Charles Phoenix on Fried Cereal, the Genesis of the Cherpumple and Molded Gelatin
By Susan Froyd
If you know retro — and particularly mid-century — you know retro geek Charles Phoenix, a child of the endless car lots and fast food restaurants of Southern California who is famous across the nation for his mid-mod slide shows and modernist expertise. And you might even know about his sideshow, the most awesome Charles Phoenix Test Kitchen. In that guise, he’s appeared on Martha Stewart’s show and amazed Conan O’Brien with his spectacular Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree, but at the end of July, he’ll be doing it 24/7 in the Denver County Fair Kitchen Pavilion, where he’ll create such delectables of his own invention as Mr. Meatloaf and Fried Cereal, as well as judge such fair food categories as best Molded Gelatin Dessert and best Cake and Egg Decorating.
We chatted with Mr. Phoenix about the recipes and inspirations behind his unique retro food fetishes, and here’s what he had to say.