Acclaimed “foodie” and TV personality Alton Brown has been teaching Americans how to cook for decades. The author of seven cookbooks, Brown created the Peabody Award-winning series Good Eats, has hosted Iron Chef America and has been a mentor and judge on Food Network Star.
Currently the host of the popular food competition Cutthroat Kitchen, EW caught up with the multi-talented Brown in the midst of his international tour of “Alton Brown LIVE! The Edible Inevitable Tour.”
“It’s a culinary variety show,” Brown says. “In two-and-a-half hours, we combine comedy, music, puppets, audience participation and very dangerous culinary demonstrations, the likes of which audiences have never seen.”
If you’re seated in the first few rows, ponchos are recommended.
Surprisingly, Brown wrote the music and lyrics for the majority of the show. “I studied music in high school and college,” he says, and audiences can look forward to ditties like “TV Chef,” “Cooking Lesson Lullaby” and “Airport Shrimp Cocktail.”
Brown says the music has evolved as the tour has progressed. “One song that starts the show was country, but now it’s a rap,” he says. “It’s much better as a rap.”
When it comes to his own cooking habits, most of the time Brown will wing it in the kitchen. “But I will follow a recipe to the letter if I’m trying to replicate a result,” he says. “With baking, for example, you’re messing around with serious powers you might not understand, and if you change anything, you better know what it’s going to do.”
Brown says he thinks the most overdone current food trend is Sriracha hot sauce, that his go-to late-night snack is popcorn and that the perfect pairing for a good beer is “more beer.”
When asked what is the one thing every kid in America should know how to cook before leaving home, Brown doesn’t hesitate: “Thanksgiving dinner, all of it, so I don’t have to,” he says, adding, that “kids should learn how to cook for themselves, so they can feed themselves when they’re adults.”
Brown says home cooking and live performance both benefit from a little flexibility and improvisation.
“I’ve made some of my best culinary discoveries when I was out of something a recipe called for, and made a substitution,” Brown says.
Combining cooking, live music and, according to Brown, “bizarre and potentially messy experiments,” The “Edible Inevitable” performance promises culinary fun for the whole family.
“Alton Brown LIVE! The Edible Inevitable Tour” comes to the Hult Center Feb. 25. For tickets, call the Hult Center box office at 682-5000 or visit hultcenter.org.