The Week in Arts: Alton Brown Returns; Lil Nas X Plays the Hit

Aug. 25;

In 2012 — after writing, directing and starring in 252 episodes of “Good Eats” on the Food Network — Alton Brown needed a break.

He wanted to concentrate on his theatrical tour and hosting the game show “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He also wanted to see how the internet would affect ingredients not readily available to the average viewer, like the North African harissa required for shakshuka, a dish he’d held off making.

And having started his career behind the camera, he wanted to see what advances in film technology might percolate up in the future that would make shooting a bit more, well, exciting.

“I was getting bored with the toys,” he admitted in a call from Marietta, Ga., where he lives and works. “I had told myself I’m going to give it five years.” By the time his calendar cleared, it was seven.

“Good Eats: The Return,” debuts on Sunday, Aug. 25. It’s everything we’ve come to expect from Brown, and then some: The same deliciously brainy mix of science, history and culinary how-to, with a new set (designed by his wife, Elizabeth Ingram) that’s decked out with high-tech playthings like overhead cameras suspended on an Opti-Glide rail system.

The 13 episodes kick off with classic chicken parm before veering into steak tartare, no longer considered “a risky rogue food,” Brown said, and bread-baking — “because the crazy kids, the hipsters, are all into wild sourdoughs.” That shakshuka segment he’d been longing to do? A takeoff on “Casablanca,” right down to the black-and-white, Academy-aspect ratio.

Yet, for all the bells and whistles, “in the end, I’m the guy that just wanted to make stories about food because it’s one of the few things that connects us all,” he said. “Our culture is ripped asunder, and there’s not a lot that holds us together anymore. Food still does.” KATHRYN SHATTUCK

The day trip portion of “Give Me Liberty” spirals into bedlam, as Vic is thwarted at every turn. But a sweet poignancy surfaces as he and Tracy bond later across a frenetic night in a segregated city where seemingly everyone is chasing the American dream, while getting tripped up by disillusionment.

“Give Me Liberty” opened in New York on Aug. 23 before a wider rollout in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Madison, Wis., starting Aug. 29. KATHRYN SHATTUCK

Sahred From Source link Arts

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