Unusually Sized Rodents, Unhappy Campers and the Ultimate S'mores: Alton Brown Previews Camp Cutthroat
Summertime in the woods at camp … a time for late-night dives in a cool lake, fireside chants with friends and as much mess-hall grub as you can eat, right? Wrong, at least when Alton Brown's in charge of camp. On his all-new series Camp Cutthroat, he'll take the most-diabolical aspects of the classic rounds of eviliciousness and send them to the great outdoors for a five-part tournament of wilderness — and sabotage — survival.
Just in time for next month's premiere ( Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 9|8c), FN Dish caught up with Alton to chat about his plans for the sure-to-be-unhappy campers he'll be welcoming to the woods. "I just throw out the most-horrible things I can think of!" he said of what's in store, adding that when it comes to chefs' preparedness, they ought to come equipped with "Rodent-of-Unusual-Size repellent and anything-that-stings repellent" when they show up. Read on to hear more from Alton and learn his secret for making the ultimate s'mores.
What 10 essential pieces of equipment should these chefs pack in their duffle bags for the tournament?
Alton Brown: Bear repellent, snake repellent, wolf repellent, mosquito repellent, Rodent-of-Unusual-Size repellent, anything-that-stings repellent, wolverine repellent, skunk repellent, mountain lion repellent and snacks.
Are you a camper or a glamper? Tell us about your most-memorable outdoor trip.
AB: I am most certainly not a “glamper,” as I almost never line the floor of my yurt with the “good” rugs. And my espresso machine is solar-powered. As for my most-memorable camping excursion, well … I can’t talk about it. …
What are three meals, treats or dishes every camper can make over an open fire?
AB: Biscuits, fried trout and s’mores! (And yes, there is a right way.)
What unique challenges will this batch of Cutthroat Kitchen chefs have to contend with that usual competitors do not?
AB: Bears, snakes, wolves, mosquitoes, Rodents of Unusual Size, stinging things, wolverines, skunks and mountain lions.
The chefs competing in this tournament are an elite bunch, all returning elites. Do you plan to dole out especially difficult sabotages this time around, since you know they can handle them?
AB: Elite? Please. Heck, I just throw out the most-horrible things I can think of!
How do you see the competition changing since there are only three chefs instead of four in the first four heats?
AB: Homemade marshmallows (drops mic, walks out of woods).
What are the best and worst parts about cooking outdoors?
What are a few camping myths or taboos you think ought to be dispelled?
AB: People always seem to wait until it’s dark to make their fire. That’s crazy. Build the fire first, then pitch your tent, etc. Oh, and just because a stream looks sparkling clear and refreshing, don’t think for a second that it isn’t packed with gut-turning protozoa. Also, keep your cooking simple. As Cervantes wrote, “Hunger is the best sauce.”