Well, “with” is a bit of a loose term I guess, as I was actually two rows and the distance between stage and floor away from him the whole time, and he never looked directly at me per se…but we were in the same room together. That counts, right?
Sir Alton* was in town as part of the Texas Book Festival—
*Not to be confused with Sir Elton of “Candle in the Wind” and ‘Yes, my child is in the same playgroup as the offspring of Neil Patrick Harris’ fame.–because the great thing about book festivals is that they include all types of books, including my favorite kind: those about food!
As part of his gazillion-city book tour for Good Eats 3, Alton stopped in Austin to regale the crowd with humorous quips about his life as a chef and a Food Network star (including a mock interaction between him and Chef Morimoto should they ever face each other on Iron Chef America).Because I happen to be dating someone whose path into the culinary world was opened by an Alton-inspired revelation that cooking = science, I was a part of the crowd gathered outside over an hour before what turned out to be mostly “Q&A with Alton.”
I must say, that although I have learned a lot from Alton Brown (including the need for uncooked chickpeas to make falafel, and the easiest pie crust recipe ever*), I’ve never been an all-out Alton obsessee.
But I like him a whole lot more now that he cracked me up with jokes about the potential for a new Food Network show involving pythons eating Guy Fieri and the way he wooed woman with cooking in college.Spoiler Alert: The Next Food Network Star is going to be SO much more awesome next season because he revealed he is a permanent judge! [And that his goal is “to make sure there aren’t any new Food Network Stars.]
Another cool thing about book festivals?
There’s often a cooking tent.
Interestingly enough, this cooking tent was sponsored by my place of employment.
*The fact that he wouldn’t remember it if he saw me again is neither here nor there.
Because this is the Vegan Month of Food, I am now highly attuned to ‘my vegan life’ and of course had to look for some sort of VeganMoFo takeaway from this event—and not just that I couldn’t eat from any of the trailers present at the festival, and was happy I packed a Carrot Cake Larabar and two apples (just in case we got hungry)…or that the man in front of us in line turned out to have beena vegan for 10 years.*
*Vegans: They’re Everywhere You Want to Be.
Instead, I really liked something Alton said during his Q&A about “owning up to sweetness.” He talked about losing 50 pounds, and how after getting rid of the constant sugar in his life, he ate better and felt better and was no longer driven my artificial sweeteners and whatnot.
The same thing has happened to be during this month of veganism. I’m not sure why, because I wasn’t a suga-holic to begin with, but perhaps just bringing even MORE veggies and a lot more unprocessed grains into my diet, I’ve reduced the sugar cravings that used to strike around 3 or 4 every day. Usually I ate an apple or something, not an entire pack of M&Ms…but still.
*But I’m sorry, Mr. Brown, I will still put stevia in my coffee in the morning, and every now and then I am going to have to drink a Diet Coke.