Sunday, August 15, 2004

Celebrity Chefs!

Celebrity Chefs are definitely growing in popularity these days. Probably a lot of that has to do with the FoodTV Network. I remember watching cooking shows on a variety of channels before FoodTV while growing up, but about the only household chef name I can think of from that time is Julia Child. As FoodTV came on-air, the popularity of chefs took a giant leap forward. There are some I think are great, and some I don't' think a whole lot of. A few of my favorites are: Alton Brown, Wolfgang Puck and David Rosengarten. As of yesterday I have met two (almost all three) of these chefs!

I met Wolfgang Puck about a year and a half ago. We were having a fabulous dinner at Spago in Beverly Hills (yes, it lives up to its reputation- a definite "must-eat-there-at-least-once-in-your-lifetime" kind of place), when Wolfgang Puck came out to our table to ensure we were enjoying our meal. Despite the fact that we were in his premier restaurant, I never in a million years thought he would actually be there. It was really great to know that despite his celebrity status, and how incredibly busy he must be, that he still takes time to go into his restaurants and check on his patrons. He was a very nice guy.

Yesterday, I got to meet my favorite celebrity chef: Alton Brown (AB). He was doing a cooking demonstration and signing autographs at a local mall. My husband Cocles got us really great seats up close to the front of the demonstration. AB made funnel cakes. It was really a well done presentation. AB was just as funny as he is on his show, even when answering people's questions. His assistant chef did a great job steathily clearing used containers out of AB's way. It was quite enjoyable.

AB actually did 3 demos. We watched the second one. Then we headed over to the really long line to meet AB and get his autograph. The line was so long, that I didn't quite make it up to meet him before he had to go over and do the third demonstration. Unfortunately, being as that this was in a mall, the acoustics were terrible. While I could kind of half see what was going on, I could only catch a few words here and there. One of the phrases I did hear was that David Rosengarten was in the audience! I wish I could have seen/met him too, but there was no way I was giving up my spot to meet AB.

So after the third demo, and another half an hour or so of waiting (total wait time was approximately 2 hours!!) we finally got to meet him. He was super nice. One of the things I thought was the coolest was that he put out his hand to shake mine and said "Hi, I'm Alton." Well, of course I knew who he was, but the fact that he had enough manners to introduce himself properly and not assume the "mmm, I'm a celebrity, everyone knows who I am so I don't need to introduce myself" attitude was just very impressive. I got my copy of "I'm Just Here for the Food" autographed, and Cocles and I got to say a few quick words to him. He was super-nice. I wish I could have monopolized him to ask a million more questions, but the mean guy trying to keep the line moving was doing just that. (Think: Santa's Elves taking you off Santa's lap and putting you on the slide in "A Christmas Story" only, luckily AB was nothing like Santa) So we were pushed on our way, having met my favorite celebrity chef.

Many times you hear of people meeting celebrities and being let down because they are jerks, or don't want to have anything to do with you. I can see how fans could become quite the annoyance, but it was really great to meet AB and find out that he is the nice, funny, food-knowledgeable guy I watch on TV. :)


Blogger Cocles said...

Now I just need to hunt down David Rosengarten for you. ;)

11:29 AM  

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