We FINALLY did it. We met Alton Brown! If you don’t know who he is shame on you, but if you do, you are aware that he was the genius behind our favorite cooking show Good Eats on the Food Network. If you read our About D&E page you’ll discover that AB was a huge influence for us before we even learned to cook. While we still lived in dorms with no access to a real life functioning kitchen, we would stay up until 11pm every night to watch Good Eats dreaming for the day we could finally start cooking!
Our first cookbook was given to us by Declan’s Mom for our birthdays (Declan’s is April 10th, Erica’s is April 11th, yes we were born only 15 hours apart) and it was, of course, Alton’s Good Eats: The Early Years. So, Wednesday evening we drove to Sewickley to finally see our hero during his book signing for his third installment of the Good Eats cook book trilogy. We brought along our first book in the hopes he would sign that too.
When we arrived, we noticed a sign out front that said the event was sold out. We asked a man standing in line if we needed tickets to get in; he said yes and that they were sold out a week ago. Heart broken and watching all the lucky people filing inside, we were compelled to leave. We decided to ask one of the people working the event if there was a waiting list for people without tickets. Luckily for us there was.
While we waited, the opening drew near and we despairingly tried to tweet Alton to see if he could help two poor college students out. No luck, the event began and they closed the doors to the auditorium. We could hear muffled clapping on the other side and a familiar voice we had grown to love.
But alas! There were two tickets left and the people in front of us on the list had left! We were in! We ran to our seats…in the balcony…in the very last row. We didn’t have time to celebrate our luck, we were there to get some answers!
Alton began his Q&A session and we knew we had to ask him one. We snuck to the front of the balcony where someone had a mic. Finally, Alton looked up and pointed at us.
Erica spoke up and introduced ourselves as two college students from Pitt with a cooking blog for other college kids. He thought she said “cookie” blog. She asked him if he had any tips for college students trying to cook for themselves off of a budget. He mentioned that he just gave a talk in Penn State, in which Erica interrupted with a “Go Pitt!” The audience really loved that, but Alton didn’t understand – “Hey, they paid me,” he replied. He said that every college university should issue to their students a crock pot because students have time but not money. Crock pots are a perfect way to have a cheap, healthy and delicious meal without a lot of work (but that’s another post).
He answered questions for another hour. Then it was time for him to sign books. We waited for 2 hours in line for him to sign our book. When it was finally our turn, he greeted us with a simple handshake and “Alton.” We introduced ourselves as the college students with the blog and thanked him for answering our question. He signed our book and made it out to cooking-in-college.com. We took a picture with him, gave him a card with our URL and asked him to take a look if he ever had any free time on the internet. He laughed and said, “Free time on the internet? Psh.”
The night was over, we had finally met our idol. We really hope Alton takes a look at our blog and hopefully this post. So if he ever does… Alton, we really want to let you know that without your inspiration and your guidance, we wouldn’t have started this blog and probably would not even had found our life passion: cooking. Thank you for such an amazing night and all that you have done for us. Thank you Alton!