It was a harmonic convergence of sorts. I noticed last Friday that I had a hefty amount of time that should be taken off before the end of the year. Then I received an email alerting me that Bobby Flay–Iron Chef, Food Network Star, author, and restaurateur–was coming to town for a book signing. The signing began at 5 pm, so clearly the only thing to do was take the afternoon off and go see Bobby.
So I did.
Vikki met me at the bookstore where we purchased our books (Bobby’s new Throwdown cookbook, packed with stories and amazing recipes) and received the coveted green wristbands that gave us entree into the first group.
At this point we still had several hours before himself arrived, so we wandered and shopped and returned. We chatted with a nice woman who had just had brain surgery(!) and was an expert on all things Flay. The crowd grew and we learned all the green wristbands were gone; they were into the pink group, then the silver.
The people in line were all happy foodies with the exception of one self-important twerp who tried to pitch a fit, nearly got himself thrown out of the store by a burly policeman, and generally made a fool of himself trying to look important. Note to snarly man: it didn’t work. You just looked like a jerk. We were not impressed.
This little girl in front of me brought a hand-made card for Bobby, how cute is that?
Then the man of the hour arrived. There were a few friendly jabs about the TX Rangers/NY Yankees playoff game, and the signing began. While the preliminary organization left something to be desired, the process at the front of the line was slick. And before I knew it, there I was, chatting with Mr. Food Network himself.
I wasn’t sure what he would be like in person—some “personalities” are nothing like their TV personas. But I was delighted to find that Bobby was absolutely the warmest, friendliest person I’ve met in a long time. If there is a school for celebrities on how to behave in public, Bobby should teach it. He was charming. I mentioned that I followed him on Twitter and had been drooling over his tweet about the pumpkin bread pudding currently on offer at Bar Americain. Which led to this exchange:
Bobby: Do you cook with pumpkin?
Bobby: What would you say pumpkin tastes like?
Me (to myself): Crud! I didn’t know there was going to be a test! Quick, what’s the right answer? Uh….uh….
Me (to Bobby): Well, it’s kind of a fall flavor…
Bobby: No, I don’t mean pumpkin pie or pumpkin with seasonings. Just the plain pumpkin.
Me (to myself): Who eats plain pumpkin? I don’t know. Ack!
Me (to Bobby): It tastes . . . orange.
Bobby (laughing): ORANGE! That’s a great answer!
He went on to explain that in his opinion, pumpkin actually tastes like nothing. We agreed that it was an excellent vehicle for seasonings and went our separate ways.
The cookbook is awesome, btw. A gazillion recipes to try and stories to go with all of them. Terrific pictures, too. Plus it got me the chance to talk pumpkin with one of America’s best chefs and what more could you ask from a cookbook, really?
I have to go cook something now.