Alton Brown Signs New Cookbook Good Eats at the Ethical Society
by Diana Davis
It was standing room only at the Ethical Society on Sunday, October 9 for Food Network star Alton Brown’s cookbook and Q&A session for his latest book, Good Eats 3. The event, sponsored by Left Bank Books and Sauce Magazine, was so full that the attendees overflowed into an additional audio-only room downstairs. Few wanted to miss the energetic Brown mugging it up with his audience, and when you read the fans’ questions and Brown’s answers, you will know why!
Q. What are you gonna be for Halloween? (from a child)
A. A balding, middle-aged man handing out my world-famous popcorn balls with a pickle in the middle.
Q: When did you first begin to cook and what did you make?
A: When I was 2 ½, I was feeding my dog a dog food called Gainsburgers. It looked like a hamburger patty that came in an individual cellophane wrapper. One day my Mom slept late, I thought the dog’s breakfast looked pretty good, so I got one for myself and tasted it; just a little bit gritty with what I now suppose was bone meal, so I got a plate and a bottle of ketchup and then I garnished it with parsley. I’d eaten about half when Mom came in and screamed. I never saw Gainsburgers at my house again.
Q: What’s it like to have your own show?
A: It’s sweet!
Q: What would you say is the best way to get your own show on TV?
A: Become a hoarder and a hand fisherman, marry somebody with a pawn shop and turn Amish. That ought to do it.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to make from scratch?
A: I make everything from scratch.
Q: Besides you, of course, who’s the next best cook?
A: Look, I’m a married man. All you guys know what I mean? It’s my wife. That’s my answer, and I’m sticking with it.
Q: Who cooks more at home?
A: My wife cooks 56% of the time. I always fix my daughter’s breakfast because I want her to do well in school, and because I love the heck out of her.
Q: Do you like to bake cookies?
A: No, something dreadful happens. Every time I make cookies, something happens and they never make it to the inside of the oven. Now, I’m sent away from the kitchen, and all I get is an aroma when I come back home, and a pat from my wife with the comment like, “We don’t need that.” But I have some fine recipes for cookies.
Q: What’s the nastiest thing you ever ate?
A: There was an oriental chef who fixed fish ice cream. He put a raw trout in a blender, bones, scales and all and pureed it; then put it in the ice cream machine. It was so awful, when I put it in my mouth, my lizard brain kept yelling, “Spit that out! Spit it out!” It took every ounce of discipline and focused will that I had to make my throat muscles work to swallow.
Q: What’s your favorite dinner?
A: Margaritas, barbeque and pie.
A: Margaritas and pie.
Q: What happens to the food prepared on the Food Network?
A: If it’s from the Paula Deem show, they take it to the toxic waste dump. No seriously, the extra food gets donated to homeless shelters. We don’t believe in wasting products from which others could benefit.
Good Eats 3 covers the last 85 episodes of the TV show, and includes more than 1,000 photos and illustrations and 225 recipes. Offering many educated comments on foods and their history, it’s a steal at $37.50.
And if you invite Alton Brown to dinner, please remember: barbeque, pie, and Margaritas!