Alton Brown

Alton Brown, renowned chef, television host, and author visited Laxson Auditorium last Sunday, and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. I was particularly enthusiastic about this show because I’d just listened to the semi-recent Nerdist podcast episode that had hosted him. (If you’re not aware of the Nerdist podcast, I highly recommend it.) From that episode I learned that Brown is an avid James Bond fan, a licensed pilot (he flies himself on his private plane to most shows), and… kind of a dick. I don’t mean that as a bad thing, I just mean that he didn’t really let the show hosts get away with anything. Any joke that he didn’t think was funny, any reference that wasn’t completely on point, he didn’t let it slide. And again, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just unusual when it comes to people who make their living by amassing fans for one reason or another.

I was really bummed that we couldn’t get an interview, because there was something I was just itching to ask him. On the podcast episode he spoke partly about his time spent as a host of Iron Chef, and how it was kind of incredible that nearly every ingredient known to man had, at some point, been used on the show. He then went on to say that there was even a chef, and he wouldn’t name names, that had tried to sneak marijuana into one of the dishes. My question is, what were they cooking? I mean…brownies are the obvious choice but it’s Iron Chef! It could be anything!

Anyway, on to the show. I was surprised by the huge turnout, especially because there wasn’t any real information about what the show would entail. I was especially curious if he would cook anything, and how he would do so for such a large venue. He did end up making food: pizza and ice cream. The more impressive of the two was the pizza, made by a crazily enlarged Easy-Bake Oven type of device in which a pizza was cooked under super high-powered lights in about three minutes.

He also sang a few songs, accompanied by a drummer and guitarist. I felt like the music was a little unnecessary, especially since he’s not exactly talented in the singing department. But, he’s Alton Brown. At this point, he can really do whatever he wants. And he did. He sang a song about a shrimp cocktail he ate in an airport once that gave him diarrhea. Clearly, the man is accomplished. I’m probably just bitter though, as my seat was literally in the very last row in the balcony. I think there is probably a very clear correlation between the quality of the seat and the quality of the person sitting in the seat. I’m including myself in that equation. I’d rate this show a 5/10. Two stars for the Easy-Bake Oven, and three stars for the patter. I’d recommend this show to families with ninety minutes to kill and $40 per ticket to spend.


Zooey Mae has been working as a writer monkey for Synthesis Weekly since 2007. Her favorite things include (but are not limited to), Jeffrey Brown, bubble wrap, Craig Thompson, pillow forts, receiving handwritten letters, and whiskey. She spends her free time stockpiling supplies for the impending robot Apocalypse and avoiding eye contact with strangers.