Food Network star Alton Brown loves Wichita. He’s made that no secret.
The celebrity chef has visited the city twice in the past two years – once in 2014 at Century II for a stop on his “Edible Inevitable” tour and once in October for a book signing at the Orpheum. During both visits, he’s popped in at his favorite restaurants and coffee shops, posing for pictures with fans who recognize him. After his 2014 visit, he published a post on his Good Eats blog, naming his favorite Wichita eateries – Old Mill Tasty Shop, Public at the Brickyard, Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, Reverie Coffee Roasters and Espresso to Go Go among them.
On Wednesday, Brown continued his love affair with Wichita, this time on his podcast called “The Alton Browncast.” On the episode, recorded at the Sony Studios in Culver City, Calif, where Brown said he was filming “Iron Chef Gauntlet,” Brown was interviewing guest Duff Goldman of “Ace of Cakes” fame.
You can hear the Wichita conversation start at about the 6:02 mark.
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Goldman begins talking about his family and tells Brown about his great-grandmother, who worked as a baker, a weaver and a hat maker.
“She came from Russia when she was like 15 or so, and she opened up a hat shop in Wichita, Kansas,” Goldman says.
“I love Wichita, by the way,” Brown replies.
“Wichita is awesome,” Goldman says.
“Wichita is a very cool town” Brown says.
“There’s a crazy soda fountain I’ll tell you about,” Goldman says. “It’s really great.”
“Oh, I think we know about that one,” Brown says.
Goldman goes on to describe a tin ceiling, obviously referring to Old Mill Tasty Shop at 604 E. Douglas. Brown recalls that it’s near the train tracks.
Then, Goldman says, “Have you been to Wichita during the monarch festival when the monarchs are migrating from Canada to Mexico? I mean it is billions of monarchs. It’s just amazing.”
Then, Goldman continues the story about his great-grandmother.
It’s no wonder Brown remembers Old Mill. After his 2014 visit, he mentioned it specifically on his blog.
“I like seeing (and appreciate) a classic fountain shop still going,” he wrote. “If you’re walking around town, it’s worth hopping a seat at the counter and ordering a shake — or a chocolate malted like I did.”