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Alton Brown combines food, humor and science at the IU Auditorium


Alton Brown has been a host and writer for the Food Network show “Good Eats," which incorporated comedy sketches and science experiments with cooking. On Nov. 14, he brought his live show, "Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science," to the IU Auditorium stage.  Courtesy Photo Buy Photos

TV personality Alton Brown knows science, and he’s made a career out of showing how it plays into food and how we cook it. That's what he did Nov. 14 at the IU Auditorium, where he performed his live show, "Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science," which could be described as an educational stand-up comedy routine.

Brown, in all his glasses-wearing, science-loving glory, took to the stage with a live entertainment act for all ages, incorporating elements like liquid nitrogen and different types of cocktails. 

Brown called out Bloomington resident Jax Banks, 39, when he asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they disliked bacon. Brown then questioned Banks, asking how or why she could ever hate the beloved breakfast item. 

“It was embarrassing,” Banks said. “But his show is hilarious, insightful and educational.”

Brown was a writer and host for the widely popular Food Network show “Good Eats," which incorporated comedy sketches and science experiments into cooking. He has also hosted shows such as “Next Iron Chef” and “Cutthroat Kitchen,” with both shows featuring Brown’s signature dry humor.  

IU junior Hailey Goodwin said she didn’t know what to expect before seeing the show. 

“I just really like cooking shows,” Goodwin said. “I think he adds a fun, comedic flair to them, as well as an educational flair.” 

Brown’s live show consisted mostly of him speaking to the crowd and sharing his love of science and food through short stories and original songs. It included a variety of segments, from puppet shows to cocktail experiments. 

IU alumnus Hunter Todd, 23, said he has learned a lot from watching Brown’s shows over the years.

“I’ve learned how to properly cook a lot of things,” Todd said. “I watched him a lot as a kid, and I carried that knowledge with me growing up.” 

During the show, Brown used visuals and songs to convey the message that factual information and food go hand-in-hand.

“Science is in food,” Goodwin said. “You don’t really think about that when you’re cooking, but it definitely plays a role in how your food turns out.”

Born in Los Angeles but now living in Atlanta, Brown joked about the hot summer sun in the South while pouring liquid nitrogen on himself. He used the element to do an experiment, which turned a vile cocktail into a sweet snow cone. 

“I’ve learned about the molecular breakdown of what he does and how he brings the science down to that level,” Banks said. “He makes you want to try new things.”

Brown mixed food, science and music, which made for an entertaining evening for all ages. Brown said his live show gives him the chance to do “what they won’t let me do on TV.”

“His shows are informative but he has a good sense of humor,” Todd said. “And it’s got food. Everybody loves food.”

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