Good Eats and Iron Chef America host Alton Brown has been struggling with his celebrity status recently. On Monday, in preparation for his upcoming cookbook tour, Brown issued a 1,289-word "fanifesto" in which he laid some ground rules for how his fans should treat him. Things that are not okay include him signing things that are alive, taking pictures with camera phones, taking pictures with his family, talking to a fan on the phone and responding to everyone through social media channels. Oh, and don't block his exit or talk to him in a public restroom.
Ruth Bourdain has some additional rules for celebrity chefs, in response to Brown's "a bit douchey" fanifesto, including:
- Yes, celebrity chefs will sign things besides books. Spoons, cutting boards, mixers, you name it. Most won’t sign living things except for Todd English. That guy will sign your private parts.
- Do: Rub Tom Colicchio’s head with the finest extra virgin olive oil. Don’t: Put barrettes in his soul patch.
- If Mario Batali asks you to shave his truffles, you do it.
Many of Brown's rules actually make sense -- if we were famous, we wouldn't want to have to talk to random strangers on the phone either. But Alton's fanifesto offers a deeper clue into his tenuous relationship with celebrity-dom.
A few weeks ago, he quit Twitter after "a parasitic troll fraudulently posing as my wife started tweeting." Then he re-joined Twitter a few weeks later, saying that "things will be different" because he will answer questions twice a week and limit himself to "culinary and cultural matters." (We're not sure how true this is, given the ridiculous amount of @ replies currently on his feed).
Still, Brown's behavior on Twitter may reveal some insecurity about his status on the social network. Recent tweets such as, "Dear Lord, Fieri has 400K followers. But I bet my 70K could beat them at Scrabble" and "Emmy shmemmy. I don't have shelf room anyway" show a humbler, more self-deprecating side of Brown. Despite the strangeness of his relationship with Twitter, it is nice to think that there is a real personality behind the star.