episode?

TA: Well, I was naked, so that was different. [Laughs.] No one had to do our hair. It was much more peaceful, in a nice quiet studio, and at the same time, it was a lot of fun.

PW: How did you acquire your culinary expertise?

TA: I learned cooking from my mom—just classic Southern comfort food. I have several friends who work in restaurants, and we cook a lot together. When I got a job at Chicago magazine as an editor, I ended up training over the shoulder of the head dining critic there and eventually became a restaurant critic, which exposed me to a broader range of cooking.

PW: If there's one thing you would like people to take away from the Food & Wine section of the book, what would that be?

TA: I think that a lot of guys, but also some women, are intimidated by the idea of good food and good restaurants. They think it's fussy or fancy. One of the things that we try to do on the show is demystify that experience and make it less off-putting and intimidating. So if there's one overarching theme, it should be that food is supposed to be celebratory. It shouldn't be something that people worry about.

PW: What was the writing process for this book like and how did it compare to your experience collaborating on Esquire's Things a Man Should Know series?

TA: The primary difference was that we had to get [Queer Eye] done quickly. The production itself takes a lot of time, and complying with the deadlines was challenging. Chris Pavone, our editor, literally had to chase the five of us around the city because we have a 40-episode order this season, and we're swamped.

PW: In the q&a at the end of the audiobook, you say: "Writing is great because you can pretty much do it until you kick off." Is writing in your future?

TA: It is. I have a cookbook that I'm already beginning.