You may recognize him as the unforgiving judge of the culinary game show “Cutthroat Kitchen” whose wit and tongue are as sharp as his knives. He has hosted numerous series including “Camp Cutthroat” and “Iron Chef America” and created, produced and hosted the Peabody award-winning series “Good Eats” for 13 years on Food Network. Television personality, author and Food Network star Alton Brown, who created a new form of entertainment with his first live culinary variety show — is coming to Atlanta for the all new “Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science” tour.
Beginning in April, the new live show will visit 40 U.S. cities. Brown’s first North American tour, “Edible Inevitable,” was a huge success over two years and 100 cities with more than 150,000 fans in attendance. With “Eat Your Science,” fans can expect more comedy, talk show antics, multimedia presentations and music (yes, he sings) but Brown is adding a slew of fresh ingredients including new puppets, songs, bigger and potentially more dangerous experiments.
Critics and fans have raved about the interactive component where Brown invites audience members on stage to serve as his assistant. “There will be plenty of new therapy inducing opportunities during our audience participation segments. I don’t want to give too much away, but we’re also going to play a little game with the audience,” says Brown. Brown has a knack for mixing together a perfect base of science, music and food into two hours of pure entertainment. “Plus, you’ll see things that I was never allowed to do on TV.” He also says larger and more protective ponchos will be provided to the first few rows as his experiments have the potential to get messy.
Brown answered a few questions about his tour and cooking for HOME Living in North Georgia:
HOME Magazine: What inspired this latest tour and how will it be different from the last for audiences?
Alton Brown: Two things inspired it: science, and the last tour. Science is amazing and lends itself well to, shall we say … culinary theatricality. And honestly, the last show set the bar for what I can get away with so it only makes sense to do a show that tries to get away with even more. So, “Eat Your Science” is structured much like the “Edible Inevitable Tour” but all the material is 100 percent new.
HM: What is it about how Americans approach food, food preparation and eating in general that makes us such a target for culinary scrutiny (aspiring for the largest burger for instance instead of aiming for flavor and finesse)?
AB: We’re America … go big or go home. Besides, on TV you can’t see flavor, or aroma. You can however see size.
HM: You grew up here in North Georgia. (White County to be specific) Is there a particular dish or way of cooking here that you love, miss or absolutely abhor and why?
AB: I hate that people outside of the South — especially Georgia — think all we do is fry stuff. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Real Georgian cuisine is fresh, and vegetable-centric. Fried chicken is just the tip of the iceberg. As for actual dishes…I gotta go with Brunswick stew.
HM: You and I came through a school system that still had “home economics” that somewhat taught the basics of boiling water and making cookies. Do you feel today’s schools are leaving out something essential when it comes to science and teaching kids how to cook?
AB: Cooking is a perfect and practical expression of scientific understanding. I suspect that if more kids took cooking — from a good teacher — grades would go up in physics, biology, and especially chemistry. Cuisine is the connective tissue of science.
HM: Final question(s): If you were stranded on a remote island with two other “celebrity” chefs, who would they be and why? If you had to pick one roadkill from a rural Georgia highway what would it be and how would you prepare it?
AB: Oh, I’m not about to try to answer that one other than to say I’d pick someone juicy and slow. As for roadkill, I’m going to go opossum which I’d stew with turnips and corn.
Brown, author of the James Beard award-winning “I’m Just Here for the Food” and New York Times bestselling sequence “Good Eats,” is releasing the first of two new cookbooks through Ballantine Books (an imprint of Random House) in the fall of 2016. “Alton Brown: Every Day Cook,” or “EDC” as Brown calls it, is a collection of more than 100 personal recipes as well as a pinch of science and history. “Good Eats” can still be seen on the Cooking Channel and Netflix.
Information about the “Eat Your Science” tour can be found on Facebook: /altonbrown; Twitter: @altonbrown; Instagram: @altonbrown; or use the tour hashtag #AltonBrownLive.
Those with an appetite for more Alton Brown can find additional show and ticketing information at www.altonbrownlive.com.
Photos courtesy David Allen