Alton Brown; ‘Beyond The Eats, The Holiday Variant’
~Review by Dana Nöllsch~
As I remembered Alton Brown, images of Good Eats and Iron Chef came to mind. Truthfully I did not follow Alton Brown since those shows. I was surprised that he has a traveling show, and indeed, this intrigued me.
Not sure what to expect, we headed to the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts to experience Alton Brown’s Beyond The Eats, The Holiday Variant. It looked to be a sold-out house of faithful fans. The theater was full of energy. I felt we were in for something special, and I was not wrong.
How the show began
The show started with Alton Brown playing guitar with his band and singing his song about Fruitcake, a clever and hilarious piece that captured the willing audience. And it got better from there.
After the song, Alton Brown shared childhood memories revolving around food and the holidays. Alton Brown is a master storyteller who knows how to entertain a live audience. I was not expecting him to be such a dynamic presence on stage, and he did make me a fan, perhaps even a fanboy.
Alton Brown comes in HOT for the second act
A master of audience participation, Alton Brown invited audience members to the stage to participate in a game show. Of course, the theme of the game show was knowledge of food. At this point, I noticed the brilliant stage work with a large screen and cameras to allow the packed house to see the details of the action on stage.
Then came the Chicken Wings. Rolling out a contraption looking to be some sort of steampunk kitchen appliance Alton Brown cooked up 24 pounds, that’s right, 24 pounds of chicken wings (a true holiday favorite) in front of the audience. Add to that an audience member playing with hot sauce, and the entire theater smelled of delicious hot wings.
Alton Brown’s Beyond The Eats, The Holiday Variant is an entertaining and educational joy to experience. If you have ever enjoyed one of Alton Brown’s TV shows, you owe it to yourself to see his live show. Unfortunately, this was a one-night-only event, but as he left the stage, Alton Brown said he would be back. When he returns to Reno, get your tickets; you won’t be sorry.
Here is the recipe for Alton Brown’s Beyond The Eats, The Holiday Variant.
Three parts reminiscence
Two parts tall tales
Two parts music
Two parts of audience participation
One part gratuitous heat
Two parts game show
Three parts chicken wings
To all of this, add a full house of die-hard fans and mix thoroughly.