14 October 2014

Alton Brown on Seersucker

"Beyond ponchos, you wear bow ties and have your own line. Is there a connection between bow ties and Southern food?

Yes! Well, Southern culture in general…I’m not going to say food. Bow ties are the most iconic piece of Southern menswear. What they say is, I care. I’m willing to be a little bit of a dandy, but I’m a rake at the same time. I’m a little bit dangerous, but I’m a little bit floppy, too. I remember being on a book tour for Feasting on Asphalt, and I was doing a signing in Oxford, Mississippi, in this old-school men’s store, and it was so hot I needed to buy a seersucker suit. And as I was walking out, there was this yellow bow tie that had little blue monkeys on it. When my father died, I was bereft of male role models and for some reason I latched onto Humphrey Bogart. His character Rick Blaine in Casablanca was everything I wanted to be as a man—and he wore bow ties. I learned how to tie them in the eighth grade because Bogart did. I hadn’t worn them in a long time, and I’m walking out of this men’s store in Oxford and I see this yellow tie and I’m like, I’m going to buy that freaking tie. And when I put it on, I became something.

So do you consider your “Southernness” part of your image?

It’s reflected in the fact that to be a Southerner suits everything that I want to be. One, you’re a little bats--- crazy. All good Southerners are pretty much kinda mad. I like that. Being Southern means constantly being at war
 with God over something. We all are. And I embrace that, too. I embrace that battle. I embrace the traditions that are hard to let go. I like traditions. I may have arrived today on a motorcycle, but under my motorcycle suit, I’m wearing seersucker."

As quoted in Garden & Gun. The rest of the article is worth your few minutes to take a gander.


  1. Alton Brown is probably one of my favorite foodie personalities! Great excerpts!

    xo Jen
    Skirt The Rules

  2. He's one of mine as well, Jen. Thank you for stopping by!

  3. I love a Southern man in a bow tie! Have you read Garden and Gun's Southern Handbook? Everyone in my mom's family has a copy, because our family is mentioned in it! Definitely check it out if you haven't!


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