Alton Brown: Memphis Is #1 Town

The Eater Upsell podcast talked to Alton Brown this month about his books, his road show, his Food Network shows, and his food philosophy. There are many highlights, but one that stands out to me is his big shout-out to Memphis, Tennessee.

Outside of Memphis proper is this doughnut place called Gibson’s, which makes not just the best doughnut in the United States but, as far as I’m concerned, if all the other doughnuts went away and I still had Gibson’s, I’d be okay. They’ve also got the best chicken, and maybe the best hamburger in the United States.

He also gives credit to Starbucks for being the “game changer” in American food culture. Now, many of us are willing to spend $4 on coffee and look forward to fancy third-wave brews.

What’s funny, though, is I think that we’re more sophisticated as eaters than cooks. You know, I know people that can detect the difference between whether we’ve made the bouillabaisse with, you know, Turkish saffron or Iranian saffron, but couldn’t cook the seafood in the bouillabaisse if you held a gun to their head, you know, so — we’ve become far more sophisticated as consumers. Whether we have as cooks or not, I don’t know.

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