Bowled Over: Anne Burrell's NYCWFF Rock and Bowl Party

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Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson no use of pictures without permission from photographer or agent

Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson no use of pictures without permission from photographer or agent

Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson no use of pictures without permission from photographer or agent

Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson no use of pictures without permission from photographer or agent

Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson no use of pictures without permission from photographer or agent

Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson no use of pictures without permission from photographer or agent

Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson no use of pictures without permission from photographer or agent

Photo By: Kat Teutsch Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Photo By: Kat Teutsch

Photo By: Kat Teutsch Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin 917 751 2855

Photo By: Kat Teutsch

Anne Burrell food network star iron chief

Anne Burrell has one request as she changes out of black Jimmy Choo platforms and into size 9 bowling shoes at Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge in New York City: "I need another cocktail, please!" The star, who hosts Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, isn't here to work on her bowling technique.

Anne Burrell food network star iron chief

In fact, she's the first to admit that she's a terrible bowler. So why did she decide to host a bowling party to celebrate her first book, Cook Like a Rock Star?

Anne Burrell food network star iron chief

The food, of course. At this spot, like many across the country, the strikes and spares take a backseat to the menu.

Anne Burrell food network star iron chief

"I would love to see more good food in bowling alleys," says Aarti Sequeira, one of several fellow Food Network stars who showed up at Anne's party. "I usually order a pitcher of beer and nachos — you need the beer to make bad nachos taste good."

Anne Burrell food network star iron chief

Claire Robinson and Marc Forgione showed up to enjoy the festivities.

Anne Burrell food network star iron chief

Don't forget Alex Guarnaschelli!

Anne Burrell food network star iron chief

But these days, so many alleys are moving beyond rotisserie hot dogs and bad club sandwiches that bowlers don't have to dread the food anymore. Keep clicking through to see some upscale takes on old favorites.

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We all know the problem with nachos: They arrive with the good stuff plopped in the center, so by the end you're left with a bunch of sad, naked chips. When chef David Burke revamped Bowlmor's menu, he smartly built his nachos up — not out — and layered the good stuff. The Big Can-O-Nachos is a tower of chips, cheese, guacamole, beans and chili (chicken or beef) served in a tall tin, which drastically reduces the chances of a dry chip. Try replicating his creation (including the stepped-up cheese sauce) in a deep, oven-safe skillet.

Get the Recipe: Big Dish O' Nachos

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Loaded fries are a delicate art: The toppings need to be generous but not so much so that the fries turn into a supporting actor, or worse, a soggy mess. Chef Andy Shelley achieved the perfect balance by marrying two classic fry add-ons, cheese and vinegar — but not typical neon-orange cheese sauce and malt vinegar. Shelley's hand-cut fries come topped with melted gouda, a balsamic reduction and red pepper flakes for a hit of heat.

Get the Recipe: Alley Fries With Balsamic Glaze

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The menu at Lucky Strike, the site of Anne's party, is filled with new twists on bowling-alley classics, like grilled-cheese sliders with jalapeño aioli and chicken bites with sweet chili sauce. But the star dish here is this quesadilla: Chef Bill Starbuck forgoes the usual mystery-cheese blend and rubbery chicken for brie and grilled apples.

Get the Recipe: Apple and Brie Quesadillas

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Beef tenderloin tastes just as good dressed down as it does on fancy china: At Splitsville lanes, chef Tim Cushman of O Ya restaurant in Boston puts the steakhouse favorite on mini buns with horseradish cream sauce and fried onions. The sliders are a major upgrade on the typical bowling-alley burger. Tim, a onetime apprentice to sushi master Nobu Matsuhisa, has also added sushi to the menu.

Get the Recipe: Beef Sliders With Horseradish Cream

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Anne Burrell bowled with the best of them last night at her Rock & Bowl cookbook release party at Lucky Strike in New York City during the New York Wine and Food Festival 2011.

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