Google & Food Network Celebrate Thanksgiving

Uploaded by Google on 19.11.2009

Good morning. I want to thank all of you for coming. We’re so excited today to be here
with the Food Network and with Alton Brown celebrating an early Thanksgiving, and talking
about some of what we’ve been introducing on iGoogle in terms of our food themes and
food gadgets. And I just want to offer a little bit of reflection on the Web and how it has
affected cooking and then I’ll turn over the show to Alton. If you think about what
the Web has done in terms of cooking, it really has changed things. As recently as 10 years
ago, if you think about how you would exchange recipes, they would have been flour-covered
recipe cards that looked like this or you begging your grandmother for that secret recipe.
And now, today, the Web helps us find and organize recipes and explore food in entirely
new ways. One thing that we see is we can tell that people have moved in their food
interest online. This is the Google trends graph for recipes, and you can see that it
has been increasing over time—-and, in fact, we get a big seasonal spike every year around
Thanksgiving and Christmas as people find holiday recipes for entertaining. We also,
as you can see, this is the search for Food Network-—our partner today—-we’ve been
getting more and more queries over time as people turn to their web more frequently to
find what they are looking for in terms of what to cook and what to be inspired by in
terms of food. So, I’m really excited about this overall trend. And we’ve built different
features into the search engine to try and make cooking easier, so, even things like
our calculator and conversion--a tool that we have in the search engine. So, for example,
if you want to convert from metric or from one measurement to another, you can type things
like five teaspoons and find out how many milliliters that is or you can find out how
many tablespoons are in a cup by simply typing these things into Google and getting the conversions
on the top of the page. Google Image Search, we have found has been a great inspiration
for people, especially if they entertain. So, this is an example of search for Thanksgiving
table settings. If you are looking at how you should entertain, how you should set up
the table, how to inspire your family and friends that you are hosting, we got a great
set of images, and Google Image Search is a great tool for that. We also have Google
Book Search, which has tons of cookbooks, including dozens of cookbooks from our partner
today, the Food Network. So, we’re really excited about the fact that people can search
not only for web pages but also books online to help them find recipes. And, of course,
YouTube, because of the demonstration nature, is just a really, really great opportunity
for people to log on, find videos and see demonstration of how to make some of their
favorite dishes. So, without further ado, I want to turn to the iGoogle announcements
for today because they’re very, very exciting. As you know, we’ve been having a series
of artist themes where we release a set of theme each quarter that focus on different
artists and designers. And this quarter, we’re focused on art--food as art, and, so, all
of the themes are just unbelievably beautiful and scrumptious pictures of food and things
that are food-inspired. And we also have an amazing set of gadgets. So, today, we’ll
be introducing a set of food-inspired gadgets that include gadgets from a company called
Foodzie, which allows you to sell your food and baked goods online—-basically setting
up your own boutique bakeshop. Also, Urbanspoon, which helps you find and experience new restaurants
in your community. There’s also Supercook, where you can introduce what ingredients you
have in your fridge and it finds recipes that you can make with those ingredients. It is
helping you get to use all the different elements of your refrigerator. And we have great perspectives
also in the gadgets from Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, the Food Network, Epicurious talking
about some of the favorite things, some of the new trends in food, all these really wonderful
food gadgets to really help enrich your iGoogle home page. And then, of course, we have the
themes--and the themes are mouthwateringly beautiful. So, of course, we have themes from
the Food Network. The Food Network provides food programming into more than 90 million
homes. And they have set up two different themes--one, which is a savory themes for
holiday cooking, so you can see all the beautiful spreads of the holiday food that they have
on their site and on their television programs. And my--one of my favorite themes, which is
The 12 Days of Cookies, so, you can see all the Christmas cookies and that they have recipes
and some of their favorite spreads of cookies as we really get into that holiday spirit.
Paula Deen, the talk show host and author who is really focused on southern comfort
food, shows how she entertains for the holidays. We are both showing you her Thanksgiving spread;
and she also has her holiday treats theme where you can see some of the different creations
she has, including her snowman there on the top. And then there’s just amazing food
artwork. Carl Warner is known of making all of his art entirely out of food. So, all of
these pictures that you see there, they’re all made out of food. Carl has a book coming
out next year where he’s going to talk about the inspiration behind his food-based art.
We also have James Parker, who is the world leading fruit and veggies sculptor. In fact,
he is the reigning champion of the Fantasy Fruit Sculpture Program for the Food Network.
You even can’t even believe that these things were carved from simple fruits and vegetables.
They’re just so, so beautiful. And then, of course, we have different baked goods.
So, Crumbs Bake Shop, which now has 20 stores around the country, each of which has 50 different
varieties of cupcakes each day. If you want to get your cupcake fixed, well, you can load
up the Crumbs’ theme. Ron Ben-Israel, the king of cakes, voted best baker by Vogue magazine
and a frequent guest on Martha Stewart, Oprah, and David Letterman, he has his cakes here.
Everything on Ron’s cakes are edible--so, the flowers, the stems, the ribbons are all
in entirely edible--so, amazing, amazing art from Ron Ben-Israel. And Emeril Lagasse, who
really needs no introduction—-a famous restaurateur, amazing personality--has inspired us with
pictures of his restaurant, pictures behind the scenes from the kitchen as well as pictures
from his food. Wine Spectator, for the wine lovers out there, has shared with us the beautiful,
beautiful pictures they’ve taken of vineyards from all over the world, just breathtaking
landscape of where the wine, grapes are grown and produced. And we have Jamie Oliver, also
know as the Naked Chef, he’s provided us with a series of themes that are inspired
for his good eating and healthy eating that he supports and promotes. Magnolia Bakery,
the bakery that kicked off the cupcake craze is here. They kicked off the craze with Sex
and the City and SNL’s Lazy Sunday’s skit. If you can’t get enough of the 12-day limit
in the New York area, you can actually log on now and get Magnolias cupcakes right on
your homepage. Cat Cora, the very first female Iron Chef, has provided us with beautiful
pictures of her food creations to inspire your homepage. And Alain Ducasse, the three-Michelin
star chef who now runs the Jules Verne Restaurant in the Eiffel Tower is here with pictures
of the amazing restaurant atmospheres that he’s created as well as his food creations.
Claire Robinson is known for cooking things with just five simple ingredients. And so
she has laid out her themes. You can see them here. She has laid them out in this really
cool way where you can actually see the five ingredients numbered and then see the dish
that she made with those five simple things. Sylvia Weinstock, the reigning queen of cakes,
who has been deemed by InStyle to be the diva of cakes, shows many of her amazing, amazing
cake creations on her themes. Gary Danko, winner of the 2000 James Beard Award for Best
New Restaurant and local restaurant here in San Francisco, has joined our themes collection
with pictures of his restaurant and his food. We also have Michael Mina, who now owns 17
different restaurants and has three Michelin Star to his name, has shown us pictures of
his creation. And then we have the international component. Peter Gordon is a popular restaurateur
in both the U.K. and in New Zealand, and he has joined to show us his recipes and some
of his favorite presentations of food. We also have Ian Huey Hewitson, one of the most
famous chefs and most famous food personalities in Australia—-here, showing the amazing
things you can create with the exotic ingredients from Australia. And Martin Yan from Yan Can
Cook, Martin is a Chinese-born American who hosts the show Yan Can Cook, has written over
two dozen cookbooks, he shows you here his Asian-inspired recipes. And then last but
certainly not the least, we have Alton Brown, who is the creator of Good Eats, he also has--is
the host of the mini series Feasting on Asphalt and Feasting on Waves, and is the main commentator
on Iron Chef America, and you can see his amazing kitchen, his personality conveyed
with the themes and the amazing food that creates. And we’re really, really, excited
to have Alton here with us today. I’d like to welcome him to the stage. He is going to
give us a talk around the 10 things he’s found to be true about foods. Welcome, Alton.
>> BROWN: Thank you. Hi. Thank you. I am so glad to be able to have this many people skip
work while being at work. So, everybody is going to get paid. So, if there are any particular,
you know, if I can help you miss an important meeting by talking longer, I’m going to
do that. We’ll just--every 15 minutes or so, I’ll asks who wants to stay longer until
you miss that critical deadline that you are supposed to do. It’s a pleasure to be here.
My first time, I’m pretty--this is almost as big as Good Eats Industries. I think we’ve
got three more buildings than you have, but that’s okay. You’re a growing company.
You’re young. You got time to catch up. We’ve only got 60 buildings. You probably
have more than that. Anyway, you just don’t know it yet. You’re growing them. I know
that I’m here primarily to talk about Thanksgiving because of this relationship that we have
with you guys. The reason that I’m here is because of search hits and whatnot that
have come up because of me and Thanksgiving and Food Network and Thanksgiving. So I thought,
well, if I’m going to come and do a talk here, why not come with questions that have
come to me via e-mail—-not just female, but all of them that have come through your
e-mail to me during the last few months. And we get pummeled with e-mails before the holiday
season, specifically Thanksgiving. So I decided to come in and do a little talk based on answering
some of the questions that I’ve gotten just in the last couple of weeks and using only,
only images that—-well, I took a few of these at home, some came from the shows, but
the rest I ripped off directly from image search on Google, so, I hope that’s okay—-which
I don’t feel really bad about coming here. I might apologize for that in a lot of places,
but not here. I’m not going to worry about it. So, I’m going to go over these questions
and answer them and then, hopefully, we’re going to have—-we got microphones set up
so that we can do some of your questions. And I also want to say that at any given time
if you want to stand up and holler out a question, go ahead. Just be sure to set down your computer
first because I know at least three quarters of you have your laptops running. Why? I’m
not really sure. It kind of worries me. Anyway, it’s just that I’ve never come to a place
where so many people are watching TV in their lap at the same time. So, this is right--this
actually came in just three days ago. Question: In our house, Romancing The Bird—-Romancing
The Bird was the first one-hour special that we did 10 years ago, 11 years, 10 years ago
on Good Eats, our first big Thanksgiving show, it still comes on now. I’m happy to say,
most of the images you saw up here a few minutes ago were from that--and the reason you can
tell is I had a lot more hair. I had twice as much hair as I have now. In our house,
Romancing The Bird is classic, like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, to what do you attribute
its considerable success? Well, I hadn’t really thought about it because I haven’t
looked at the show in a lot of years, so, I decided to go back and I pulled some of
the things, some frames from this particular special. But I think pretty much to give a
good explanation for why the show is so good and popular, one, drool-inducing poultry.
This is a darn--of course, this was low-res. This is where--we were analog back then, so,
you know, we--you know, it looks really crappy because it’s, you know, DV, you know, so.
Drool-inducing poultry would be one. Cooking blind, how many shows that you know of where
you actually get to see an entire cooking sequences done while blind-folded? You just
don’t typically see that because when you’re blind and you cook, you typically get burned
and cut your self a great deal. So, we were the first to break out and do cooking blind.
Snappy graphics, we’ve always--we’ve always been big on high-end technical graphics--only
the really wide markers on cardboard that give you a headache but also give you, you
know, the rush at the same time, so use this. This next one though, I’m thinking, has
a lot more to do with it. Custom props, the front of--how many of you have seen the show,
probably couple of you, the cool ones, yeah--this was a turkey we made for the front of a turkey
delivery van made almost completely out of toilet parts. You probably didn’t want to
know that. But the really important thing is that we were absolutely the first show
to feature cross-dressing transvestites in a food show, and I think that we still reign
as being the only show to do that. So, we’ve got that going for us. Next question--and
these are real, so, any--yes, she’s with the grammar, don’t blame me. Alton, I want
to try to do three things this Thanksgiving--deep fry a turkey, not burn down the house, and
end up with good eats. I know you can help me. Will you, please? Sure, I’m more than
happy to do that. First step, of course, is that brining is always in fashion. How many
folks here have actually brined a turkey at some point? Again, the cool ones. Notice the
ones that had watched the show. And did anybody have a brine turkey not turn out to be the
best turkey they ever had? Okay, good, because I would have security take you out. That’s
good. I like that. Okay. So, obviously, if you’re going to fry a bird, whether you’re
going to roast a bird or fry a bird, brine first, okay. That’s your best flavor bet
because brining increases the moisture level inside the bird, seasons the inside of the
bird and also makes slight changes to the molecular structures so that when you cook
it, you don’t lose as much moisture when you cook it, so, that even if you do overcooked
it, you tend to hold down more moisture than if you didn’t brine. Got it? Good. Okay,
next thing. You use a turkey derrick. Of course, this is from our Fry Turkey Fry Show. This
device allows you to raise and lower the turkey into the hot vat of oil in complete safety
by maintaining a distance over there. And, of course, the flashing danger beacon on top,
an important accessory. I’m thinking of selling this in a kit maybe just through Google.
We can talk maybe about that, you know, once you guys are a bigger company. In the end,
we do want to avoid the fire and a turkey derrick helps you, too, to avoid that. I don’t
know how many of you guys saw this, but all we did was drop a frozen turkey into a pot
of 400-degree oil, and this is what happens. And I know what you’re thinking. It looks
And I don’t blame you for that ‘cause I’ll tell you, it is. It is fun, but the
clean up stinks. Okay, so, if you are going to blow up a turkey, I suggest doing it in
a neighbors’ yard when they’re not home. And it makes interesting patterns in the grass,
so, you might want to try that. And, of curse, you get good eats if you fry your turkey.
I don’t eat the food on the show very often, but that one I did. So, obviously, it was
pretty good. So, if you fry your turkey, you get good eats. Question--oh, this came last
week. I remember this. My wife and I love Thanksgiving, but we really don’t like turkey.
What should we serve? Try unicorn, you pinko commie. And I know here in California you’re
not supposed to offend pinko commies, but where I come from, in Georgia, if you don’t
eat turkey on Thanksgiving, you’re a unicorn shank and pinko commie and that’s all there
is to it. However--however, if, heaven forbid, some turkey allergy prevents you from enjoying
turkey on Thanksgiving, I would say, well, duck tastes pretty good, too. And, in fact,
we have a one-hour Christmas special coming out soon. It’s not on YouTube yet because
it hasn’t come on so that somebody could steal it and put it there. But that will happen
soon enough and you’ll be able to see our plan for the perfect roast duck. But as it
is now, nobody has seen it. It will be on Food Network. Someone is going to have to
watch TV. It packs full of advertisements. All right, all right, this, honest to God,
you’re going to think that I made this up, okay. This question came in sometime within
the last month, okay? Deep breath. Now, I was wondering about basting a turkey--yes,
opening the oven door multiple times is bad since it lowers the heat, dries out the meat,
et cetera, and brining produces a pretty succulent piece of fowl, but I was wondering if one
could say, you know, make a contraption, if you might, that would be like a hose, a small
one, say, as small as the cord for the probe thermometer, something heat-proof, that would
lay idly above. Would that still be basting? Would it be possible? I’m really hoping
that you make... And I’m only saying this because clearly this person--and this came
to us from a YouTube fan--is in desperate need of help. And under most circumstances,
I would ignore this kind of question because they want me to invent a small hose for basting
a turkey through a closed oven door, which is wrong in more ways than I have time really
to go over with you guys. And so, I just wanted to reach out to that person through this powerful
whole Internet thing that you guys have going and say, “Please, go back on your meds.”
Besides, you have to remember that basting turkey skin is silly. Why? Why is basting
a turkey silly? Come on, somebody? You’re smart. Somebody?
>> Crisp skin. >> BROWN: What?
>> Crisp skin. >> BROWN: Crisp skin. Why would basting make
crisp skin? What’s baste made out of? Why would that anything make crisp? Have you ever
put milk on cornflakes, sir? Crispier, not crisper. Look, turkey skin is like a raincoat--here,
being worn by a young Humphrey Bogart. No turkey him, but, the whole point is that skin
is there to keep moisture out. Putting moisture on it won’t do anything, okay? If you are
addicted to crispy skin--and how many of you like your turkey with crispy skin? Of course
you do. Raise your hand, cool people. It’s like do I... The only way--the only best way--because
I’m sure someone else will come up with it to ensure that your turkey has crisp skin--is
that after you brine--or if you decide not to brine, ‘cause it’s free country, don’t
brine--just uncover the thing and leave it in the refrigerator for three days, okay?
Dry skin will be crisp skin. Wet skin, won’t. Basting, wet--it doesn’t make any sense,
so, don’t bother basting because it won’t lead--it will make a flavorful skin, but it
will make a soggy skin. And who likes soggy skin? All right. Question: I just read an
article about the three biggest mistakes--again, I didn’t right this--to make on Turkey Day,
and buying a frozen bird was one on the list. The article claims “fresh tests better.”
Is that true? I know you’ve talked about fresh being perceived as better than frozen
with seafood, does the same hold true for fowl? This is important, and it’s especially
important for people living California to understand. Raw doesn’t mean fresh. About
20 years ago, 25 years ago, California chefs started this move towards fresh ingredients,
fresh, fresh, fresh. Everything had to be fresh, fresh all the time. As a matter of
fact, you know, Chez Panisse, which is just up the road a little bit of the ways was one
of the restaurants that really started this big movement, and that’s great because you
live in California. Everything grows here. You’ve got all the food. Oh, aren’t you
proud? I live in Georgia. We have sweet potatoes, onions, and peanuts, that’s it, so it’s
kind of tough. But, well, you have to realized on these days is that just because something
is raw, it does not mean it is fresh. Fresh should be defined as the condition most liked
when it was alive. And anybody who’s watched at least one science fiction movie knows that’s
cryogenically frozen, is it not? Right? So, you’re actually better off with frozen unless
you really live near turkey farm. Now, if you live near turkey farm, you can go and
say, “Yeah, that one. I want that. Oh, okay, yeah. Now put it in the trunk.” You know,
if you can, you know, go harvest the turkey or have it from right up the road, then fresh
is better. Most Americans would be better served by a frozen bird because it goes through
a less damage during shipping, okay? Will it always tastes better? If it’s fresh as
in from the next, you know, house over, then, yeah, that’s going to be a better-tasting
bird. But if it had to be shipped from 5, 6, 7, 8, 15 states away, then most likely
you’re going to be better off with a frozen bird because they are actually watched over
more closely and they suffer less in a way of temperature crimes, so to speak. Now, I’m
sure some of the chefs are going to object, but I get to talk and they don’t so. Remember,
frozen is sometimes fresher than raw, okay--not always, not always, but often. It’s certainly
true of fish and often true in poultry. All right, question, I was wondering what is the
best way to convince my mother to brine our turkey this year; she absolutely refuses to
break tradition and try it. Also, is stuffing really evil? These are good questions because
I get a lot of “my mother-in-law-won’t” kind of questions, which is really kind of
“my- mother-won’t.” We can always just disown them, of course. I would say have your
mother look at this image, this incredibly low-res analog image. Does her turkey look
that juicy and succulent, hmm? I think not. I think she probably needs to look at this
picture for a while and think about whether she wants to look her turkey to look that
way. As for the stuffing issue--and I thought long and hard about this because I’ve had
to defend my stance about stuffing being evil--stuffing being evil, of course, because it slows down
the cooking of the bird and you got to spend more time cooking the stuffing, then the bird,
not a good thing. But I wanted some empirical, absolute proof, and I had started to do some
research via Google Image, yeah. That’s a nice, nice little function you guys have.
And I came across, of course, William Blake’s famous painting of Satan pouring the plagues
upon Job. I know a lot of you have this as a poster in college. Do you still have it?
Here, we have Blake’s interpretation of--you know, you think Satan could get some clothes,
but, you know, he doesn’t--and he’s dumping out plagues upon Job. Those of you, fan of
the Old Testament will certainly recognize this. Well, I did a little background reading
some of the letters that Blake did and. Actually. the plagues being poured out stuffing. Stuffing--stuffing
was being poured out by Satan on to Job and so it’s easy to work out this model, which
is Satan is Evil, Satan likes stuffing, stuffing is evil. I don’t think you really have to
go much further than that. This is infallible logic, simple as that. Question: AB, what
is the--and this is not my work--mostest, what’s the mostest, mostest, absolutest
gotta have tool for Thanksgiving? All right, take a look at a few images. I want you to
take a look at these because they have a commonality that I believe is critically important to
the Thanksgiving mission. All right? Here’s an image. This is supposedly the first Thanksgiving.
Notice the Indians don’t have any chairs. And that guy is still wearing a ruffle--and
that’s been out of fashion for at least a hundred years. And that guy has got a sword
and--okay, so we got it. So, that’s kind of a James town something, so, let’s memorize
that picture good. Here’s another one. Did you guys have this on your--Google image--scary
zombie family Thanksgiving era. It is the first that they came up. Also came up on your
fake eyebrows and a few other things. Take a look at that. Take a look at that. And if
that’s your family, I’m sorry, but it was on the internet, so, it must be perfectly
okay to use. Here’s another one. Here’s a family shot from what appears to be the
late ‘50s maybe. Take a good look at that. Okay, enough for that. And, here, this is
one from the--from around 1941. This is a Thanksgiving feast in 1941. So, what’s common?
What’s the one thing that’s going on in all of these that’s critically important
to the Thanksgiving mission? We’ll take another look. Table. Though not nearly enough
chairs, but there’s a table. Table--and a really spooky-looking mother. Table. Table--and
perhaps married cousins. Table, sort of, kind of out of a lane two kind of a situation,
but the thing here is that people--and it’s so easy to forget this in a day and age where
we trade recipes like currency where we objectify food so often--is that we forget what actually
makes Thanksgiving thanks-giving, what actually makes it really worth having and worth celebrating
is that we all sit down, friends and family sit down at a table and share food together.
Okay, now, I know that a lot of you here, a part of the Google food mission is this
whole idea of eating a strangers, of sitting down and talking, of eating and having meetings.
Food brings people together, but if there aren’t people and if there’s not a place
for them, then food really can’t do its magic. It’s just another meal, okay? It’s
just another pile of groceries, okay? So, this Thanksgiving when you get together, think
about who I’d want to sit down at a table with. Now, in your case, it might be a very
small table because you don’t know that many people, but--or me, I just don’t like
people. It’s a problem. But I do like--never mind. So, think about that. The table is the
most important part of the Thanksgiving experience. All right, question: Thanksgiving used to
be a lot better than it is now, what’s missing from today’s celebrations? That was just
an interesting, philosophical question to be sending to a cook, but I took it anyway.
And I was thinking, well, what we’re missing is the good old days when giant turkeys pulled
carts bearing huge pumpkins with scary kids with knives and forks. This apparently is
the way it used to be. I found this during a historical search of Google Image, so, I
thought, wow, no wonder it used to be so much fun. We had this--and then I come here and
I see a skeleton of this very turkey right outside the door. Here’s what’s missing--Norman
Rockwell. Thanksgiving used to actually be about giving thanks to something or somebody.
And I think that we’ve kind of forgotten about that. Thanksgiving, thanks-giving, somebody
put that food there, you might think as you sit down to eat about where that might have
come from and who put it there, whether you believe it to be terrestrial or non-terrestrial
hands, but I do think of that as the big thing that is missing--is being grateful. And, of
course, you should be thankful of Food Network if no one else because the odds are your recipe
came from there, didn’t they--via Google Search, of course, I’m certain? Question:
We know you’re holding out on a few Thanksgiving survival secrets, confess and you’ll feel
better. It’s like the inquisitions. Nobody expects, you know. I thought about this and
I thought about my own food life at home and what are some things that actually help me
get by because, you know, Thanksgiving can be such a crazy time and people are bringing--those
of you that have Thanksgiving, do you make people bring food? When did we get away from
that? You know, it’s like somewhere along the line, it was like--it was a kind of Martha
Stewart thing, “Oh, I’m going to so impress you. I don’t know, you don’t need to bring
anything. I raised the turkey from an egg. I crocheted a runner for the table and I made
water.” You know, I don’t know about you, I don’t really need to impress anybody.
I just want to--I don’t want to have to do all the work, so, the rule in my house
is if you’re coming, you’re bringing. Don’t--and then they’re just, like, “I
got some potato chips.” We don’t have time for that. So, but I do have one thing:
bubble wrap. You’re all quiet because it’s just, like, “That didn’t come off of image
search.” No, I took it. I took this picture with my very own camera. What can bubble wrap
do for you in your Thanksgiving? Well, let me tell you, if you put something in it that
you want to keep hot, like, say, your daughter’s money pipe on killer bunny, or a turkey or
a casserole or some dinner rolls, or what else might we serve hot during the holiday,
any number of things, when you don’t have room in the oven and you don’t have hot
drawers and you’re out of cooler space, you wrap it up in bubble wrap and it stays
hot for hours. It’s a miracle. I’m feeling out because I’m looking for investors for
my new brand of food safe bubble wrap, so, I was just trying to see how that would play
here in the room? You like the bunny picture, though. Maybe I should go back to the bunny.
You like the bunny. What are you having for Thanksgiving this year? This is what I’m
having for Thanksgiving this year. A couple of years ago, we did a show about cranberries.
Did anybody see our cranberry show? We made our own cranberry sauce from scratch, which
is really easy to do. Well, last year, I had some leftover, and it’s really amazing because
one of the great things about cranberry is it gels on its own. You can make a gelatin-like
product, cranberry sauce, like, in a can, which is the way we actually did it. You can
do that without any gelatin because the cranberries will actually do it themselves. So, if you
take some of that--and I speak spoonful of these stuff--and you put it inside of a cocktail
shaker, regular cocktail shaker, and you put in some ice and then about four fingers of
bourbon and shake it up, you’ll have one of these--a cranberry julep, I like to call
it, although there’s nothing in it, but cranberry sauce and bourbon. I haven’t met
your family, but I know mine. I know who’s coming through the door in another hour and
I need to not have the shakes when they get there. So when mom calls and says, “I’m
just a few miles away, is there anything I can pick up at the grocery store since you
can’t cook?” I’ll be okay. Here’s my meal this year, all from--all from Good
Eats, I’m serving my fried turkey, the Good Eats fried turkey, the aforementioned cranberry
sauce, stuffing--which I haven’t cooked inside the bird, but inside muffin tins cleverly--and
garlicky greens. There is the entire meal. And, you know what, I like the prison plate.
It gives it that rustic feel and, you know what, when you’re feeding a bunch of people
because they stack up and nest, they won’t slide off the counter--which I think is nice--and
the neighbors don’t think it’s funny that you’re cleaning them off with the garden
hose, so. Dessert will, of course, be sweet potato waffles stacked up with maple, whipped
cream and candied cranberries. That’s what we’re having. Of course, this could also
be for breakfast. Question: If there really was a secret to a perfect Thanksgiving and
you knew what it was, would you tell us? Yes, there is--and somebody really did send this.
It was a kid in fact, an 11-year-old. There is actually a secret to Thanksgiving, the
holidays, and just about any other holiday that has food related and then, of course,
it’s owning a copy of Good Eats, The Early Years. Not off of image search, by the way.
I took that. That’s why it’s bad and out of focus. So, there are my 11 questions that
I wanted to answer for the Thanksgiving holiday. Now, I want to take time for your questions
and comments. We have microphones set up here and here. I hope that you might be brave enough
to come do that. And, I’m sorry, you’re pointing at, what? Oh, I’m sorry, the boss
lady has question, okay. She had--actually, I was grabbing my wife, like, “She’s got
a graph. She had a graph.” You had like several graphs, didn’t you? I didn’t have
a graph, I’m sorry. >> We’re big on graph here. We’re also
big on questions. So, I questions from Google on these.
>> BROWN: Am I supposed to sit? >> Yeah, yeah, have a sit.
>> BROWN: So, Okay. >> So, feel free for the--the people in the
audience, we do have mics, so go ahead, we would like to see some live impressions so.
>> BROWN: Write your segue on up to the mic. >> But we do have the questions that all of
you have been submitting through the Dory Page the last few days. We have a system where
we can submit questions and we’ve got a big, a lot of questions for you.
>> BROWN: Okay, go ahead. >> So the first question is...
>> BROWN: I haven’t seen these by the way. All right.
>> How much of the real Alton Brown do we see on Good Eats, Iron Chef America, and The
Next Iron Chef? What is your favorite gig and why?
>> BROWN: First off, that’s pretty much all me because I don’t know how to be anybody
else. I’m not a very good actor, so that’s pretty much just me. Which is the best gig?
Well, Good Eats is my precious snowflake. You know, it’s--Good Eats is my baby. We
invented that, so, you know, Good Eats is the favorite gig because--you know, just my
precious snowflake. But I like Iron Chef America a lot because it’s really great education
and I get to meet and hangout with people that cook way better than I do--which is always
nice. >> Another question--what is your earliest
memory of food? >> BROWN: Okay, I have this. No, no, honest,
gosh, I do have this. The--and it was the first--it was also by the way synonymous or
it happened in parallel with my understanding that life will betray you. I was I think four.
Maybe, no, I was three. I was three. And then when I was three, I lived in a small town
in Southern California called Los Angeles where I was born, and on Saturday morning,
I always had a bowl of Captain Crunch Cereal, which I notice I didn’t see in any of the
kitchens around here. Captain Crunch cereal. And one day, I got up early and thought, “I’ll
make my own Captain Crunch Cereal. I won’t wait for my mom. I know how to do this.”
And, so, I went out, and that’s back--and this will shock most of you--there was a time
when a man in uniform with a truck came and he bought bottles of milk to your house, and
he brought the bottles of milk to the house and I went and I got one of these bottles
and then I retched it off, the little foil top, and I poured it all over my cereal and
I sat down, and I turned on cartoons and I took a big, big mouthful of Captain Crunch
Cereal. And I should have known that the fact that the color of the lid was different on
the milk--blue is milk, green is buttermilk. And I just glanced over the details. It’s
one of the problems that I have in life in general. Yeah, butter milk, and let me tell
you, buttermilk and Captain Crunch is the first time I realized life is out to get me,
my first actual food memory. >> Okay, we have lots of questions. Let’s
go ahead and take some live from the audience. >> BROWN: Yes, that gives me an excuse to
not sit. Go ahead, sir. >> Actually, I don’t have a question, I
just have a comment. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for making me a much better
cook and thanks for coming here today. >> BROWN: Well, you’re welcome. Are you
in fact, sir, a better cook? You’re a better cook?
>> I’m a much better cook, thanks to you. >> BROWN: Do you practice often?
>> As often as I can. If I got time, yeah. >> BROWN: Good. Okay, thank you. Go ahead.
>> My wife has made some of the most delicious brined turkey the last few years, but this
year she wants to experiment with a method that’s sometimes called the dry brine, which
is salty. >> BROWN: Yes, which were you--it’s a cured,
it’s a semi-cured turkey, where instead of using a water-based brine, you just use
salt... >> Yes.
>> BROWN: ...and then let it dry out. >> Yes, I’m afraid.
>> BROWN: Don’t be afraid. It’s a good method. It can make a very flavorful turkey,
but she’s going to have to be much more careful about hitting the proper thermal window
during cooking. It is not going to be as forgiving a method, but it will be more turkey-like
in flavor, so, go for it. And let me tell you something, no matter what happens, it’s
the best turkey you’ve ever had in your life.
>> Good job. Thank you very much. >> BROWN: I can not overemphasize the importance
in your marriage of that turkey being the best turkey that’s ever hit your mouth.
It doesn’t matter what actually happens. Yes, sir?
>> Between that and “yes, dear,” he’ll have it made exactly. And what a thrill...
>> BROWN: Yes, but you’ve to mix up “yes, dear” with some other things that give the
illusion of actually listening. And I like the one that’s, like, “Wow, I never thought
about that before.” >> Right. It never crossed my mind.
>> BROWN: Yes, it’s good. >> What a thrill to have you. I would like
to have you do an “Oh, bother!” for us. >> BROWN: Oh, bother.
>> Thank you. >> BROWN: Do you want to read another one?
Go ahead. >> One--another question from Googlers--what
is your favorite restaurant in the Bay Area and why?
>> BROWN: In and Out Burger. And there doesn’t have to be a why. Why? Because I don’t have
them in Georgia. That’s why. Yes, sir? >> Yeah, is there more white meat or dark
meat on a vegetarian? >> BROWN: This is the best question that I’ve
been asked in a very, very long time, because it shows that he’s clearly thinking about
whether he should bother to cook any vegetarian. >> Exactly.
>> BROWN: Here’s the thing. I suspect that there is more white meat, which would of course
be the fast-twitch muscles because they can’t really sustain the kind of constant movement
that is required to manufacture dark meat because they don’t have the energy.
>> Ah, excellent. Thank you. >> BROWN: Yes, ma’am?
>> First of all, I just want to say growing up in a house where my mother would scream
in fear every time I touched a knife and then my father didn’t like anything that didn’t
say “oink...” >> BROWN: He didn’t like wanting anything
that didn’t... >> He didn’t like anything that didn’t
say “oink” in his past life. >> BROWN: OK.
>> I just want to thank you for teaching me how to cook. Really, I would, like, covertly
go to the Food Network Channel and watch Good Eats and be like, “Oh, that’s how you
make cookies. Oh, I would go and make cookies.” >> BROWN: That’s all part of the master
plan, by the way. >> And...
>> BROWN: Pretty soon. >> And, yes, thanks to your packet episode
with, like, little, like, packets. >> BROWN: Yes, ma’am, the pouches, the pouch.
>> Yes. I’ve fed myself through college. Thank you.
>> BROWN: Excellent. And you look perfectly healthy.
>> Thank you. Wonderful. >> BROWN: You’re not a vegetarian, are you?
>> Don’t tell my mom. >> BROWN: Your dad doesn’t want to eat anything
without an oink, so, we like him. That’s good.
>> Thank you. >> BROWN: You’re very welcome. Yes, sir,
please? >> How’s your pilot’s license going? And
are we going to see feasting on air or something equivalent to that?
>> BROWN: You probably will see feasting on air. I’ve had my private for about two years.
I’m finishing out my instrument ticker right now. So, yeah, I’m actually thinking about
buying an old bummed out DC-3 and converting it to an old-time airliner with dinner service.
But I have to make a show about it, so. Yes, sir?
>> First of all, I like to just say... >> BROWN: I love that you got a phone in one
hand and a coffee cup in the other, a backpack, and a Google shirt.
>> Yep! There you go. >> BROWN: It’s your poster boy! Behold!
>> I just want to say first off, me and my friends love your show, plenty of late nights
watching it and, like, you know, clowning and laughing at you occasionally, but our
question for you is what is your worst cooking blunder that you’ve ever had?
>> BROWN: Hmm, cooking blunder... >> I don’t know, personal injury, that kind
of thing, whatever. >> BROWN: I had one--I have one from recent
history that was really humiliating. Will that--does that suffice?
>> That sounds fine. >> BROWN: Yes. It was--it was... No, I mean,
first off, I’m real... I tend to cook really simply at home, but it was a couple of years
ago, a Christmas eve meal that we have every year with friends. No, it was actually Christmas
dinner, a Christmas night where I had eight people over and I’d made these--I made standing
rib roast and Yorkshire pudding--which is, you know, really not a pudding at all because,
you know, the English call anything pudding that doesn’t drip oil. It’s like this
little custardy, cupcakey kind of muffin thing and they... I screwed the Food Channel about
six different levels on these things. I mean, they’re really like these little hockey
pockets, but I covered them up with all these other stuff and I served them and the meal
was going fine. And my daughter, who at that time was 7, halfway through the meal, things
are kind of real quiet, she sticks her fork down into this whole Yorkshire pudding and
she hoists it up like this and she puts her little elbow on the table like this and says,
“So, dad, what happened here?” And that’s the reaction she wanted and she got it from
everybody there, too. She’s been playing me like a champ ever since. So that was pretty
bad. Nothing that ever like blew up her was poison or anything.
>> Except for the shirt in your show, but that’s still...
>> BROWN: That’s another thing. >> All right, cool.
>> BROWN: I did blow up a turkey once, yes. >> Cool. All right, thank you.
>> BROWN: OK, go ahead. >> Good morning, Alton. Thanks for coming
out and talking to us. >> BROWN: Thanks for having me.
>> So, if there’s one food you couldn’t live without, what would it be?
>> BROWN: One food I couldn’t live without. >> One food you couldn’t go without for
the rest of your life from this point forward, what would that be?
>> BROWN: Well, this is a year where I’ve learned to live without a lot of different
foods. I’ve lost 50 pounds this year. And I learned to live without and sweets. I would
have told you that I probably couldn’t do that. I’ve learned to live without much
alcohol. I couldn’t live without steak. Even cut from a vegetarian. Well, cows are
vegetarians, so, you know, yes. Steak would be... Yes, I’m not sure I’d want to live
without steak. >> And so the follow up to that would be then
when you’re asked what temperature would you like the steak cooked at, you know?
>> BROWN: Yes, please. I’m a rare to medium-rare guy. Yes, you know, I like high heat fast,
get it in and get it out, and it better still be a little chilly right dead center so that
I can get it and my teeth will go--which to me is the fun part about eating.
>> Hi. >> BROWN: Hi.
>> So, I teach a class once a week to middle-schoolers on The Chemistry of Cooking.
>> BROWN: You teach middle-schoolers? >> Yes, once a week.
>> BROWN: You don’t a twitch or anything? >> So, I show them the wonders of eggs and
we’ve made rock candy and we even made root beer, and I just can’t convince them that
there’s actually science in food. And I was looking for these tips.
>> BROWN: Oh, you can’t. >> Well, I’ve will always shown them the
eggs and I’ve shown them all the things they’re doing and I ask them where the science
is and they’re, like, “It’s eggs.” >> BROWN: They don’t get it?
>> They don’t get it. >> BROWN: Morons. Well, a moron is similar
in mental capacity of a twelve-year-old or less, so, they are actually morons, aren’t
they--I mean, by definition, by strict definition? So, you want something that absolutely, positively
shows them that there’s science in food? Have you made cotton candy from scratch yet?
>> Uh-uh. >> BROWN: Well, have you made marshmallows
from scratch yet? >> No.
>> BROWN: So, you’ve really been kind of lazy as a teacher. Have you dumped Graham
crackers in liquid nitrogen and have people chew them and shoot steam out of their mouths
three feet? >> We try to keep liquid nitrogen away from
the middle-schoolers. >> BROWN: Because the liquid nitrogen will
do it. It convinces them every single time. I would make cotton candy. I would make cotton
candy from scratch, which isn’t hard, and I would make some marshmallows...
>> Okay. >> BROWN: ...because that’s really good
science. And then I’d probably blow up some eggs in a microwave because that’s fun.
But you really, in the end, are going to have to break down and get that liquid nitrogen
I think. That’s what I would recommend. They’ll come a-runnin’. Yes, ma’am?
>> Hi, Mr. Brown. >> BROWN: Hi.
>> I have a question from my eight-year-old. >> BROWN: Your eight-year-old? Okay?
>> He watches the show with us. When will the squid from squid fishes be making a rare
appearance? >> BROWN: Well, we’ve done two squid shows.
We did Squid Pro Quo and then we did... I can’t remember what the other one was called.
Just look on YouTube, Good Eat Squid, it’s there, because we did one that was all about
calamari, kind of on a ship that rocked all the time and had a giant squid that attacked
us. Huge production values. So we got two squid shows. I don’t know if we’ll do
a third squid show. I mean... >> He just wants to see the prop again.
>> BROWN: Oh, he just wants to see the giant prop?
>> Yes. >> BROWN: Well, our behind-the-scene show,
behind the Eats, which is a one-hour special that replays every now and then, the giant
squid are in place in that, so the giant squid arm spins in three. And point out to him,
pause it and point to him that the whole end of the squid arm is actually constructed from
bathroom mats. >> Oh.
>> BROWN: With the suction cups, you know, the other ones that go in the tub...
>> Yes. >> BROWN: That’s what it is.
>> Thank you so much. >> BROWN: Sure, you’re welcome. I like your
kid, by the way. Yes, sir? >> To me, it seems like you do a lot the science
of cooking, like traditional techniques and stuff, but you don’t do science as cooking--MG,
[INDISTINCT] anything like that. I was just always wondering like why you don’t go that
way? >> BROWN: Why I don’t do more molecular
gastronomy on the show? >> Yes.
>> BROWN: Because people can’t go down to the food mart and get, you know, calcium alginate,
you know, or methyl cellulose. Well, actually, they can, but it’s called Metamucil and
you know. And they’re still--and the truth is is although it’s a great method, [INDISTINCT]
does require machinery that most people don’t have. It also requires know-how to make it
safe. So, you know, once--we also pride ourselves on the fact that Good Eats is about food that
everybody can get everywhere. And, in fact, we used to and still do on some cases just
call up grocery stores around the country and say, “Hey, do you have, you know, blah,
blah, blah,” to make sure that we’re not kind of going over the edge into the specialty
direction. And the other part is that we try to make the shows about things that we know
people actually want to eat. Nobody wakes up in the middle of the night and says, “Wow,
I wish I had some [INDISTINCT] methyl cellulose, you know, scallop caviar.” People just don’t
do it, you know. What they want is pizza or some hot chocolate or something. So, until
that really becomes something that’s useful for people, I’m not going to bother them
with it. I enjoy talking about it on Iron Chef America and it’s got a definite place,
but right now I’m holding it. Thank you. >> Thank you.
>> BROWN: There you go. Yes, sir? >> Hi. I’ve got a two-part question. First
being... >> BROWN: We’ll see how you do on part one.
>> It sounds good. It seems like you and America’s Test Kitchen both take a semi-scientific approach...
>> BROWN: Yes, but I’m a lot cooler and a lot funnier.
>> That’s... I wanted to get your comparison. >> BROWN: And handsome.
>> Second, have you seen their turkey show and...?
>> BROWN: I haven’t seen their turkey show. >> They use ice to cool down the breast.
>> BROWN: Yes. >> You have aluminum foil down, I believe.
>> BROWN: Yes. That was 10 years ago. I don’t really bother with that anymore. I fry all
my turkeys now. I fry them. I got a turkey derrick. Those turkeys are done in 45 minutes,
we’re eating, and that hot oil that’s left over, I cook up a bunch of sweet potato
French fries. I don’t mess with the oven anymore. That’s so 1999. And, by the way,
I don’t watch other cooking shows because I’m scared that I’m either going to see
something that I end up wanting to steal or I’m going to see something that somehow
makes me do what I do differently. So I don’t watch them because I am scared of them. Besides,
they might be really good and I get depressed. So, I don’t do that. But I have seen one
America’s Test Kitchen. And I love Cooks’ Illustrated Magazine--although I’m kind
of tired of them saying, “The ultimate something. This is the ultimate brownie.” I’m, like,
How do you...? How about I make it and I’ll decide? You know, never on Good Eats do we
call anything the ultimate or the best. How are we to say, you know? We’re not so...
>> Thank you. >> BROWN: That’s it. Was that part one and
part two? >> Yes, just how that’s suppose to be.
>> BROWN: Wow, it’s so seamless. It was a nice segue. You should consider a... All
right, you got another one? >> No, no. These are fun. Let’s go one more
with that. >> BROWN: Okay.
>> I’m torn because I have two questions that my wife will kill me if I don’t ask
both of them. >> BROWN: Well, I don’t want you dead or
your wife... >> Right. So I’ve done a bunch of cooking
and this is like an equipment-geek question. >> BROWN: Okay.
>> I was wondering your opinion. Is it true that sharp knives are safer than dull knives?
>> Yes. Sharp knives are absolutely safer than dull knives because...
>> Because I cut myself with sharp knives a lot more.
>> BROWN: Well, I didn’t say you couldn’t cut yourself with one, because dull knives
require force, and force when it releases--and it does--you live in a place that’s very
close to a thing called a fault line? Do you guys know about that? And when the force builds
up and then it releases all at once, terrible things happen. It certainly can if you’re
a bridge. Same thing happens when cutlery goes out of control. Dull knives require force,
force goes out of control, and the wounds that it causes tend to be ragged, jagged,
and difficult to sew back together. >> But I find that I cut myself a lot more
often while I just, like, brush against the knife or something, which never happens with
a dull knife. >> BROWN: That’s called being clumsy. I
mean, yes, it’s like you got to think of all knives as light-sabers. I mean, nobody
in Star Wars just [INDISTINCT], you know. And I suggest that when you handle it, when
the knife is out, you had a sound effect, [INDISTINCT] so that you’re aware that the
edge is ever present. The reason that people tend to get cut in kitchens with sharp knives
more is when they don’t have cutting boards at the proper size and dimension. It’s like
when I come up to the cutting board and I make sure that my cutting board, if I put
my knife down, corner to corner, I make sure that there’s at least two inches still to
go on the board, that’s how you know it’s big enough. And I don’t let the knife go
anywhere else. You know, you don’t, “Yeah, go over there in the pantry and get... Oh...
Oh.” You know, it stays--it stays down. You know, boom. And you shouldn’t have too
many knives. And you should kind of consider them all killers because they’re sharp.
>> My other question: Are you going to talk about how you lost weight at some point or
do a show? And did you all of a sudden... >> BROWN: You have to be really careful when
you talk about losing weight or doing shows about losing weight because all of a sudden
pretty much later you could go burrrr. >> Right.
>> BROWN: You know, and then you’re like riding around on a lark, you know. So, if
once--I am doing Good Eats because a lot of people have asked for this and we’re getting
you like a Good Eats episodes that feature some of the foods that I relied on just for
me to get 50 pounds off in seven months--things like eating cardboard and drinking glasses
of air. No, okay, but I won’t do anything real serious about it until I’ve managed
to keep it off for a year. >> Were you a low-carb fan or did you follow
any of these? >> BROWN: I gave up, number one, I gave up
the things that were really bad habits for me, which is I ate a lot of sweets, a lot
of sweets. I mean, I was like a hobbit. I had first dessert, second dessert, and then
very often, right before bed, I had breakfast, which could be a doughnut. And so there was--there
was a lot of... Yes. If desserts are carbs, and most of them are, yeah.
>> Thanks a lot. >> BROWN: I got rid a lot of those. Yes?
>> Seven years ago, I was told of an urban legend where you tried to make milk without
using cow’s milk. Is that true? >> BROWN: No. My wife is here.
>> Oh, then, forget I asked the question then. >> BROWN: I didn’t make milk. I made--I
made cheese. >> Oh, okay.
>> BROWN: No, I made butter. You, see, when... When you first have a kid...
>> Sorry. >> BROWN: Yes, ma’am?
>> Hi, Alton. >> BROWN: Hi.
>> I’m a big fan. >> BROWN: Thank you.
>> FEMALE: And I don’t stuff my turkeys anymore because of you.
>> BROWN: You don’t stuff your turkeys anymore because stuffing is evil. Yeah?
>> Thanks. So I just wanted to know how has being a host on Iron Chef influenced your
recipes on Good Eats? >> BROWN: Everything that--have they changed
food on Good Eats? >> FEMALE: Yes.
>> BROWN: Gosh, I haven’t thought about that. I don’t know. That’s a really good
question. Is the food that I see in Iron Chef America affected what I make on Good Eats?
I don’t--I don’t know, but we get everything done in an hour. And then Jeffrey Steingarten
sits in the corner and drools while I... No. I... No, I don’t think so because I think
they’re very... Yes. Yes, it has. And here’s why. The ingredients, because on Iron Chef
America, we get so much exposure to ingredients that are just coming into the mainstream,
and, so things like grains of paradise--you didn’t see those in grocery stores 10 years
ago--now people are starting to use them. That was something that I first saw in Iron
Chef America. So I wouldn’t say the cooking processes have I taken over, but definitely
ingredients. You know, we’re getting ready to do a show about curries, and I probably
wouldn’t have done that had I not spent so much time watching and admiring Indians
chefs on Iron Chef America. Yeah. Yeah, it has. Good question. No one has ever asked
me that before. Yes, ma’am? >> Hey, thanks for coming and hanging with
the pinko commies out here in the Bay Area. It’s been a lot of...
>> BROWN: You’re not pinko commies yet. As long as you eat turkey, you’re okay.
It’s when you start eating a unicorn that there’s a problem.
>> And one--one of our biggest pinko commies out here is Michael Pollan. He’s written
a lot of these books in defense of food. >> BROWN: Omnivore’s Dilemma, yeah.
>> Omnivore’s Dilemma. And over the summer, he wrote a piece in the New York Times kind
of about cooking shows and America’s obsession with watching food.
>> BROWN: And about how we just watch them now and don’t actually cook.
>> Nobody, don’t make them. Yeah. So I’m just wondering what your thoughts on that
because my father is a great cook, and I don’t cook myself ‘cause I eat his food and I
eat at Google. So, I just wanted to like... >> BROWN: Well, if I work here, I would eat
here three times a day. And probably have Thanksgiving dinner somehow by saving out
guest passes. I’d figure out a way to make that work. Nobody blames you for that. First
off, Pollan, wrong. There’s just no way, I think that it sounded like a really good
story and so he went out and found some research to prove exactly what he wanted to. It’s
kind of like the--in the book Jurassic Park. There are only 82 velociraptors if you’re
only for 82 velociraptors. There are actually a lot more velociraptors. You know, the truth
is is I go out and do public events all year long, I talk to real home cooks all year long.
I have more exposure to actual real people than he will ever meet in his entire life.
And even if half of them were lying to me, I would know that people are cooking like
never before. So, “Nyah nyah” to Michael Pollan.
>> Yes. >> BROWN: However, I will say this. I think
that there are a lot of folks that watch--yeah, don’t go away Mrs. Pollan, come back, sit--a
lot of people will watch for a long time before they’ll get up and make that move. A lot
of people that will say, “I am never cooking.” I love this because people come to me and
say, “I don’t cook.” I’m, like, “Okay.” “I’m not going to cook.” “Okay.”
“But I love your show.” “Okay. Talk to me in a year.” You know, and he’s like,
“I cook now. Okay, it’s really fun.” You know, sometimes it takes a long time to
turn them, but we turn them. We always turn them. All right, just a couple more. Here
we go, sir. Go. >> Who in your opinion is the best Iron Chef?
>> BROWN: Like, I’m going to tell you that. Like, so, I say one word and get reservations
in their restaurants till the end of time and cut off everyone else despite my face.
They are all equally precious, unique. They’re all culinary geniuses of their time. I love
them all equally. I’m not—-he’s already walking away, all right. You know, they’re
Iron Chefs, what do say? You are happy when you get fed. And I don’t have a favorite.
I would never be that judgmental. Yes, sir? >> Hi, I just wanted to say watching your
show was the reason why I went to Davis and studied Food Science Technology. It was kind
of a huge inspiration for me... >> BROWN: Did you get your money’s worth
out of your education? >> Oh, absolutely. Davis is an amazing school...
>> BROWN: Yeah? Because you could’ve just bought the entire box set DVD of Good Eats
and saved yourself all that tuition. >> That’s very true, but I just wanted to
know what are your inspirations. And, as far as cooking, what is your kind of specialty?
What do you feel like you really have your strengths in, as far as like types, like,
for example, Mario Batali, Italy is kind of like his thing?
>> BROWN: Really? >> Yes.
>> BROWN: Oh, yeah, yes. >> So, do you feel like there’s a vision
that you really are... >> BROWN: Morimoto, Fish.
>> Yeah. >> BROWN: Fish. Do you ever notice that how
Morimoto there, fish? How does he work that? Someone asked me once, “Who would you throw
down with if you could throw down on Iron Chef?” I’m, like, Morimoto, but it’s
going to be battle Beanie-Weenie because I would take him down. But, no, fish. I’m
sorry, what was your question? Oh, what am I good at, what do I have specialty?
>> Well, and also your inspirations, like who really got you into cooking and what really
got you in this... >> BROWN: Julia Child. I mean, when I was
a kid I had two heroes, Jacque Cousteau and Julia Child... and Batman--who didn’t eat
that well. And I’ll tell you what, when I was still back in my earlier life—-when
I was directing TV commercials—-I watched a lot of the Frugal Gourmet and Jeff Smith
and his early-—I don’t care what happened later on--he was a great teacher. And so they
inspired me a lot to get in the kitchen. And I still have their books and still cook from
those books. As for modern inspirations, I mean, everybody that sets foot in the kitchen
stadium on Iron Chef America is an inspiration, literally, because I learn so much from that.
That’s my continuing education, my masters, so to speak, except I get paid. As for my
specialty, I’m looking at my wife--meat. I’m a pretty good meat person. I cook some
mean meat. I would say that if there’s going to be an Alton Brown restaurant, we would
just serve meat. Meat, maybe like steak with a side of fried chicken and steak tar tar
for dessert and we’d like--we’d make napkins out of very, like, prosciutto, really thin
cut, yeah. I’m a meat guy, a meat cutter and cook.
>> Thank you very much. >> BROWN: Yeah, sure. All right, we have two
more questions and then we’ll be done. >> In one of my favorite episodes of Good
Eats, you dressed up like, Colonel Sanders and explained in a heavy southern drawl how
to make a mint julep. So, would you... >> BROWN: How did you... you’ve been paying
close attention than I ever gave you credit for. Colonel Sanders is a registered trademark
of PepsiCo, so, I don’t know anything about that.
>> Right. >> BROWN: But I will say that, yes, he made
a mint julep and he also made a pineapple upside down cornmeal cake. And he is about
to have--we’re getting ready to do a chicken and dumpling episode where he is going to
make the southern chicken and dumplings, and his northern Yankee cousin is going to make
the northern version of that. So, if you’re a fan, you just keep watching, you’re going
to like what you’ll see. >> We’ll look forward to seeing him again.
>> BROWN: Sorry? Oh, he’s coming. >> Good.
>> BROWN: And who else is coming with him? Sorry. The war is still so fresh. So, watch
for that. I don’t have his northern cousin worked out yet. I’m watching a lot of like
Newhart reruns to try to... to get that whole “pepperidge farm” thing going down. But
it’s kind of tough. So, thank you. >> Great.
>> BROWN: All right, you madam are the last question of the day and then you people have
to go back to work. >> What a very great honor.
>> BROWN: Uh, well. >> So, each one of us is allowed, I believe,
to have a guest for a meal at Google, two times per month. I’ve never pitched a project
to Marissa before, but I would now like to suggest a new 20 percent project, since I
don’t want Alton basically to leave—-I’m having so much fun—-we should keep Alton
here as our guests for meals three times a day as...
>> BROWN: So, that’s the slavery they were telling me about. Have this Kool-Aid.
>> And I would personally invite you as my guest to Ingredient Café for Thanksgiving
dinner—-the day before Thanksgiving. >> BROWN: Thank you. Well, how about just
every time I come to this side of the country I just come here for lunch. Thank you for
having me, everybody. Thank you. >> And, actually, I’d just say that...
>> BROWN: What? >> That the most popular question was people
wanted to know whether or not you’re coming here and work as a Google chef. So, you have
a ton of fans here. >> BROWN: You don’t want me here as a Google
chef. I’d be like, no, something for you. I’d be--I would definitely turn soup Nazi
if I was here and it would be like chili all every day. You wouldn’t like it. You are
much better off with these guys. So, thanks, everybody, for coming. I appreciate it very
much. Thanks. You’re a good sport. Thank you. Thank you very much.
>> And I should say... >> BROWN: Go away. Go to work.
>> The event actually continues. Alton will be over here signing books on the riser, so,