Wednesday, April 17, 2013
So Alton Brown is coming to Charlotte on Saturday night, as part of the N.C. Science Festival. The format of the evening is Q&A.
Having seen His Science Geekness handle audience questions - most recently at the Southern Foodways Symposium last October, where he lectured on barbecue - I know that he is very good at questions. Even answers. The boy gives good answer.
Still, I started to wonder, as someone who asks a lot of questions, what questions he wishes you would ask him.
So I called and asked Alton a few questions about questions. First, the questions everyone ALWAYS asks (so don't bother asking these):
1. Will you ever compete on "Iron Chef"? Absolutely not. "The answer is positively no. I don’t want anybody to have a shot at my job. If they do it as well as me, I’m vulnerable. I’ve spent years perfecting that aura.”
2. His favorite episode of "Good Eats." He doesn't have one. "I always just make something up."
OK, so if you want to have fun and engage him with a good question, try one of these:
1. What's his least favorite thing to cook? Everyone always asks his favorite thing to cook, but no one ever asks what he can't cook. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you. I hate making coffee. No matter what, my coffee isn't very good. I thought for a long time that I did (make good coffee). But I have, in fact, given up." He thinks the problem is too much experience: "My taste in coffee has improved over the years. I have had really good coffee made by really good barristas (not Starbucks, by the way). I dread making coffee."
2. Anything about flying. "I love it when people ask me questions about flying, because I'm a pilot. I love to get pilot questions. That's me up there, pulling levers and stuff." Yes, by the way, he will fly himself to Charlotte. Keep watching the skies, kids. (And yes, that is him up there, literally, at the top of the blog. Doesn't he look all serious and stuff?)
3. "No one ever asks me who the biggest influence has been on me. Not as a cook, but as a filmmaker, which is what I consider myself first and foremost. I used to direct TV commercials. Deep down, that’s what I am and that’s how I think of myself. If someone comes up behind me and says 'hey chef,' I look around to see who else is there." (I didn't say they'd be interesting questions, just questions he wishes you would ask.)
And finally, as a bonus round: Tell him I told you to ask him what he always keeps on the stove. He mentioned it while we were talking. But I bet he doesn't remember, so here's your chance to Stump the Geek.
Enjoy, and welcome back to Charlotte, Alton.
Want to go see him? Tickets range from $32.50 to $150 (a VIP thing, with extras). Buy them through the them here at Blumenthal site.
Posted by Kathleen Purvis at 10:34 AM