Not too long ago, a group of moms of young adult men were chatting over lunch when the conversation turned to -- no surprise here -- their children. All the young men being discussed are, thank the Lord, gainfully employed in fields in which their parents paid big bucks to get them college-educated. Though none of them has married yet, all are on their own, with their own apartments.
But what the moms realized while chatting is that all their sons, who range in age from 23 to 29, already have better equipped kitchens than their parents have managed to amass in 30-plus years. Moreover, one mom reported that her son's birthday gift in January was a set of Japanese knives, his special request. This same kid got a French-press coffee maker for Christmas.
What's going on here? The moms realized then, and agreed, that they have raised The Food Network generation. Their children have grown up in an era when food, like everything else, is entertainment. Whereas their parents subsisted on fish sticks and Ramen noodles when they were young and in their first apartments, these young men grew up watching Emeril Lagasse and "Iron Chef.'' They grew up ordering appetizers and sushi in restaurants. They know how to saute, and braise, and flambe and julienne, even if they are still learning how to master the washer and dryer.
It is no surprise, then, that one of the Food Network's best-known stars, Alton Brown, is on the road, just like a rock star. While Miley Cyrus is twerking on her Bangerz Tour, Brown is cooking on his Edible Inevitable Tour. Well, cooking and doing stand-up and music and lecturing and something called "extreme food experimentation'' that brings to mind that comedian Gallagher and the sledgehammer and watermelons flying around. You can see what this is all about yourself when the Edible Inevitable Tour hits the Fox Theatre in Atlanta at 8 p.m. Friday.
Trivia buffs, Brown is a UGA drama grad who, as a cinematographer, was responsible for music videos such as R.E.M.'s "The One I Love.'' But, of course, he is best-known for Food Network favorites like "Good Eats'' and "Cutthroat Kitchen.''
Brown is funny and down-to-earth, so this does sound like a show that everyone from young men to their mamas and even grandmamas can enjoy.