Sean Brock of Husk and Erik Anderson of The Catbird Seat are indeed worthy of the adulation that they receive from local and national food lovers, but it's nice to see that these culinary luminaries can be laid low by a plate of Prince's "extra hot" chicken, just like the rest of us.
In this clip from Season 2 of PBS's Mind of a Chef, the two chefs visit Prince's to try out the hottest of the hot and hear a few stories from the hot Chicken Queen herself, André Prince Jeffries. Brock is a Nashville hot chicken fan from way back, but it's entertaining to see how nervous he is approaching the fiery fowl in the clip. "I'm not gonna lie to you, man. I'm a little nervous." (Neither had ever tried the "extra hot" magnitude before.)
Both chefs experience the typical reaction of initial hot chicken headsnap at the first bite, then the wonderful capsaicin buzz/adrenaline rush as your body's "fight or flight" reflexes are activated. Like many Prince's aficionados, the hallucinatory glide to the finish is the best part, along with the feeling of accomplishment that you conquered something that really shouldn't go into your body.
Finally, Brock addresses his advice about how to deal with the worst part of the hot chicken experience, the exit. Watch about 4:20 into the clip for the best solution to "chicken butt" that I've ever heard.
WNPT, our local PBS affiliate, will be showing episodes of Mind of a Chef in prime time, a little later than the national premiere. The first episode will air here at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10.
You can sign up for an email notification of each episode at the PBS site — or you can get the jump on the rest of us and stream the episode online here.