Food Network’s Alton Brown will make a stop at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center on Oct. 26 as part of his Edible Inevitable Tour.
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Food Network star Alton Brown blends the art of cooking with the mechanics of science in a way that would make Walter White envious.
His Edible Inevitable Tour will showcase Brown’s droves of talents, including stand-up comedy, singing and, of course, culinary chemistry. He will stop by the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Oct. 26, and it promises to be a food experience like none before.
This past year, Brown held a lecture on food science and a post-show meet and greet. Now, Brown’s performance is a “much larger production,” Cal Poly Arts Director Steven Lerian said.
Brown’s Edible Inevitable Tour is a multi-course performance showcasing an entree of culinary kookiness, a side of humor and a science lesson à la carte.
“There are effects, all this interesting lighting and lots of hands-on demonstration,” Lerian said. “There’s also a poncho zone, which means there’s lots of things flying around. You may be splattered with water, food, whatever might be propelled from the stage.”
Architecture sophomore Carmen Muller, who attended Brown’s 2012 event, is a self-proclaimed fan of Brown’s.
“I didn’t really know what his show would be like, but I wanted to go see him because I like his humor and that he brings science into cooking,” she said. “His show was very entertaining. It was different from any other type of show I’ve been to.”
Brown’s tour is a concert, a lecture, a comedy routine and a cooking demonstration all in one.
“(My tour) is a culinary variety show,” Brown said. “It is a combination of two very large, very strange food demonstrations that I promise no one has seen before,” he said. “There are puppets, there’s stand-up comedy, there’s a good bit of audience interaction and there’s four or five songs. So that will all go together to hopefully make an enjoyable couple of hours. There’s no dancing or juggling, but other than that, we’ve got it.”
Though Brown is known as one of the primary faces of Food Network for his long-running show “Good Eats” and as the host of “Iron Chef America,” food was not his first love. In fact, cooking began as just a gimmick.
“(Cooking) was something that I really got into when I was in college as a hobby because it helped me get dates,” Brown said with a chuckle. “Back in the 1980s, it was unusual for guys to cook, so it got me a little extra attention.”
Brown attended University of Georgia and studied cinematography and video directing. Having a career surrounding food, however, hasn’t dwindled Brown’s fondness for film — it’s enhanced it.
“I’ve never thought of myself as a chef,” Brown said, “I’m a filmmaker who makes entertainment products surrounding food.”
And Brown, the inventive food-equivalent to Bill Nye the Science Guy, provided a quick solution for students on a budget and time crunch: a panini press.
“When I was a college student, I would steal food from the cafeteria, go home and cook the food in my panini press,” Brown said. “You can cook anything in a panini press, including fresh vegetables. I use one all the time, but I almost never cook paninis in it.”
Outside of food, in Brown’s small amount of free time, he dabbles in a multitude of eclectic areas. A true renaissance man, Brown has penned several books, plays various instruments and has even piloted planes.
“Life is short,” he said. “You got to do everything you can do, and do it as well as you can do it. I put a lot of stock trying to innovate and be original with what I do and that just kind of keeps me driven.”
Never found without donning a bow-tie, Brown adds a dash of geeky genius to his craft that is not only intellectually stimulating but also manages to appeal to all age groups. The show begins at 8 p.m.