Friday, January 28, 2005
On the trail of Good Eats III
(So where are we here? ummm boy takes advantage of his family always making good food. One day, watching revolutionary cooking show that makes cooking more like science sparks the inner cook in him. Manages to make himself pork chops sans e.coli. Now thankful for the creative force that brought him to his present culinary renaissance. Yeah, that about catches up)
So I was checking out Alton Brown, mastermind of Good Eats, at his website when I noticed that he was going on a book tour for his new book. One of his stops was in Corte Madera at a bookstore. Now that I work in Novato I thought maybe I could swing by after work to see if I can get an autograph or at least tell him that he saved me from dry pork chops. My wife was still sick though so on the big day I actually ended up going home early to help watch the kids. I told her my original plans and she insisted that I should still go...if I take at least one kid with me. Well my oldest actually knows who Alton Brown is so she was happy to come along (that and the promise of reading a lot of books at the bookstore)...
So we get there about 45 minutes before his scheduled appearance. There were chairs set up in front of a podium with about 15 people milling about with their books ready to be signed. There was no way my daughter (er...Hannah, she does have a name) would just sit and wait though so we retreated to the rear of the store where the children's books were. We sat on a chair set up back there for kids and read about every book that was within reach. I watched the room fill up in those 45 minutes quickly. The chairs were all taken...then some folding chairs were brought out for people...then all those were taken...then people were standing back with Hannah and I with the kids books...then people were standing around the corner where you wouldn't actually see Alton Brown while he was up front...and on and on...the place was packed. I didn't mind losing out on the good seats since I didn't really go to get front row seats and be a huge Alton groupie. Anyway he finally came out and thanked everyone for coming on a rainy night.
He had a few things he wanted to say (like how mad he was at the editors for misprinting his pizza dough recipe. There is a part that says children's aspirin when it should have said children's vitamin C. Brown himself is allergic to aspirin and he didn't like his own recipe being able to kill him. On the plus side I guess I have a collector's item. Like an error baseball card!). He mostly opened it up to questions about whatever. Most of the questions were about his shows (Good Eats and Iron Chef America) and a few had specific cooking questions that he helped out with. Then he made himself available to sign whatever we wanted for as long as was needed...He was pretty much what I expected. He is pretty funny and very personable. The line was already monstrous with all the people but he still took the time to talk to everyone that he met.
I knew that Hannah would not stand in that line for longer than 3 minutes so we stayed and read just about every book they were selling (need some kidsbook buying tips? contact me. I know some great pop up books now). We finally saw an end to the line and jumped in. When it was out turn he was still very friendly and thanked us for coming. I told him that Hannah and I had a card for her sick mom and Hannah would like him to sign it as well. He was happy to sign it and told Hannah that he was very sorry that her mom wasn't feeling well. We finally had a picture taken and that was that...
Now I am not real big on meeting celebrities. I am always worried that meeting the real them will only shatter what image I had of them and will only be disappointed. This time it worked out well and if possible, I might be a bigger fan now than I was before.