Food Network star Alton Brown is headed to Omaha.
His show "Alton Brown Live," which is touring the U.S., is a mix of science, live music and cooking.
"It's a culinary variety show," Brown said in a telephone interview. "It's all about food, and there is a lot of audience interaction."
Brown said the show, which will be here on Thursday, has something for almost any kind of food lover: "hopefully funny" songs about food; two large and unusual cooking demonstrations; and, for fans of his show "Good Eats," puppets and multimedia.
Audience members in the first few rows should be aware: Put on the poncho you get at the door.
"Sometimes science can be messy," Brown said, chuckling.
While Brown doesn't aim for the show to be a mess — "It's not like Gallagher," he said — there have been some issues, so the organizers give audience members the plastic capes to cover their bases.
Brown has been a food television personality for years, starting with his first show, "Good Eats," which premiered in 1998
on PBS and got picked up by the Food Network in 1999. The show, which melded science with cooking, ended in 2012.
Brown first appeared on "Iron Chef America" in 2004, and he still serves as the show's expert commentator, giving viewers the play-by-play of kitchen action. He also was host of an "Iron Chef" spinoff, "The Next Iron Chef."
"Feasting on Asphalt," a four-part miniseries about eating on the road, explored the history of food and ran in 2006 and 2007 on the Food Network. He's also appeared as a mentor on "The Next Food Network Star," has hosted the network's "Thanksgiving Live" show, helped test theories on "MythBusters" and appeared with Anthony Bourdain on the Atlanta episode of his Travel Channel show "The Layover."
Brown's latest Food Network effort is "Cutthroat Kitchen," which began in 2013.
The four chef contestants get $25,000 each to bid on certain conditions that will be in place throughout the competition. For example, the exclusive use of one ingredient, or keeping a competitor from using a specific kitchen tool. The winner of the show keeps whatever is left of their money as the prize.
"It's a unique show because it is the first true culinary game show," Brown said. "You have to play the game, and it's very strategy-based. It's a pretty freaking smart show."
Brown said that during the live show, audience members should be prepared to participate if they're called upon.
"I will be honest, that is my favorite part of the show," he said. "We never plant the volunteers. The two people we call on become a big part of the show, and they can take over the show. They are important."
The two volunteers get specific on-stage tasks from Brown, in essence becoming his assistants.
He said he wants Omahans to know that his show is truly for everyone.
"There is not a lot of smart family entertainment left," he said. "So that is what I strive to make."
He hopes viewers leave with bits of knowledge they didn't have when they sat down.
"I think understanding what is going on with food is a powerful thing," he said. "Once people have a grip on (how cooking works), it gives them some power over the food, and I think that's important. It's very valuable."
Contact the writer:
ALTON BROWN LIVE!
EDIBLE INEVITABLE TOUR
What: Food Network personality Alton Brown live on stage with cooking demonstrations, science and live music
Where: Orpheum Theater Slosburg Hall, 409 S. 16th St.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday Tickets:$49.25-$129.95 Info: ticketomaha.com/productions/Alton-Brown-Live