Late last week Food Network cornerstone and kitchen genius Alton Brown announced the dates for his new live tour: "Eat Your Science" kicks off next April; Brown will hit 40 cities in two months. Tickets are on sale right this second. After the success of his first tour ("Edible Inevitable") earlier this year, how could Brown possibly up the ante? We asked him, and he answered:
Why did you decide to do a second tour?
The first show... the Edible Inevitable tour was really a "proof of concept." I had no idea when we went out whether or not people could or would respond to something intrinsically new, a live culinary variety show. And, if they would respond... could I pull it off. And after some 114 shows, I think I'm ready to say 'yes,' to both.
So of course I want to do it again, frankly because theater is a rush. If you can really get in a groove with an audience, they give as much as you take. There's not a TV camera in the known universe that can do that. And frankly, I love the unexpected of going out there every night knowing that stuff can just happen!
What details or stunts from this next tour are you especially excited about?
The show is completely new, but it follows the same overall structure as the Edible Inevitable tour. There will be new songs, there will be new standup, there will be new puppets and there will be new opportunities for audience interaction. And there will be two very large and very unusual culinary demonstrations that I'm hoping will be even bigger than the legendary Megabake Oven. Oh, and there's an onstage game this time too.
Has it been difficult to secure the necessary permits in order to incorporate fire into your act?
What fire? I didn't say anything about fire. Never heard of the stuff. Lies!
Will this new tour incorporate anything from your forthcoming book, Alton Brown: EveryDayCook?
There's really no crossover between EveryDayCook (EDC) and the tour show which is big and wild and darned difficult to pull off at home. EDC is a personal book about the food that I cook at home and eat.
I understand that you've invited audience members to participate while on stage and that you'll be doing this again. What can audience members look forward to if they're called up on stage during this next tour?
You know, if they're really good and they get in to it, I pretty much let the volunteers run the show. It's the big unknown of the night and it's my favorite part. They'll be right in the thick of the demos. But don't worry, we provide safety gear.
You dine out quite a bit while on tour. How do you pick the restaurants you visit?
We have a social media campaign called #ABRoadEats where fans send us their picks of where to go in each town. We go, we eat, we report. And if the last tour was any indication, I gain weight.
Do you enjoy being on the road or do you miss home?
The road is a home in a way. It's all about your crew... who you're traveling with, and having a great producer. MagicSpace Entertainment runs the show and they take great care of us.
We saw your tweet announcing that you'd packed up all of the episodes of Good Eats and were sending them off to storage. We have to ask: Would you ever consider bringing Good Eats back?
Good Eats... no. No. Something like Good Eats only for digital delivery? Definitely maybe. Definitely... Maybe.