From Carnival Cravings to Food Cravings: Anthony Anderson Chats About the Show and His Passion for Cooking

Anthony Anderson, host of Carnival Cravings, dishes on the new show and reveals his relationship with food.
Anthony Anderson

Photo by: Rebecca Stumpf/AP Images ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Rebecca Stumpf/AP Images, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

If you've seen the premiere of Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson, Wednesdays at 10|9c, you know by now that the show's host loves his food, and he's willing to try just about anything. FN Dish recently caught up with the man himself to chat about what fans can expect this upcoming season. Anthony dished on the craziest thing he ate while on the road and the unique characters he met, and he revealed some interesting tidbits about his passion for cooking and what he likes to make at home.

FN Dish: What can you tell fans about the new show? What can they expect to see?

Anthony Anderson: They can expect to see me eat some of the best carnival food they've ever seen. They'll not only see food, but they'll see me play games, ride rides, drive demolition cars and throw axes.

How was it filming for you? Did you enjoy being on the road?

AA: Filming a show like this is always fun, traveling the country and seeing Middle America and having fun eating funnel cakes and fried turkey legs. And yes, I love being on the road.

How was meeting all of the people you encountered? Any interesting characters?

AA: It's always great for me to meet people. I met a gypsy palm-reading mermaid — very interesting.

What was the craziest thing you ate? Describe what it was like.

AA: The craziest thing was a Twix candy bar on a stick shoved in a Twinkie wrapped in bacon, deep-fried in funnel cake batter [and] topped with a confectioners' sugar sauce and crushed Oreos. And surprisingly it was pretty good. There was also a deep-fried root beer float that was amazing.

If you had a food stand at one of these carnivals or fairs, what would you sell and what would you call your stand?

AA: I would call my stand Tasty Tony, and I would sell burgers and ribs.

When you're not filming for Blackish or for Food Network, what do you do in your down time?

AA: I play golf, cook, go to cooking classes and travel on my down time.

From watching you on Carnival Cravings, it's obvious you have a love for food. Where did that come from?

AA: My love for cooking started out of necessity. One day my mother told me that I needed to cook dinner for the family, because my dad would be hungry when he came home from work, [and] she was going to play bingo. I might add that I was only 13 at the time.

Do you cook?
AA: Yes, I cook. It's one of my passions.
Whom did you learn the most from?

AA: I learned by watching Julia Child and The Galloping Gourmet.

What are your signature dishes?

AA: Duck confit, pan-seared prime strip steak basted with butter, rosemary, garlic and thyme with a Port reduction sauce and a butternut squash puree

Do your kids like to eat what you make?

AA: They LOVE my rosemary veined buttermilk fried chicken and tarragon fingerling potatoes.

What keeps you interested in cooking?

AA: The pleasure it brings watching people enjoy my food keeps me cooking.

What's your favorite dish you remember from your childhood?

AA: My father's BBQ and his smothered chicken, rice and corn

What’s the first dish you learned to make?

AA: Baked chicken with fresh herbs, citrus and an onion stuffed in its cavity with butter between the skin and breast meat, cold greens and cornbread

Do you have a guilty pleasure food?

AA: My guilty pleasure is a great rib eye, medium temperature, garlic mashed potatoes, and truffle mac and cheese.

What's your favorite kitchen tool?
AA: My favorite kitchen tools are my cutlery.

What’s the most-surprising thing we’d find in your fridge?

AA: The most-surprising thing you'd find in my fridge is yellow miso.

What music, if any, do you like to listen to while cooking?

AA: Anything with a thumping beat and bass line: hip-hop and soul music, past and present

What’s your favorite “food city” to visit?

AA: New Orleans, New York and Chicago — I can't pick just one.

Watch Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson on Wednesdays at 10|9c.

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