AndyTalk: Why I Cook in Clown Shoes

Categories: Chow Bella
Clown shoes 3.jpg
Andy Broder

Welcome to AndyTalk -- where Scottsdale-based chef and cooking instructor Andy Broder will share kitchen tips, recipes and musings on food and life. This week: clown shoes.

My yellow shoes are my favorite pair of shoes to cook in. They're quirky, and they invite a second glance - at least from people who look down. They're simple - the elastic lace means they're slip-ons. I like them. I wanted them as soon as I saw them at the Camper store in San Francisco. If I'm being honest, one of the reasons I like them is that they're relatively unique.

More Campers after the jump. 

Someplace in my house is a pedometer that I haven't seen in years. I wore it twice - both times on days when I taught back-to-back cooking classes. Two classes in a day is a crazy-busy day. I wanted to see how far I walked on a two-class day.

It turns out that I walk about 10 miles on such a day. In a space of 1,447 square feet that is a lot of back-and-forth. In fact, it's about 10,000 steps per foot. I'm pretty sure it defines my job as "active." It definitely makes me aware of my feet. It's also a glass-half-full kind of thing, because it gives me an excuse for having a lot of shoes.

Andy Broder
People pay me for my taste in food, not shoes. I tell them to add salt and or pepper to a recipe, cook something longer, chop something finer, and occasionally to start over. They're at the mercy of my subjective assessments.
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Andy Broder
Good food ought to include some element of the spectacular. Think about the best steak you ever ate - I'll bet it was simple in terms of ingredients, but somehow it was phenomenal.

My yellow shoes are special because they bring comfort, stability, and some style to me - and my kitchen. They draw attention away from the food splattered on my clothes. I spend a lot of hours in my kitchen. It's a gilded cage, but it's my gilded cage. It's a place where yellow shoes fit in.

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A decade ago I wouldn't have worn yellow shoes. I'd have wanted to, but I wouldn't have. Now I wonder how I could get through a week without my yellow clown shoes. You read that right - I only wear them about once a week. I like pizza too, but not every night. I have Campers in a more sedate brown, in lace-wing green (my first pair that I got in Tokyo), and a pair of black and red ones too. Clown shoes are a diverse lot.
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My yellow shoes bring something to the synthesis that is me. If I was from the UK I'd say that they're brilliant - in an understated and weirdly butch sort of way. They help me get noticed and help me fit in. I'd be fine without them, but I'd be too bland to suit my taste. Wearing them makes me smile, and I think that when I'm happy I make better food.

And that is why I cook in clown shoes.

Andy Broder is the chef/owner of AndyFood, A Culinary Studio.

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My Voice Nation Help

Nice post indeed!

Moore Dustin
Moore Dustin

Great post! I am definitely looking forward to your next post! 


Andy:  it shows how much "sole" you bring to the "table".  I'm not surprised about the mileage you cover every else can you cook, teach cooking classes and be thin?


How fun is this! A chef with a grand sense of humor and a personality to boot! Now I can cite a reference to justify the essential need for me to have funky shoes. I noticed no open toe designs...a nice submliminal hint from the chef so that errant knives and hot juices don't find their way so readily to the feet.  

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