He may be here primarily for the food, but Alton Brown hasn’t lost his appetite for science.
The Food Network host and author’s latest interactive show, “Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science,” stops at Tilles Center on Thursday, April 28, bringing with it an adapted menu. The two-hour culinary variety experience — a follow-up to his two-year, 100-city “Edible Inevitable” tour — will include comedy, talk-show antics, multimedia presentations and original music. It also will feature some new ingredients in the form of puppetry and “bigger and potentially more dangerous experiments,” he says.
Dubbed the “Bill Nye of cooking,” Brown has made a career of celebrating food through science. This latest production will get into chemistry, thermodynamics and physics as it relates to what we eat. He hopes people realize cuisine is about more than just eating: It is also about preparation.
Here are five things to expect from “Eat Your Science.”
The most popular component of “Eat Your Science” — and also Brown’s favorite part — is when he invites audience members to act as his culinary assistants.
“I have people up on stage with me more than 50 percent of the show,” he said in a recent phone interview. “The show can become completely different depending on who I bring up.”
Brown insists he does not screen audience members beforehand, but relies solely on his “gut instinct” in selecting his assistants. “There will be plenty of new therapy-inducing opportunities during our audience-participation segments,” he said. “I don’t want to give too much away, but we’re also going to play a little game with the audience.”
Brown is the author of the James Beard Award-winning “I’m Just Here for the Food” and has hosted several Food Network shows including “Iron Chef America”; the Peabody Award-winning “Good Eats,” which ran from 1999 to 2012; and the popular “Cutthroat Kitchen,” in which chefs vie for cash by preparing dishes while sabotaging their opponents.
Despite his extensive food knowledge, when he hits the road, the culinary cutup likes to be schooled by the locals. At each stop of his “Eat Your Science” tour, Brown asks fans to tell him where to eat, using the #ABRoadEats hashtag.
He tracks his endeavors via social media, sharing photos and write-ups with his signature wit and flair.
“Typically we choose one coffee joint, one breakfast or doughnut stop, and a lunch stop,” Brown said. “Then, after the show, we typically hit a late-night place.”
In “Eat Your Science,” Brown said, audiences can expect to see things that he does not do on television. When asked to cite specific examples, Brown said: “Pretty much everything that I do. Nobody is going to let me sing and play songs on TV. My demonstrations aren’t very practical or the things Food Network let me do on TV.”
While some elements may not be “safe” for TV, the entire show is G-rated.
“Like all my shows, ‘Eat Your Science’ is intended and approved for the entire family,” he said, “so bring the tykes and gramps along.”
SONG AND RANTS
Brown will present his comic rant “If I Were a Food God” and perform new songs including a cowboy waltz about genetically modified organisms and a Sinatra-esque swing track inspired by cocktail bitters.
The format for “Eat Your Science” may borrow from his first tour, but he promises that no two shows are ever the same.
Brown spent about six months preparing his latest production and began working on new material while he was still on his last tour, he said.
“What people don’t realize is, you don’t get to rehearse until you build the show,” Brown said. “Really, the first week you’re out on the road, you’re moving things, changing things, bringing in new things.”
The fine-tuning never stops, he said. “The show’s never really set in stone.”