Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

UPDATED 06/25/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 06/25/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

>Al Roker

Al Roker has no qualms about it—he loves to eat. So searching for the most delectable edibles the Big Apple has to offer is the perfect job for the Today show weatherman. In his sixth Food Network special, Around the World in New York City (airs June 17 at 9 p.m. ET), he indulges his passion by sampling ethnic cuisine at restaurants throughout the city—with the emphasis on "sampling." "The trick, not that I've learned it," says Roker, 46, "would be that you don't have to eat everything. I would have a couple of mouthfuls of every dish, and that was it. Otherwise I was going to explode."

Roker puts his culinary findings to good use, whipping up dishes for wife Deborah Roberts, 40. "Every time I do a special I come back with more knowledge about food," says the New York City native. "I make a casserole that she absolutely adores, and after a second helping she'll say, 'Why did you make this? You're killing me.' But Deborah's a size 2 and isn't going to get much sympathy. She can afford a little fattening up." Roker is no stranger to counting calories himself. "Dieting is one of those things that's a constant struggle," he says, in part because he is a gourmand. Though "I don't know about some of the stuff they ate on Survivor. But if someone were to give me a million dollars, I can't imagine something I couldn't eat."

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