I had the best time with my family this weekend. A few months ago, I was scrolling on my endless facebook feed where out of nowhere a wild Alton appeared; Alton brown that is. He was performing a show in Tampa and I jumped at the chance for tickets. Originally my mother and I were going to go up on Saturday, spend the night, and come home sunday. My family was free, so we decided to make a weekend trip out of it.
On Friday morning we started our trek towards Tampa. Nearing Disney, we hit an unbelievable amount of traffic. The highway was a parking lot filled with families on their spring break. After a few hours, we arrived in Tampa and decided we had a few hours to kill so we headed over to the beach. More traffic ensued, and the weather took a turn. I was fighting a sinus cold, and covered myself with blankets while other beach-goers frolicked in the gulf. After taking a nap on the beach and collecting beautiful shells, we drove back to tampa and my mother and I got dropped off at the theater.
The Straz Center of the Performing Arts is a beautiful building filled with restaurants, bars, and multiple stages. Walking into the elaborate building, I spot the merchandise table and hone in on my prey. I see “Good Eats 3 – The Later Years” the last cookbook of the collection. I decide to buy the book and low and behold, it’s autographed. I was as giddy as a young school girl who had a crush on the upperclassmen.
I’m like a really goofy home ec teacher.
– Alton Brown
After seating ourselves, both my mother and I were in awe of the demographics of the theater. Young or old, everyone here loved the entertaining foodie. His acts consisted of musical numbers, culinary demonstrations, and a lecture on both his personal experiences and professional knowledge of the culinary arts. I was in love. The charisma and the knowledge Alton Brown possesses makes my knees weak. Did you know he could play the guitar, the saxophone, and sing?! Plus he is extremely smart?!
At points in the show, he asked for volunteers. Although I was not picked, I do believe this is how it would have ensued:
Alton: Why hello there! Would you like to help me show the audience how to make pizza?
I would nod modestly, and ask him if he’d heard the joke about the pizza.
A: No? I haven’t.
Me: Oh sorry, it’s too cheesy. Grins uncontrollably.
A: HAHA. Boy you are funny. Can you toss this pizza dough for me?
Me: Throws dough into the air almost twenty feet high. While the dough floats gracefully I do backflips in place.
A: Wow is there anything you can’t do?
Me: Model men’s underwear.
Alton giggles sheepishly as he puts the perfect pizza into the handcrafted easy-bake oven.
A: Wow you really know your culinary knowledge. How about you come to Atlanta and work for my show as a writer?
The medics surround the stage and electroshock my heart with the heat from the pizza. The pizza has saved my life.
But alas, that did not happen. Instead a drunken lady stuck her dirty fingers in the dough and almost burnt the stage to a crisp.
Very good cooks who are employed as ‘chefs’ rarely refer to themselves as ‘chefs.’ They refer to themselves as ‘cooks.’ – Alton Brown
I should have, I could have, and would have. I’ll never stop trying to achieve my dreams, even if they are only a figment of my imagination. Alton’s quote above really hits home for me. Although I have training, I would never categorize myself as a chef. So who is a chef? What is that “Aha” moment when you graduate from cook to a chef? Time will only tell. For now, I guess I’ll have to make my recipes from my new cookbook as a cook, and aspire to become a full-fledged chef.