AndyTalk: Why I Cook in Clown Shoes

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.