Authors@Google Presents Alton Brown: Good Eats 3, the Later Years.

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 12.10.2011

>>Jeff Freburg: Wow, you got your oven back.
>>Alton Brown: I got my oven back. That's good.
>>Alton Brown: Good morning.
>>Jeff Freburg: Good morning everyone. I'd like to welcome back probably one of our most
famous most popular guests, Alton Brown.
>>Alton Brown: Thanks.
>>Jeff Freburg: I'm one of the Google chefs, Jeff Freburg, and we're really happy to have
him back.
>>Alton Brown: Thank you very much.
>>Jeff Freburg: You have some specials coming up soon on the Food Network?
>>Alton Brown: Yeah. I've got a two-hour, we're doing a two-hour Thanksgiving special,
live, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Live, not live to tape, really live, so you know
if we cuss it goes out.
>>Alton Brown: You know, so that's, that's, that's gonna be a lot of fun. And we've got
Next Iron Chef, which starts on October 30th, which is scary good this time. I've got that
and I've got a new Good Eats special, a new Thanksgiving special that'll be out in November,
a one-hour. Our final Thanksgiv, our final statement on Thanksgiving, which is kind of
cool because there's only one recipe in the whole show and it makes the entire Thanksgiving
dinner, so it's kind of cool, all in one massive kind of recipe. So that's kind of groovy.
And then let's see, another, another Good Eats special, the final of the Good Eats specials
because Good Eats is no more.
[audience groans]
>>Alton Brown: Yeah, I know. I made it for 13 years. Give me a break. I'm gonna do, I'm
gonna do new stuff that's better, that's better. But I had to, I had to let it go in order
to do new stuff. But we have one more uber-crazy special that I think will probably be around
Valentine's Day on dark chocolate.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Great.
>>Alton Brown: I'll turn up the dark. So there's, there's plenty going on.
>>Jeff Freburg: Alright. And then you're in Mountain View tonight.
>>Alton Brown: I'm in Mountain View signing copies of Good Eats 3: The Later Years tonight.
Anybody have that in their hot little hand? Anybody got one?
[audience cheering]
>>Alton Brown: Those things right there, those four pound piles of paper.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Alright.
>>Alton Brown: Which I'm, I'm pretty proud of 'cause the entire Good Eats book set is
actually a little different from most cookbooks from shows because we take the recipes, the
applications from the shows, tear them down and completely rebuild them from scratch because
cooking from a book is very different than cooking from a, from a show and so they're
completely re-mastered and re-tweaked. So you should have 100% success. If not, it's
your fault.
>>Alton Brown: 'Cause I've, I've taken care of stuff.
>>Jeff Freburg: Alright. Well, Alton.
>>Alton Brown: Yes. Alright, so I wanted to spend some time drinking coffee. We've got
questions that have come in from that world wide web thing.
>>Jeff Freburg: Right.
>>Alton Brown: Is that, is that still called that?
>>Jeff Freburg: Do you want to sit this year or you wanna roam?
>>Alton Brown: I don't, you know, I'm, I'm, you sit.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: And I'll perch.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Alright.
>>Alton Brown: I'll perch from time to time.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. That's fine.
>>Alton Brown: Is that? Well before we move on are these actually?
>>Jeff Freburg: These are.
>>Alton Brown: Questions for us?
>>Jeff Freburg: Would you like to start with some questions?
>>Alton Brown: No, I want to start with questions from you guys. I mean I could, I could give
a speech about things, but it'd probably be boring. I'd rather hear what you guys have
to say, answer questions. Since Good Eats has kind of come to a close, I'm happy to
talk about that, but I might cry just a little bit.
>>Alton Brown: This is hard. You know and I'm happy to scoop dirt on Food Network people,
only problem is I don't have any 'cause I live in Atlanta and they all live in New York,
so I don't know a whole lot, but I'd like to take the time that we have and answer questions
and get kind of a general conversation about food or TV or communications or the future
of food or whatever you want to talk about, I'm, I'm happy to chime in. So yeah we've
got microphones, let's see there's a microphone there, there's a microphone here, I guess
that's, well we could only afford two.
>>Jeff Freburg: There's two.
>>Alton Brown: Well that's the way it goes. Two will do. Or you can just hold up your
hand and scream at me, I don't mind that either. Go ahead sir.
>>male #1: Alton, thank you for coming to Google again. Thank you for teaching me how
to cook.
>>Alton Brown: You're welcome.
>>male #1: I've been watching you, so basically since I was 10.
>>male #1: But I'm really sad to hear Good Eats is
>>Alton Brown: And I have to tell you, I've gotten to a point in my career where I, where
I, I'll have like really hot college girls come up to me to sign books and they'll say,
"Yeah, I've been watching you since I was a little girl, this tall." And I'm like, "Great."
>>Alton Brown: Takes the wind right out of it, let me tell you.
>>male #1: But you know being an engineer you, the way you present food makes it great.
But we're gonna talk about Iron Chef. Who was your favorite battle guest chef to telecast
to comment on?
>>Alton Brown: Wow. There have been so many, you know, before I knew it I think we've crossed
the 200 battle line on, on Iron Chef America. I would probably have to say that one of my
very favorites was the Rathbun Brothers. It was a brother battle. And the, the Rathbuns
out of Atlanta where I live came and I think it was, it was whole boar. It was like whole
boar. The thing that made the battle so much fun is that you know we got a good bit of
space in, in, in kitchen stadium, but these guys are so freaking fat, they can't really
move around the kitchen, they're like bumping into stuff, you know, and it was, it was like
watching guys in sumo suits cooking. That was kind of, they're gonna be really pissed
that I said that.
>>Alton Brown: But there were these huge, these immense pieces of meat. I like the battles
where the ingredient's really big, because you gotta really, a lot of time goes into
kind of tearing it down to get it into cookable pieces. We have an upcoming battle, Battle
Yak, which is pretty exciting. I'm not gonna tell you who's in it, but that's one heck
of a battle. 'Cause our, our new next iron chef is in, is in that battle, so that, that
won't be out until next year sometime I imagine. But there's nothing like seeing a whole yak
on the altar, let me tell ya.
>>Alton Brown: [shouting] Yak. Another, you got another question?
>>male #1: No, no just
>>Alton Brown: Ok.
>>male #1: thank you.
>>Alton Brown: Yeah, you're very, very welcome. How about you?
>>male #2: I wanted to say thank you to for
>>Alton Brown: You don't have your feet on the yellow marks.
>>male #2: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: I mean if you're gonna put a mat down with footprints, you, you need
to, you need to do it.
>>male #2: Alright, we're on the same page now.
>>Alton Brown: Alright, we are, we're good, I can talk to you now.
>>male #2: Alright. Well again, thank you for coming here and
>>Alton Brown: You're welcome.
>>male #2: I wanted to thank you for your take on baking. Just your, your explanation
of baking, the way you break things down makes things very, very easy to understand.
>>Alton Brown: Thank you.
>>male #2: And it's a very unique take. I really like, I really appreciate it.
>>Alton Brown: Well you know baking is all about balance. It's a see saw act, you know.
The thing that people have to realize with, with baking is it, is it doesn't forgive.
It is engineering and, and if, if it's like you know working on an engine. If you monkey
with this over here, you gotta do this over here. And once an equation gets out of kilter,
you're, you're done. Game over. So I, I, I think that it's just there aren't too many
people that that like to talk about it from that kind of standpoint. It's, it's really,
really easy to talk about baking from kind of historical standpoint or traditional standpoints
because we think of baking as this kind of very kind of homey craft, but it's rocket
[laughter] >>male #2: Yes it is.
>>Alton Brown: It is. It's absolute rocket science. You can draw a direct line from muffins
to Saturn V Rockets. [laughter]
Well thank you very much.
>>male #2: Well my question was.
>>Alton Brown: Yes.
>>male #2: So now that the greatest show in the history of TV is coming to a close, what
is coming next?
>>Alton Brown: What's coming next, there are a few different things. One, I'm gonna be
putting a lot of energy into video enhanced e-books. I'm going to merge the, the, the
film experience with the print experience into an e form. And I think that there's a
lot of room for pioneering in that that'll allow for some very interesting filmmaking
opportunities, as well as kind of a whole new way of communicating what food is and
how to work with a cookbook in the kitchen. So I'm gonna be doing that. As far as Food
Network goes, I'm going to be doing a miniseries, it's kind of a historical thing called Foods
That Changed the World. We're gonna be looking at a series of ingredients and how man's relationship
with that ingredient has helped to craft the planet that we live in. And then also looking
forward at the foods that I think are gonna change the world as we go into a planet with
a population, you know, of nine billion plus, which is that we're basically all gonna eat
Soylient Green in very small cubes, you know. Some of you don't remember Soylient Green
probably. And, and at the very beginning of the year there's another show on Food Network
called Next Food Network Star, I don't know if anybody's seen Food Network Star before.
Apparently I was in the very first episode of that last year and the general impression
was is that I make people cry and that I'm a meanie.
>>Alton Brown: And so as a result I've been asked to be on all 11 episodes next year.
>>Alton Brown: So I'm gonna be on all of the Food Network Star shows next year and my only
mission is to make people cry and give up or try, you know, drop out basically I think
is what I'm gonna do. Kind of like Louis Gossett Jr. in An Officer and A Gentleman, you know,
that's what I'm gonna, that's what I'm gonna be there for. So I got a lot of, a lot of
stuff going on.
>>male #2: Cool.
>>Alton Brown: And I, and I may, I may do something that's not food related. Male modeling
>>Alton Brown: Kidding. Yes sir.
>>male #3: You're referred to differently in Good Eats and Iron Chef America. Is it
Alton or Elton?
>>Alton Brown: It's Alton.
>>male #3: Alright.
>>Alton Brown: I just give up correcting people after awhile, you know, and just yeah, ok,
I know who you're talking about, you know.
>>male #3: Ever since the we saw Iron Chef America I've been wondering that, so.
>>Alton Brown: Yeah, yeah, that's the way that my mom says it and the way my wife says
it. Do you want to take a minute and take a, take a question from
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah, no, here's a great question about fluffy rice. I can't get my rice fluffy.
>>Alton Brown: Arrgghh. I, I can't get my rice to be fluffy. Arrgghh.
>>Alton Brown: What will it take for me to accomplish this? And that's from Mongomad,
Mongo Mad.
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah and number two like kind of
>>Alton Brown: Wait a second, wait a second, let's, let's, oh it's a two-part question.
>>Jeff Freburg: Kind of.
>>Alton Brown: Well let's answer the first one first. You're, you're a chef. Answer the
fluffy rice question.
>>Jeff Freburg: You know I use a rice cooker.
>>Alton Brown: You do use a rice cooker? Mult, that's a unitasker. Don't feel bad.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Awww.
>>Alton Brown: It's cool. I, the, we have I would direct this person actually to our
the Good Eats Red Beans and Rice episode, because we, we did a, a speed version of cooking
rice that, that is long grain rice that you sauté first in butter until it's very, very
hot and then you add boiling water to it. Kind of stand back, dump in the water, slap
on the lid and count 15 minutes and it's done. So, I, I would say go Mongomad can go check,
check out that recipe, because I, I think that makes a big difference. You've gotta
get the heat right and you've gotta do it fast. What can I make with sushi rice besides
sushi? I have eight pounds of the stuff
>>Jeff Freburg: They have eight pounds of it.
>>Alton Brown: hanging around,
>>Alton Brown: hanging around my neck like an albatross. I like that.
>>Alton Brown: You know an albatross is a big bird and, and eight pounds of, of sushi
rice, you know what? You can make, I don't know about you, have you ever made rice pudding?
>>Jeff Freburg: I have and I actually used sushi rice.
>>Alton Brown: I like, I like that. Yeah. I think that you can make, you can actually
make rice pudding and then do it into cakes, like rice cakes, only ones that you'd want
to eat.
>>Alton Brown: Who actually likes rice cakes? Be honest. No you don't.
>>Jeff Freburg: We make really good rice cakes here.
>>Alton Brown: You've been convinced to think that you do by advertising. You don't actually
like rice cakes.
>>Alton Brown: Nobody does. So that's what I would do. I would make rice pudding out
of it or a, or a beverage. You can make a yummy beverage out of it
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: like horchata.
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah.
>>Alton Brown: You can make with sushi rice.
>>Jeff Freburg: I have a wardrobe question that's not on the screen.
>>Alton Brown: Oh this is, this is just from you?
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah.
>>Alton Brown: Oh, who is this from?
>>Jeff Freburg: So, I don't know who it's from.
>>Alton Brown: This isn't Mongomad again is it?
>>Jeff Freburg: It's not. It's not. So in the past you've mentioned that your wife chooses
your wardrobe, did she choose the bowtie or is that your choice alone?
>>Alton Brown: Actually when I said that about my wife choosing my wardrobe, I was lying.
She doesn't choose my wardrobe.
>>Jeff Freburg: Really?
>>Alton Brown: I was just, I didn't, I just didn't want to get into it. That was a long
time ago I think I told that lie.
>>Jeff Freburg: Two years.
>>Alton Brown: Was it two years?
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah.
>>Alton Brown: Yeah. That's a long
>>Alton Brown: time ago. No. She will keep me from wearing things because I'll put on
something and she'll look at me and say, "Really?"
>>Alton Brown: And then I go change clothes, but that's, that's, that's all of it. So,
the, I like bowties because you don't get tangled up in them. I'm a man of action.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Alright.
>>Alton Brown: I'm action man. So.
>>Jeff Freburg: They get in your soup.
>>Alton Brown: I don't want to get tangled up in this big and I like ties, but I don't
want to get tangled up and I also find that whenever I get a really, really nice regular
tie, like a silk tie, the first thing I do is drop food on it and ruin it. So the worst
thing I can do now is screw up the shirt, you know, and this is, so this is up and out
of the way.
>>Jeff Freburg: Hey so
>>Alton Brown: And it's and I'm kind of a, a Doctor Who fan, so, it's kind of
>>Jeff Freburg: Alright.
>>Alton Brown: You have, you have some Dr. Who fans.
>>Jeff Freburg: So you were here two years ago and you really focused on health and you're
still looking really healthy, so
>>Alton Brown: I'm still trying.
>>Jeff Freburg: How's that going?
>>Alton Brown: It's hard. You know losing weight's easy. Keeping weight off, hard. It's,
it's like fighting zombies. You think you've killed all the zombies.
>>Jeff Freburg: Um hmmm.
>>Alton Brown: And then there are more zombies. I mean there are just more of them. They never
freaking really go away. And so you have to constantly keep your 9mm on you, you have
to constantly keep a machete nearby. And that's the way, that's the way it is with, with diet
because your body does not want to maintain the weight that you've, you've set. I mean
it'll get used to it after awhile, but any chance that your body gets to betray you,
it will.
>>Jeff Freburg: And how's your sugar?
>>Alton Brown: Does anybody else notice this and, and anybody here, I mean you're all,
this is in Northern California, people don't have weight problems, I know, but 'cause you
all eat granola and alfalfas and crap.
>>Alton Brown: I live in the South, ok, you know we have biscuits and ham and mint juleps
for breakfast, so it's
>>Alton Brown: I mean until I was like 12 years old I thought bourbon was just for Captain
Crunch cereal for gosh sakes, I.
>>Alton Brown: It's hard.
>>Jeff Freburg: How's your sweet tooth going, 'cause I know that was?
>>Alton Brown: My sweet tooth is not as nearly as bad as
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: it used to be. The biggest thing to getting over my sweet tooth was giving
up diet soda. Diet soda I think is evil because what it does is it tells your brain, "I need
this level of sweetness."
>>Jeff Freburg: Can you repeat that?
>>Alton Brown: Sorry?
>>Jeff Freburg: Can you repeat that about the diet soda?
>>Alton Brown: I think diet soda is evil.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Thank you.
>>Alton Brown: And I live in Atlanta. So I mean I've already got a hit out on me, ok?
Because, I mean, you know in Atlanta all the new houses have a diet Coke spigot in the
>>Alton Brown: But no, I think that what it does is it conditions your brain to believe
that you need a certain level of sweetness all the time and when you can't get it from
you know your eighth soda of the day, you eat more sweets. The truth is now if you were
to put a bowl of something that I used to be extremely susceptible to, peanut M&Ms,
I considered any vessel of peanut M&Ms to be one serving.
>>Alton Brown: Kind of like Girl Scout cookies. Everybody knows that a box of Thin Mints only
has two servings in it because once the tube is breeched
>>Alton Brown: You know, you take a hold of the plastic and you take your fingers like
this, you just aawwww.
>>Alton Brown: Until the plastic comes off. But now it's like I could eat you know like
a handful of peanut M&Ms and be just overwhelmed with sweetness that I couldn't, couldn't have
>>Jeff Freburg: Alright.
>>Alton Brown: Or I could go ahead and have another handful and just throw up.
>>Alton Brown: But that's unhealthy too, 'cause it turns your teeth funny colors. Now this
isn't really going where you thought it was going.
>>Jeff Freburg: No that's ok.
>>Alton Brown: Let's, let's go back down now here to the floor for a second. How are you
>>male #3: I'm, I'm great. Thank you for coming and
>>Alton Brown: You're very welcome.
>>male #3: and for the record the bowtie is pretty cool.
>>Alton Brown: Thanks man. I mean it's, it's action.
>>male #3: Yes.
>>Alton Brown: I can move.
>>male #3: As a, as a man who went to school in the South, I have many bowties myself.
>>Alton Brown: Well you should rock them here on campus. Be proud of your, of your southern
>>male #3: I will have to.
>>Alton Brown: Play your Lynyrd Skynyrd cd's.
>>Alton Brown: Or your Lynyrd Skynyrd eight-tracks, which are even cooler.
>>male #3: Thankfully I'm not that old.
>>Alton Brown: I like him. He's ok.
>>male #3: But it, it, it's good to hear that you're getting more into the digital realm
and my question kind of relates to that, is you kind of you know you started to wade into
the social media sphere.
>>Alton Brown: [laughing] Yeah.
>>male #3: I would be loath to not mention you know that you are a Google+.
>>Alton Brown: Yeah, I am, I just don't know how to use it.
>>male #3: And, and you are in a, you've been on Twitter as well.
>>Alton Brown: Yeah, I was on Twitter, I was off Twitter, and I'm back on Twitter.
>>male #3: So, so I'm curious, I kind of, what's your perception been of, of, of your
experience engaging with the social sphere and what can we do here at Google to make
it better?
>>Alton Brown: Pay off my mortgage.
>>Alton Brown: No, kidding. What could you do to make it better? You know I am, I am
new at it. I decided to jump in because I wanted to shut my agent up. My agent was nagging
me and, and, and I finally was like ok, fine, I'm gonna try this and, and so I jumped in
and then I jumped out because it creeped me out because I live in a very kind of insular,
I don't, I'm antisocial is what it comes down to. I on a day to day basis I don't really
want to interact with Susie572 from Boise, ok? I just don't. I don't know how and on
top of that I have an addictive personality as I have my seventh cup of coff, hey, could
somebody get me some more coffee? Is there coffee over there?
>>Alton Brown: Can you get me some more coffee? I'm starting to get the shakes.
>>Alton Brown: So you know it's like to me Twitter is, is, is, is Tetris for the 21st
century, you know. It's very habit forming. But I, and I don't ever want to be influenced,
my, my own work, it's funny, when I started making Good Eats and even before that one
of the things that I hated about directing TV commercials is that I didn't like clients
very much and I wanted to be left alone. So I kind of have a, an. Thank you very much.
I kind of have. No, what no cream, no Splenda, no, ok.
>>Alton Brown: I, like Good Eats, I never paid attention to fans. I want fans to like
the shows. I really do. But I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna make it for them. I always made
it for me. I thought the best thing that I could do is be true to what my vision is of
what I want to do with my craft and that I would do my best to make the best shows I
could, but I wasn't gonna be influence by the outside world. I'm not gonna worry about,
well oh the fans want me to do this or the fans want me to do that. 'Cause when you do
that you don't actually develop a fan base at all. Fans like to follow someone with a
clear vision of what it is they're doing. I, I truly believe that. And when you look
at great media works through the ages, they were always accomplished by visionaries, not
people with focus groups and not people that were looking at search engine optimizers,
ok? It was somebody who decided I'm gonna do this and they did it. And if people follow
them, fanstinkintastic, you get to do more of that. That's your reward is you get to
keep working. And if you get some cash and prizes along the way, ok. So the danger with
social media is that once you start engaging in that, you're from the South, you must remember
the, the story of the Tar Baby. Remember your Brer Rabbit?
>>male #3: Actually I'm from California.
>>Alton Brown: Do you remember your Uncle Remus stories? Yeah, they're not really politically
correct anymore but the truth is, is, is social media is the Tar Baby, once you stick your
finger in it, once you poke it you're pretty much caught up in it. And it's very easy to
then start letting that influx of information, that influx of opinion, that influx of emotion
from all around kind of infect what it is you're doing. And so that's why a lot of celebrities
have other people do it for them and they never touch it at all. Or you've got people
that do it a lot, but don't do it in a way where they really let people, they put a lot
out, but don't let a lot in. I mean you have people that go insane, [laughing] you know.
And I've spent some time looking at what other celebrities do, real cele, like big-time celebrities,
not just cablelebrities like me, but what big celebrities do on, on places like Facebook
is they basically just put, they share out. And, and I think that's, I mean that's fine,
but I tend to want to also see what's, what's coming in. But only to some degree. One of
the nice things about Twitter is it's limited, you know. You can only give me this little
burst in a link and if I want to go to the link, I can, you know, so it's very, it's
like skipping a rock across a pond. I, I'm, and that's where I am right now. Whether how
that's gonna change my work is actually I, I, I realize that social media is actually
going to allow me to work better because what it's going to allow me is to focus my future
work, more and more on the stuff that I wanna do that I feel confident my real fan base
will also enjoy and will allow me connectivity to them to allow them to know what it is I'm
doing. So in other words I'm gonna be able to preach louder to a smaller choir if that
makes any sense. And that's one of the things that when you, when you do TV projects, if
you're just on a network then you're, you're, it's a shotgun and it's, and it's always going
out there and you always have to assume that somebody's watching it. But a lot of the work
that I want to do as I move into another phase in my life is I wanna start to focus more
and more on what I really want to do. And to do that I need to have better contact directly
with my fan base. And that's what I can get from social media. By the way, for free. You
gotta realize that somebody like me will very often pay a PR firm $10,000 a month to manage,
you know, media relationships, to make sure that, you know, when you're in New York you're
gonna be on Jimmy Fallon and make sure you get that article in Rolling Stone magazine.
Well guess what? I don't like paying that money out to be really honest with you. Why
should I do that if I can have a good life on social media and do the same thing for
free? Did I come even close to answering your question?
>>male #3: Yeah, no that's
>>Alton Brown: Now to say what you can do to make my life easier is, is, is don't always
assume as you design social media projects, don't always assume that all of us want to
jump into deep water. You gotta think like, like a beach. I may just wanna walk here where
the water just laps up here a little bit. Or I might wanna get out in the waves, go
like this a little bit, but I may not want to go out where the sharks are. I may not
want to go out where the deep water is, so make, make it easier for me to not, you know,
I don't, I'm not always gonna be drawn into the deeper water of, of circles. Circles scare
the crap out of, I'm not gonna go into a circle.
>>Alton Brown: To me that sounds like a social STD. I mean I'm like
>>Alton Brown: a circle? What the, what the hell do I need a circle for? I mean that just
scares me. I don't wanna be in a circle. You know streams, that sounds safe, 'cause streams
wash things away, you know? A stream, I like stream, you know? Does that make any sense?
You know the last thing that I want to do is, is live my life on a computer. I think
that computers and the internet can enhance life, they can enhance a lot of experience,
but they do not actually replace life. And unfortunately I've seen some people [whop-woo]
go bonkers. Literally. I've, I've known some people that have lost their lives because
they quit living their life and they just lived on like Facebook, which is old school
>>male #3: Yeah, I think we can agree on that. Thank you.
>>Alton Brown: Sure. Shall we take another one from, from, that was sort of a dissertation.
>>Jeff Freburg: Please. That's ok.
>>Alton Brown: Although badly put.
>>Jeff Freburg: Any chance you might be taking to the asphalt again? There's a lot of pavement
you haven't ridden yet.
>>Alton Brown: Boy, tell me about it. I would like nothing more than to do more Feasting
on Asphalt shows and, and I might be able to convince Food Network of that, but they
think they've pretty much got that category all wrapped up with Guy Fieri and Divers,
Diners, Drive-ins, Dives, whatever the heck it is. Yeah. What can I say? Your, your e-mails
could, could certainly help. If you don't like that idea just e-mail Food Network and
I'll, I'll take to the road again. I'd always wanted to do more Feasting on Asphalt. I wanted
to do a west coast all the way from Baja to Alaska. I'd always wanted to do that and then
I also wanted to do Feasting on Rails because I'm a huge train fan, but you have to go to
Europe and Asia if you really want to do that right, so it gets expensive and then I want
to do Feasting on Air because I'm a pilot and I want to be paid to fly.
>>Jeff Freburg: I love the west coast thing.
>>Alton Brown: Sorry?
>>Jeff Freburg: Another. I love the west coast thing.
>>Alton Brown: Yeah, the west coast, I would love to do that because that's such a diverse
not only geography, but people groups. Food to me is mostly interesting when you examine
it within a micro-culture. You know it's like the best time that I had on the original Feasting
on Asphalt series, season 1, you know before I broke my collarbone and spent my time all
drugged up, was cooking and eating out on the reservations, native American reservations
in Arizona because you're moving in a whole new people group that's in your country that
has whole different food traditions and, and learning how to appreciate those and see them
through their eyes, that's what that series is really about.
>>Jeff Freburg: Great.
>>Alton Brown: Not just getting really big hamburgers.
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah. Let's see, here's another one.
>>Alton Brown: Not that that's a bad thing I guess. Go ahead.
>>Jeff Freburg: When will you delve into science of food in Good Eats, do you do your own research
or do you have a whole team of
>>Alton Brown: Physicists, nutritionists
>>Jeff Freburg: I know.
>>Alton Brown: etc. No we do, we do all of our research in house.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: And I do a lot of research. Matter of fact I would say that 90% of the
story lines on Good Eats came out of research. What we would do is once we decided on a season
list of shows we would generate research books that usually average probably like 500 pages
of research and this would be research from periodicals, from books. We're very careful
about internet sources, we, we, we will use an internet source to develop a lead and then
we'll follow it to a primary source typically speaking. And then out of sifting through
all of the research, that's where story lines kind of percolate up and out of, so I would
say that research is the, the number one skill that you have to be able to have to, to kind
of develop those, those story lines. So we do our own research. When we can't get an
answer to something, we have people that we can get to answer things.
>>Jeff Freburg: You don't Google it?
>>Alton Brown: Uhh, yeah, yeah, we, we.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Alright. Good answer.
>>Alton Brown: Although what I'd really love to see from Google is like a really high-power,
professional level academic search engine, something that's like a pay service that would
allow me the really good stuff.
>>Jeff Freburg: There's people that develop that right here.
>>Alton Brown: Faster. I, I would do that. I would pay, I would pay $10,000 a year to
have a high speed no junk search engine to high-end academic concierge level research,
quality research. 'Cause it's just too easy, you spend too much time stumbling through
crap and let's face it nothing multiplies and profligates on, on the internet faster
than bad information and you know and, and, and it would just be really great to kind
of weed through that kind of stuff. Somebody ought to get on that. To be a fantastic, to
be a fan. Now that you own the internet, you might think about selling it at better levels,
you know, kind of like the, you know, the crème de la crème of, of internet searching.
I, I would definitely, it would be invaluable. Work on that would you?
>>Jeff Freburg: Here's our team.
>>Alton Brown: 'Cause I could use that.
>>Jeff Freburg: Alright. How about, which other fud, food, sorry, Food Network host
would you choose as your second if Gordon Ramsay and Anthony Bourdain challenge you
to a two on two cage match?
>>Alton Brown: Let, let's be sure that we can define the nature of the cage match. I
haven't ever
>>Jeff Freburg: I'm assuming that's cooking related.
>>Alton Brown: I haven't seen, I haven't seen Anthony Bourdain do anything but actually
just talk.
[groaning & laughter]
>>Alton Brown: Actually I like Anthony Bourdain a great deal. I think he's a fantastic writer,
I just haven't actually ever seen him cook anything. Who would I, who would I want to
take with me? If I was like going in the kitchen stadium
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah, exactly.
>>Alton Brown: Wow. [pause] I'd take Bobby Flay.
>>someone in audience: Yes.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: I would take Bobby Flay because I know, I don't think he likes Anthony Bourdain
very much.
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah.
>>Alton Brown: And I, and I'm not really sure Anthony Bourdain likes him very much, so that
could be like super cool. That would be a lot of fun. I've never met Gordon Ramsay so
I don't, I don't know how that would be. But I like Anthony a lot.
>>Jeff Freburg: I think that would be pretty fun.
>>Alton Brown: He's a great writer, so I think that that's, that's what I would do. It would
either be him or I would, or I would take Morimoto.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: Just for the knife skills alone.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. There's a question about a knife on here. How long should a good knife
last, assuming of course that you're not using it to cut shoes in half or open tin cans?
>>Alton Brown: You know what? A really, really good knife should last lifetimes. Lifetimes.
I, I have a, a carbon steel Sabatier, it's a French knife made with, with a dark carbon
steel that I know is 100 years old and it's still, it's still kicking just fine. It's,
it's, it should be something that you should pass down to grandchildren. There's absolutely
no reason not to do that. And all you have to do is take care of them right. The number
one thing that destroys good knives by the way is bad washing. It's not bad sharpening
or anything like that, it's, it's harsh chemicals on handles that make the rivets, the handle
material rot out around the rivets. It's people, I still see people buy $200 chef's knives
and put them in the washing machine.
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah. I was gonna say, don't put 'em in the wash.
>>Alton Brown: In the washing machine not only do the chemicals, the enzymes that are
in the dishwashing powder that breaks down stuff on dishes, but it's also the drying
cycles. It's a harsh environment. And yet I see that. Or is see people buy really good
knives and just throw them in drawers with a lot of other junk which absolutely is one
of the most dangerous things in the world. Horrible thing to see. But a good knife, if
you spend money on a good knife, it will last generations without question.
>>Jeff Freburg: Speaking of danger, I think there's an explosion question. Did you ever
want more explosions on your show?
>>Alton Brown: Well, who doesn't?
>>Alton Brown: I mean understand something. I have, I'm, I have, I'm a dad. I have an
11-year old daughter named Zoey, she's been on the show a lot. I'm crazy about my kid.
But she does not think I'm cool. And the reason she doesn't think I'm cool is because I have
never been on Mythbusters.
>>Alton Brown: Now I can't go on Mythbusters because of exclusivity contracts and things
like that, but basically every time we're watching Mythbusters and something blows up,
she'll turn to me and say, "What'd you do at work today?"
>>Alton Brown: So one day I finally like alright, I've had enough of this. We're gonna go blow
up some stuff. And so I taught her some things.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: I taught her how to make napalm
>>Alton Brown: out of orange juice concentrate. And I taught her how to make nitroglycerin.
And I taught her some other things.
>>Jeff Freburg: You know 'cause
>>Alton Brown: And we, we blew, we blew up some stuff so loud that neighbors came to
ask if a transformer had blown somewhere in the neighborhood. I mean it was we were making
some really obscene.
>>Jeff Freburg: Oh, that's fun.
>>Alton Brown: And then we muffled the really big explosions we muffled by dropping them
in the pool.
>>Alton Brown: First. But that also had some backlash, unfortunate backlash.
>>Alton Brown: But I can't do that on TV. I can't show people how to do that or there
would be like kids coming to my signings with
>>Jeff Freburg: Would you have to put a disclaimer, don't do this at home.
>>Alton Brown: Hold me, you know, I, I, I can't. I'm not gonna do that.
>>Jeff Freburg: Alright.
>>Alton Brown: But I know how to make food blow up.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. I, I believe you.
>>Alton Brown: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: Anybody else, na, you can make napalm. Never mind.
>>Jeff Freburg: What's your one favorite kitchen gadget?
>>Alton Brown: My favorite kitchen ga, define gadget.
>>Jeff Freburg: Well, that's what's on the screen. What's your favorite kitchen tool?
>>Alton Brown: Well a tool and a gadget are very different.
>>Jeff Freburg: Alright, what's your favorite tool and what's your favorite gadget?
>>Alton Brown: Gadgets are, are, are flirting with, are usually unitaskers. Which I don't
suffer by and large except for
>>audience: Fire extinguisher.
>>Alton Brown: Fire extinguisher, exactly. Which I have now turned into a freezer if
you saw our live show so there are no more unitaskers. But my favorite. I do have tools
that I like a lot, things that I wouldn't be able to live without or would not like
to live without. An electric kettle. I do a lot of stuff in electric kettle. I'm a big
egg fan. I love hard cooked eggs and so I load up my electric kettle with them and then
fill it with water and turn it on. It cuts itself off. I leave 'em in for eight minutes
and I get perfect hard cooked eggs. So I like that a lot and I use a panini press a lot.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: I'm a big fan of panini presses. I use them to cook entire meals.
>>Jeff Freburg: Do you have your favorite hand tool? Everyone always asks me what my
favorite kitchen tool is.
>>Alton Brown: A favorite hand tool? Nine inch spring loaded tongs.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. Great answer.
>>Alton Brown: They, I have some that are longer, but holding something longer than
nine inches is just, I don't know, I can't seem to get used to it, so.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok, I'll, let's take another question here. What is your favorite cookbook
to use other than ones you've written yourself.
>>Alton Brown: What, what are, what are cookbooks that I like to cook out of other than mine?
>>Jeff Freburg: Exactly.
>>Alton Brown: My very, very first cookbook, which I purchased, well that I bought for
myself, I'd inherited a bunch, but the first cookbook I bought was in 1986 and it was the
original Frugal Gourmet cookbook, Jeff Smith's Google for, Frugal Gourmet. I almost said
google gourmet, which would be a different thing altogether. And I still cook out of
that book all the time. And I still cook out of the 1962 edition of the Joy of Cooking.
Because that was the last edition where they actually had sketches of how to skin a squirrel.
>>Alton Brown: And once you lose that skill, it's really hard to get it back. And the believe
it or not the most important thing to have for skinning a squirrel is good, good boots.
Because you have to hold, once you get the skin going, you've gotta hold it and I've
actually skinned a squirrel with these very boots. Is it's a, it's a pulling thing and
once you get the, the tail meat down you get a hold of the skin and you pull it off, so
you're left with skin.
>>Jeff Freburg: I was gonna ask what your favorite go to meal is after this.
>>Alton Brown: My, my favorite go to meal?
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah.
>>Alton Brown: I've got a lot of favorite go to meals. You know what? When in, when
in doubt [pause] I, I, I have this one, one dish that I, I really adore that I cook a
lot when like my family is not there and it's, I do this on a panini press and it's really
cool. I get my panini press hot, I take three, and by the way I don't have an endorsement
from a panini press. I put three big rashers of bacon in it and I close the lid and I wait
about two minutes and let the bacon cook till it's crisp. Take it out. During the time that
that's out, I cut up an onion and I cut up some mushrooms. So what I do is I take the
bacon out and while the bacon fat is in there, I throw the sliced mushrooms in, close the
lid, cook another two minutes till they're crispy, take those out, throw in some sliced
onion, still enough fat to cook, a couple of minutes, take that out, in the meantime
I cut up the bacon and then the last thing I do is I throw in two big handfuls of spinach.
Baby spinach. Close the lid, count to 12, take it out, put that all in a bowl, put some
hot sauce on it and eat it. I love that. So it's a hot spinach, mushroom, bacon salad.
That's kind of my, I love that meal. And canned sardines. I got a thing for sardines.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. So what was the last meal that you cooked at home?
>>Alton Brown: The last meal that I cooked at home before I went on, on this book tour
was I made breakfast for my daughter. If I am in town, I cook my daughter breakfast everyday.
For two reasons: One, no one will feed you as well as somebody who loves you.
>>Jeff Freburg: That's true.
>>Alton Brown: I believe that. I believe there's a tangible transferable value of, of, love
in cooking for people, so I want to cook for her everyday, number one I know I can put
good nutrition on the plate and I want her to see that her dad is there cooking for her
and doing that for her, so that was my, my last meal, 'cause after that I
>>Jeff Freburg: Do you cook with your daughter often?
>>Alton Brown: Do I cook for her often? Everyday.
>>Jeff Freburg: With her.
>>Alton Brown: With her. Yeah, but she's lazy.
>>Alton Brown: She's only interested, my daughter is only interested in something that results
in a lickable batter or dough.
>>Alton Brown: So she'll, she's you know like my, my, my dogs. I have a couple of Corgis
and they love ice, so anytime I open the freezer door, they come running because they think
they're gonna get ice. Anytime my daughter sees the mixer come out, she comes.
>>Jeff Freburg: Oh, that's funny.
>>Alton Brown: Because she assumes there's going to be some kind of, somebody's gonna
get to lick something off of something.
>>Alton Brown: Which I don't know what that says about her, but, that's, but when, when
it comes to actually doing work, she'll always, ahh, Dad, you know, I got, I got this thing
I gotta do over here, you know. Unless it's blowing something up, then I got her.
>>Jeff Freburg: You see, I think that's fun. Shall we take an audience question?
>>Alton Brown: Yeah. How about that? You sir, speak.
>>male #4: Hey there. So I work in search and I was gonna ask you for some feedback
on searches specifically for maybe recipes or for restaurants and now that you said what
you said about, about filtering out you know the high-quality content, I wonder if maybe
you could expand on that perhaps and, and give any pet peeves or
>>Alton Brown: Well, first off, I, I would never, I don't search for restaurants on online.
>>male #4: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: I have never looked for a restaurant on using a computer, so unless it's a map
function. I'm standing here in Missoula, Montana, where's the closest food? I will do that.
I will use the map function on my iPhone for that but like evaluating and looking them
up, I typically don't do that. And I would never, there is no way to find good recipes
on the internet, I don't think. Not, not through a general recipe search, because 99.97% of
them are crap. And you can't, you can't find good ones unless you go to a pay service.
Like if you have a subscription to you know, Cook's Illustrated, or some other you know
site like that that you can access their recipes, that can be quality, but just searching? Nah.
>>male #4: So, so the ways in which that paid service can provide you with those quality
recipes that you can't find on the open internet, which ways could we perhaps improve Google
search to provide better access to higher quality content?
>>Alton Brown: Well, you could, you could have curators, for instance. You could have
like here are Alton Brown, here are Anthony Bourdain's 125 favorite internet recipes.
Or you know you could find a way to curate collections, you know, allowing you to package
what you don't actually own, which of course is the way of the future.
>>Alton Brown: But the problem with, with a recipe is you gotta have a quantifier. And
a quantifier usually comes in, in the form of the dreaded forum, which I think is the
whole idea of user feedback in forum style is pretty much, if there is anything that
will ultimately destroy the usefulness of the internet, it's that. Because the only
people that typically go on forums are, are people that are the last people that you want
to listen to. You know unfortunately we've given everybody a voice and most of them are
bad. So I don't really know how you do that because I, I don't know how you provide. There,
there might be a way that you could set up search strings in such a way that you could
weed out a lot of things or you could simply start getting people to go through a huge
amount of print matter and, and, and use that. You know like anything that's in public domain,
you guys have snarfed up all that stuff anyway, right? But like Mrs. Beeton's cookbooks from
the 1900s, you know, maybe being able to search through that, that kind of print matter. Stuff
that's actually been tested. But I, that's, that's a good, that's a conversation probably
for well it's a longer conversation figuring out how to actually do that. I, I have a lot
of people come to me and say how the heck do I search for recipes on the internet? And
my, my answer is basically you, you, you don't unless you're looking for something very,
very specific with a name attached to it. Like for instance, I find that it is much
easier to find one of my own recipes by just Googling it rather than going to
and looking for it. Because I can't find it on unless I go through Google.
So if I, if I go to Google and I type in Good Eats meatloaf, ok, that'll actually take me
someplace that I wanna go and it'll, and it, but the nice thing would be is like if, if
you went to, ok say that it is my meatloaf recipe and you had to search this ok, Alton
Brown meatloaf or Good Eats meatloaf, goes to there, being able to have some kind of
service that would then offer, hey if you like this one, try these, in which case you
would have to have some kind of reference that would, some kind of system that would
cross reference ingredient lists or time that it takes or reviews and then offer up another
ten elsewhere on the internet based on if you like this one. I think that could work,
but then you, you've that's some pretty sophisticated integration. Not that that's over you, your
head at all, I mean
>>Alton Brown: You can manage that.
>>male #4: So if you don't use the internet for restaurant searches, what is your process
for finding new restaurants?
>>Alton Brown: My, my process for restaurant searches is on the internet is strictly geographical.
Is if I'm traveling and I'm like, "Dear God, if I don't eat soon I am going to die." Where
am I? What's near me? And, and that's what it is. And then what I'll do is I'll, I'll
look, I'll, I'll pull up you know on my iPhone I'll, I'll pull up that restaurant, I'll look
at it's website and see what the menu is and if they're open or not and go. But I'm not
evaluating them or searching them out in any other form rather other than geographical.
Now if I could look them up by ingredient, you know if I could say, "I'm, I'm standing
in the middle of Manhattan and I wanna know who's serving rabbit in five blocks in every
direction, that would be interesting. Because that would mean somebody's gotta look through
the online menus and, and somehow work that sourcing out. That would be very interesting
because there's a lot of, there are ways to miss a lot of good food because you don't
know that, ok, well this French rest, ok this Vietnamese restaurant over here is serving
rabbit in this form and this French restaurant's over here are serving in this form because
what I really got a taste for today is rabbit for some reason. That would be cool. I don't
think we have that now. Do we?
>>male #4: Well that's just great feedback, thank you.
>>Alton Brown: Sure. You sir?
>>male #5: First I just wanted to thank you for your deep fried turkey recipe. I follow
it every single year and
>>Alton Brown: You build, you build the derrick.
>>male #5: I build the derrick with the flashing lights.
>>Alton Brown: You use the flashing lights?
>>male #5: The most important thing.
>>Alton Brown: Well not only does it say danger, it says fried turkey will soon be served here,
which I,
>>Alton Brown: I think is a nice kind of community gesture 'cause people you know want that.
>>male #5: Oh yeah, definitely.
>>Alton Brown: And who doesn't want to build a derrick?
>>male #5: The pulleys kind of threw me off, but anyway.
>>Alton Brown: Really?
>>male #5: My question's about
>>Alton Brown: That's a pretty simple device.
>>Alton Brown: Pulley, been around for a few years. Hardware store, good, good place.
>>male #5: So my question's about actually brewing beer?
>>Alton Brown: Ok.
>>male #5: I'm gonna start brewing
>>Alton Brown: Are you old enough to have this conversation with me?
>>male #5: Yes I am.
>>Alton Brown: Ok. Just checking. I don't know what the ages is for oh wow in California,
so what is it drinking age is 21 here? Is that right? Ok.
>>male #5: And then namely what in, in preparation like are there any home recipes like using
apple cider vinegar to rinse out like all the stuff to make it in first or would you
go with a solution? And if you used the solution, would you rinse it after, 'cause a lot of
them say, no rinse?
>>Alton Brown: There are a lot of ways you can go with your, your sanitation. Sanitation
is paramount with any form of brewing, especially beer. And there are a lot of commercial solutions
that work at very, very low concentrations. I gotta confess, I use a bleach solution.
It's what I know, it dissipates very, very quickly and I've never gotten sick from it,
other than from drinking too much beer and throwing up.
>>Alton Brown: But I've never had a sanitation problem, so I use a bleach solution, but there
are other people that swear by, excuse me, non non-chloride kind of, kind of solutions
as well. But I would not use a vinegar, I would not use anything that wasn't designed
as a disinfectant.
>>male #5: And you'd always rinse?
>>Alton Brown: And I don't, actually I don't. I'm using it at such low concentrations that
I typically don't rinse.
>>male #5: Ok. Great. Thanks.
>>Alton Brown: This is a strange conversation.
>>Alton Brown: Yes, ma'am.
>>female #1: I know you touched upon this earlier, but is there a new TV show or an
episode of an existing show that you would love to see that would probably never be created?
>>Alton Brown: Well there are a lot of Good Eats episodes that I would have liked to have
created that, that Food Network wouldn't let me do because of subject matter and sensitivity
to their, to their clientele so to speak. The, the aforementioned rabbits, I would like
to have done a rabbit episode because I really like rabbit. But they were like, no, no.
>>Alton Brown: No, no, no, no because Thumper. You know I mean it's like people will accept
you know here we are with the pigs [oinking] you know because we all hate pigs now because
of Angry Birds, everybody hates pigs.
>>Alton Brown: You know it's like I was having a conversation with her, you know, "Daddy,
you really gonna kill that pig?" You know to make barbeque? I'm like, yeah I'm gonna
kill the pig. She's like, "I don't want you to kill the pig." Go over and put a helmet
on it and all of a sudden she wants it dead, you know?
>>Alton Brown: I said, "Not only are we gonna kill it, we're gonna throw birds at it until
it dies. We're gonna make the whole house fall down." Anyway that's another story. But
I really wanted to do a rabbit show, but you know the hippity hoppity bunny nobody wanted
to see that and, and I probably didn't, they said, "Well nobody wants to see you, you know,
cut up and skin a rabbit on TV." And I said, "Well, you know, c'mon, once you get the fur
off it looks just like a cat."
>>Alton Brown: And this was not the best argument that I put forth because then they were just
kind of like
>>Alton Brown: So that, that didn't go very well. And I also would have liked to, I'm,
I like offal, variety meats, sweet breads and, and, and tripe and stuff like that and
would love to have done a show digging into that kind of stuff, because I think if you're
gonna eat an animal you need to eat the animal. And they're like, no, no, no you're not gonna
do that, you're not, no, nobody, nobody wants to see you cook tripe. So I'll, I'll get my
revenge by doing that somewhere else and, and. But those were really the only things
that I really wanted to do that, that I, I was, I just, I just couldn't get traction,
couldn't get traction for it.
>>female #1: Thank you.
>>Alton Brown: Sure. Hi.
>>female #2: Oh, oh, thank you for coming. I wanted to
>>Alton Brown: How are things over here?
>>female #2: You're
>>Alton Brown: No I like it better over here.
>>Alton Brown: Go ahead.
>>female #2: You're my food hero.
>>Alton Brown: Thank you.
>>female #2: But I have three children who have terrible food allergies and one of my
favorite episodes that you ever did was the replacements.
>>Alton Brown: Yes.
>>female #2: But I was wondering and I've struggled with this for years is I'm a, I
love to bake,
>>Alton Brown: Yes.
>>female #2: But they're allergic to wheat, eggs and dairy.
>>Alton Brown: You're doomed.
>>female #2: And you did an episode where you replaced the egg with lentils, but you
also replaced egg with applesauce, but you didn't replace the milk and the wheat. So
I was wondering if you've ever had to do this challenge, because it's been very difficult
to make things, there's no emulsifier once you remove the egg. So is there a better?
>>Alton Brown: Well, I mean you can use xanthan gum as a replacement for, for the, for the
natural lecithin in egg yolks and that works. Just understand something. You're never gonna
get where you wanna go. There, there is, you're taking away the trinity of real baking. So
everything that you do once you remove those is only gonna be an approximation. It may
remind somebody of a baked good, but you're, you're, you're probably not gonna get there,
we just don't have the chemistry for it yet.
>>female #2: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: You know you can replace, the thing about working replacements is that you,
you're, you can generally get away with one or two
>>female #2: Right.
>>Alton Brown: But when you cross the line and are trying to replace three, the structure
of everything falls apart.
>>female #2: Right. Well the oat flour
>>Alton Brown: 'Cause you're, you're messing with that equation, sorry?
>>female #2: The oat flour with the soy and the baking powder with a little bit of extra
acid, so either rice wine vinegar or applesau, apple vinegar
>>Alton Brown: Sure.
>>female #2: Works really well for the leavening, but my
>>Alton Brown: As long as it's not a recipe that was actually formulated for a double
acting baking powder, because the problem there is that you're getting all of your CO2
released upon mixture
>>female #2: Right.
>>Alton Brown: So you may be able to mitigate that by re-refrigerating
>>female #2: I add a little bit of baking soda so that at baking time I get the second
lift for the addition of heat
>>Alton Brown: Uhhh, that's gonna be more a factor of the acid than the base.
>>female #2: Hmmm.
>>Alton Brown: Don't I sound smart?
>>female #2: I like your lecithin idea, would you presoak the lecithin so that it, it?
>>Alton Brown: Well you said that they're allergic to eggs.
>>female #2: They are, but
>>Alton Brown: Well you probably can't use the straight forward lecithin, so I would
replace that with xanthan gum.
>>female #2: With xanthan gum.
>>Alton Brown: Probably.
>>female #2: Or gelatin?
>>Alton Brown: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,
>>female #2: No
>>Alton Brown: no.
>>female #2: I've done really cool things.
>>Alton Brown: Well cool is the key word.
>>female #2: [laughing]
>>Alton Brown: No, cool is the key word though
>>female #2: Right.
>>Alton Brown: because if you're gonna, if you're gonna use gelatin as, as a textural
base, temp, it all becomes reliant on temperature. So.
>>female #2: Oh, 'cause you think it'll break down once it hits 350.
>>Alton Brown: Well it does it depends. Now if you're using carrageenan or you're using
some other gel base that's a hot gel, then, then that's different.
>>female #2: Ok.
>>Alton Brown: We're now boring everyone else.
>>female #2: Alright, I'm sorry. So
>>Alton Brown: They're like geez almighty, just have some more kids.
>>female #2: but if you were ever to do something online, a second replacement would be awesome.
>>Alton Brown: I will, I will attempt to do so. This, this growing trend we have of intolerances
and allergies is certainly confounding and
>>female #2: Right.
>>Alton Brown: And it opens up whole new marketing opportunities. And, and, and a lot of it I
think I actually do think that there is a part of the population that is faking it.
I don't think that there are nearly as many intolerances as there are people that want
to be treated specially by having an intolerance. I'm not saying that's your families' case
at all because there's a real difference between an intolerance and an actual allergy,
>>female #2: Right.
>>Alton Brown: but you know people that are, are gluten intolerant, that's going up. We're
all lactose intolerant to some degree, most of us of northern European extraction, no
that aren't of, of
>>female #2: Right. Asians.
>>Alton Brown: northern European extraction, have some of that. So it's a concern. My daughter,
I mean my daughter is allergic to peanuts. We have no freaking idea where this came from.
My, there is no peanut allergy going back in my family as far as we can go or in my
wife's and yet here she is. Why did this happen and how did it happen? Don't know. But I think
it's something that we're gonna have to deal with. Maybe part of evolution, just natural
evolution, I don't know.
>>female #2: Well, I'll let you know.
>>Alton Brown: But thanks, thanks for your question though. I'll work on that. Yes?
>>male #6: So you mentioned zombies earlier. I just have to ask a question. In the event
of a zombie apocalypse what's your go to food for survival? I guess your go to food just
for pleasure.
>>Alton Brown: Well I have to let you know that I'm actually working on, on a couple
of games that are related to this issue. Um, one
>>male #6: That's awesome.
>>Alton Brown: One is called Zombie Chefs, where you're actually in a grocery store fighting
zombies that are chefs of different nationalities and you can only kill them with ingredients
from their cuisine.
>>male #6: That's actually a pretty good game.
>>Alton Brown: Is that bad? Is Zombie Chefs bad?
>>male #6: No, it's great.
>>Alton Brown: And then, and then the big, the big one I'm working on with my daughter
is called Cupcake Apocalypse and it's, it's set in the time where all the weapons that
we have left are cupcakes because we had all these cupcakes we made to make cupcake TV
shows and that's all we've got left and so we've converted, we've converted NERF guns
to shoot cupcakes. So I have to say that in the end it's gonna be the cupcakes that'll
be the most important food.
>>male #6: I'll look forward to playing
>>Alton Brown: Because a head shot with a 10-year old cupcake, as long as it's not a
Hostess product, which would still be soft and tender,
>>Alton Brown: is, is gonna, is gonna do, do what needs to be done. And zombies hate
>>male #6: Thank you so much.
>>Alton Brown: They hate it. You're very welcome. This is a serious issue, people. I, I'm not
kidding around. Yes sir.
>>male #7: Yeah, well, speaking of families, what was it like shooting a show with your
>>Alton Brown: What was it like shooting a show with my grandma? That was in the very
first season of good eats and that was my maternal grandmother and it was, it was great
fun and I was really glad we did it because she died about two years after that and so
now my daughter doesn't really remember her and so she can watch that show and kind of
see what my relationship was like with my grandmother and it's nice. I still kind of
have a hard time watching it 'cause she and I were very close. So I'm glad we got to do
it, but, you know, I'm, it's tough, it's emotional thing for me.
>>male #7: Ok. Thank you.
>>Alton Brown: And she owed me money when she died so that's
>>Alton Brown: that's kind of extra painful. So. Go ahead.
>>male #8: Alright. I work on the books project which is actually a couple buildings
>>Alton Brown: You work on the books project?
>>male #8: So I was very interested to hear that you're, you're looking into video enabled
>>Alton Brown: Yes, I am. But only if I can keep you guys from just nabbin' 'em.
>>Alton Brown: Do you actually wait by the door of the authors that are dying to just
wait for that moment when they take their last breath? Or do you
>>male #8: Yeah
>>Alton Brown: I'm screwing with you, ignore that.
>>male #8: 120 years later.
>>Alton Brown: Somebody has to do it.
>>male #8: Copyright law's a bitch. Anyway
>>Alton Brown: Copyright, schmappyright.
>>male #8: if you have some time this afternoon, we'd love to have you come over and pick your
brains on what you'd love to
>>Alton Brown: Well, and I'd love to pick your brains too because the thing about digital
publishing is that we're, everybody's still going, huh? What? And, and the thing that
you guys might not think about very much is where people like me that generate content
are all stymied is by legal. Because none of the lawyers can figure out what even the
definitions are of things right now and so all of us are paying hun, thousands of dollars
trying to develop deals that, that like protect everybody and define things because nobody
knows what the words mean. There's not precedent for it. So law firms are just are really making
hay off of this whole thing while no work's actually being done. I think that I know a
lot of people with great ideas that have just said, I can't, I can't afford to do this.
When you think about the fact that the average entertainment copyright lawyer's going between
$650 and $700 an hour on a, and that's for something that either happens or doesn't happen,
you just go, oh my gosh, I can't, I can't afford to do this. So everybody's waiting.
Waiting for court precedence to be set so that words can be defined enough that contracts
are gonna be drawn up. It's really interesting. You know I've been trying to develop e product
now for a year and are just now getting to the point of actually being able to talk about
what they will be because of trying to wade through the legal. It's real interesting.
>>male #8: So you're, you're hoping to use a lot of content you've made before with
>>Alton Brown: No. All original. I have no desire to repurpose content.
>>male #8: And, and you still have all these copyright worries with all new material?
>>Alton Brown: Well, yeah, because the issue is defining what it even is. It's, come, come
to New York young man and spend some time with me in some tall buildings in midtown
and I'll just show you how complicated it can be. It's not just about who originated
at all, it's about even defining what the word is. It's defining what's an e-book and
what's an app. Where does one cross the line into the other? Because author x may have
a deal over here that precludes the use of, of or may say you can't make apps, but you
can make e-books. Or you can do this, but you can't do that. And the time limits on
this and how long this is in here and how long the video piece is. Very, very complicated.
I'm in a bit of a unique situation because I don't own restaurants. I own a video production
company. I own sound stage. I own editing. I own, that's what I do and so my desire is
to get as much visual motion content into my product as possible. That's what I do.
That's what I'm best at. And so that, that puts me in even more of a kind of a complicated
territory because if I use, if the software if the people that I work with to develop
the actual e product if we work together, here's the problem with pioneering, it's like
ok I wanna do this and because I make this and you guys make this we all of a sudden
make something new. Oh dear God, who owns that? Who owns that process? Is it patentable?
You can't just buy all your patents you know.
>>Jeff Freburg: We tried.
>>Alton Brown: Sometimes you have to make that stuff up. And so everybody's going, oohhh,
ok so now we need another agreement between us to cover whatever we might innovate. So
it's really tough. It's easy to be back and so you start to see the marketplace is already
getting kind of stale for e products because everybody's doing the same stuff because it's
established. Nobody wants to pioneer because nobody understands who's gonna own it. You
can just wait for dead guys.
>>male #8: So, well, yeah, forever.
>>Alton Brown: Yeah, I understand.
>>male #8: Yeah.
>>Alton Brown: So it's, it's really complicated. It's exciting. I'm excited enough in it to
be turning my company solidly into the direction of figuring this out of finding out how to
do this. For me it's life or death in a way because it's, it's evolving into a state of
really being able to do what I do best, which is probably something that hasn't been invented
yet and if I'm wrong I'm completely screwed. But we, we can talk. We should talk. I would
love, I would love to hear what you guy, 'cause you guys know, you guys know what's going
>>male #8: Yeah.
>>Alton Brown: Hey. Oh wait. Yeah, let's do you so you can sit down. You've been standing
there awhile. Go ahead.
>>male #9: Thank you. First of all thank you for coming and thank you for the team here
to inviting you.
>>Alton Brown: Oh. I. Thanks.
>>Jeff Freburg: Thanks for showing up.
>>male #9: Love your recipes. We make the schmaltz-based gravy every year for Thanksgiving.
>>Alton Brown: Schmaltz is good.
>>male #9: What's the one recipe
>>Alton Brown: Not exactly a heart healthy thing.
>>male #9: No, we make it once a year.
>>Alton Brown: In moderation. Exactly.
>>male #9: What's the one recipe that scares you to make? Is there a dish that's like,
this doesn't always work, it's a challenge, is there something like that?
>>Alton Brown: You know what?
>>male #9: Like to that you're working
>>Alton Brown: It's never the big complicated dishes that do me in.
>>male #9: It's the hollandaise sauce.
>>Alton Brown: Well no it's, it's, no you know it's like if I've really worked it out
it's the dishes that I accidentally turn my back on. It's simple stuff that I get cavalier
with. Rice. Every tenth pot of rice I make is a unmitigated disaster and I don't know
why. I, I, I will do it exactly the same as I've done all the others, but for some reason
I'm not paying attention right and I screw it up. So now I just throw out every tenth
one. I don't even make it, I just throw it out.
>>Alton Brown: To this day I will still, I get up every morning and make a pot of coffee.
And without failure one out of every five pots is horrible. I don't know what I'm doing.
You know it's when I'm not paying attention. But if you tell me ok today we're gonna roast
a whole hog over hickory wood with blah, blah, blah, blah. Alright. I'm there. I'm solid.
It's on my scope.
>>male #9: You're focused.
>>Alton Brown: I've got it. I usually don't screw that stuff up because I plan and I'm
paying real close attention. I'm not gonna tell you that occasionally my hollandaise
isn't 100%, but you know something like a sauce I look at a success range of you know,
it's within this 10%. Is it my best hollandaise? No. Is it still better than most people's
hollandaise? Yeah. Is it edible?
>>Alton Brown: You know the nice thing about food experimenting is that most of the time
even the really bad screw ups are edible. You know you don't throw away that much food,
you know. Which is why I tell people when they learn, first learn how to cook. Cook
eggs. They're cheap and, and if you mess them up it's not that big of a deal. The chickens
will make more, you know, it, it, they're inexpensive. So I don't really mess up you
know the big stuff, but I'm a very simple cook. I don't do complicated stuff. I really
>>male #9: So what's your take on molecular gastronomy?
>>Alton Brown: Well I've talked about molecular gastronomy before and been pounced on for
it. I think of all gastronomy is molecular. It's all molecules and, and the danger of
any movement in food is that people fixate on it, excluding other things. So I know a
lot of young cooks right now, I've met several young cooks who want to jump straight to the
powder and not cook the carrots properly. The real great practitioners, the real artists
in food that are embracing those ingredients and techniques are already great cooks. Ok?
And they're just using, they're just innovating. It's like adding paintbrushes to your to you
know or colors to your palette, which is fine. I think that when we start moving into, for
my own personal taste, when food starts becoming unidentifiable as what it is, I kind of lose
my interest. And, and I've been on record as saying, "Man, I just hate foam." The only
food I want foam on is cappuccino and if you want to call a meringue a foam, but I don't
want big bubbles that look like something that came out of a dying fish's gills.
>>Alton Brown: You know I just don't and you can tell me that you filled them with smoke
and that it's made with blah, blah and I'm just still, I still just don't freaking want
it man, you know it's just not what I eat ok? It, I don't have a very sophisticated
palette. I like simple foods that taste like what they are. So those are all fantastic
tools and you know in the summertime I keep liquid nitrogen around because my daughter
and I love to make instant ice cream or we'll buy fruit on the way home and say, "Hey, let's
make sorbet out of that." And you know liquid nitrogen's cheap. There's a place up the street,
I live near a hospital, I can get the stuff cheap and we pour it on all kinds of stuff.
Some times we soak crackers in liquid nitrogen and give them to the dogs, which is really
cool because as the dog chews the cracker, the steam shoots out of their mouth.
>>Alton Brown: But I'm not sure that's legal, so I, I don't know how to do that. And, and
I use xanthan gum to keep my, my dressings stable. So I use these things. I use you know
occasionally we'll use a tapioca maltodextrin to turn olive oil into a powder because that's
fun and I can put it on stuff. But by and large they're all just tools. And when an
artist becomes defined by the tools, that's a problem, in general.
>>male #9: Thank you.
>>Alton Brown: Sure.
>>Jeff Freburg: Um, I have a
>>Alton Brown: We're gonna wait for more people to come to the microphones.
>>Jeff Freburg: Yeah, now, so would you do a miniseries? That's a question on here I
just thought
>>Alton Brown: A miniseries?
>>Jeff Freburg: that was interesting. Not food related.
>>Alton Brown: Uh, would I do a non-food related miniseries? Sure. I would do a non-food related
series series. I mean I have a lot of interests besides food. I like science. I like all sorts
of stuff.
>>Jeff Freburg: Ok. I like the Mythbusters thing, I think you'd be perfect for that.
>>Alton Brown: If I could get on Myth, well if one of the Mythbusters guys would like
get blown up, I could slip right in
>>Alton Brown: and take over. Either of them, you know I'd be alright with that, I think.
>>Jeff Freburg: I think that's a good fit.
>>Alton Brown: Well, we'll have to see what happens. They're getting pretty sloppy with
their, their pyroworks.
>>Jeff Freburg: I'm getting this.
>>Alton Brown: Are you? Are we done, oh really? Did I suck all the air out of the room?
>>Jeff Freburg: We're a few minutes over.
>>Alton Brown: Thanks for coming. Oh, wait, can I take this one more question?
>>Jeff Freburg: Yes, please.
>>Alton Brown: Alright, go ahead. Go ahead sir.
>>male #10: I really salute you for bringing your really quirky sense of humor to TV and
yet you don't do it on all of your shows, so what's it like balancing the quirky Alton
with the making people cry on Food Network Star Alton?
>>Alton Brown: [laughing] I see that all as quirky. You know, oh that's actually a really
interesting question because the kind of quirkiness that's on, on Good Eats, that's actually me.
The, the other side of, of the way I am like on Iron Chef America or certainly on Food
Network Star is job specific. You know they're asking me to play a specific role, so that's
more like acting. That, that's, that's not me, that's a sliver of me that's being used
to make people cry. Which I can do, but it's, it's not me. They, you know any job allows
you only a certain range of your skill set and so there are a lot of projects that I
do that only call for one or two things. Good Eats though is kind of the whole, the whole
kit and caboodle. So, thanks for coming everybody.
>>Jeff Freburg: Thank you.
>>Alton Brown: Thank you very much.
>>Jeff Freburg: Hey, thanks a lot.