I’ve pretty much always lived less than an hour away from Six Flags Great Adventure and I’d never visited the park during Fright Fest. That all changed last Saturday, a frightfully cold and rainy day, as good a day as any to kick off the Peptocopter tour. We did not dress warmly enough for the occasion but thankfully the Pepto booth offered fans a chance to warm up with bright pink blankets, coats, gloves and hats.
The Peptocopter tour will continue on to Six Flags Great America on October 18; Six Flags Magic Mountain, the Thrill Capital of the World, on October 25; and make a final stop at Six Flags Over Texas on November 1.
We were there to taste the new Frank’n Bacon Funnel Dog – which Frankenfood stars Tony Luke, Jr. and Josh Capon developed specifically for Fright Fest. This treat will set you back about ten dollars but it will fill you up – and if you indulge a little too much there is always Pepto to help save the day.
Emma approved! #peptocopter @pepto View on Instagram
The highlight of my day was having the chance to sit down and chat with the two famous chefs who were both amazingly down to earth and friendly. Here’s the interview:
What was the inspiration behind the Frank’n Bacon Funnel Dog?
Josh: It was important to tie in the Six Flag Adventure in coming up with our Frankenfood. Funnel cakes are one of my favorite things.
Tony: Hot dogs are one of my favorite things.
Josh: And candied bacon is one of Tony’s favorite things! We knew we had a winner with the Frank’n Bacon Funnelcake Dog. A little sweet and a little savory and after 20 of them you’ll be screaming for Pepto.
Tony: It’s very easy to carry around
Josh: Tony likes food on sticks.
Tony: There’s not enough food on a stick!
Other than cheesesteaks, sandwiches, bacon and hot dogs – What are your favorite foods?
Tony: My favorite food of all time is pizza.
Josh: Pizza! I know Tony very well and I know he likes pizza.
What about Fall foods?
Josh: I think with the fall weather it’s nice to get into braised meats and vegetables. Not just foods but cooking methods. You go from grilling in the summertime to a little bit more braising into the fall and winter for heavier flavors.
Tony: Roasted chicken maybe for me, I love roasted chicken and sweet potatoes.
What are your favorite cooking tools?
Josh: I think a great pepper mill is often overlooked. When I go to a person’s house and they don’t have a peppermill chances are I will send them one. I love a good microplane, a good peeler is important, sharp knives are always important.
Me: What kind of knives?
Josh: Japanese and German knives. You’ve got to keep a good blade on them, a good edge.
What NYC restaurants do you eat at?
Josh: I don’t eat at any other restaurants except for mine (We all laugh). How could you ask me such a question? The greatest thing about New York right now is that there are so many restaurants in New York City and I’m sure Philly too that it’s really what you’re in the mood for at that time. Osteria Morini with Chef Michael White, Aria, Lafayette. We’re very lucky to live in such great cities.
When did you know you wanted to become chefs?
Josh: I was 14 when i tried to hard boil an egg in the microwave. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it but the door blows open and the egg goes flying everywhere. My mom came home and I was holed up in the corner of the room a little bit shaking and she says “what did you do?” and I told her and she took out the manual and the first thing it said was do not try and hard boil an egg in the microwave. But for me every job I had since 14 I was a dishwasher, a line cook and then I went to the University of Maryland and I didn’t really find a major that inspired me and that’s when my parents took me on a tour of Johnson Wales Culinary School and something just clicked. This is what I want to do with my life. Tony?
Tony: I’ve always been around food so it’s not like something that I even knew I wanted to do. My father was always cooking, my brother was always cooking so growing up even as a small child everyone was hussling -you know I’m Italian- so my grandmother was cooking four course meals at 11 o’clock at night for whoever wanted to come over. So food was just a part of my life and then as I got older I grew to love the simplicity of food. Italian dishes are simple and yet amazing. And then as I got older when I was 24 I opened up my first restaurant and it was literally trial by error. I learned so much for other chefs and then when I got into the sandwich business I loved it just as much. And both things take work and dedication. There is a lot of technique that goes into making cheesesteaks that makes one place better than the other.
Josh: Important occasions take place around the table. Food is the one thing that keeps us all together.
Tony: It’s the one place that no matter what your differences are you truly bring the walls down. I always say that big important negotiations should happen around food.
What is the reason behind the Pepto Bismol partnership?
Josh: Being a chef I’m constantly tasting different foods and after a while it catches up with you a little bit and with this product you’ve got fast relief and then you can go on with the rest of your day.
Tony: For me it’s easy. Growing up I only had Pepto Bismol. That was the go to for an upset stomach because look – everyone overindulges and that’s usually the first thing I grab, so to be a part of that was great for me because I truly believe in this product.
When did you have your first cheesesteak?
Tony: Oh my God my first? I want to say I was about 11 years old when I walked up to Pat’s. The originator of the cheese steak was Pat’s and then came Geno’s but I always went to both, I never just went to one. The biggest question I always get is cheese wiz or regular cheese. I grew up with wiz. My favorite steak is a cheesesteak with wiz cheese and fried onions.
Josh: Wit Wiz!
Tony: No it’s not wit wiz! It’s wit onions – it’s wiz wit! The whole show I was trying to get him to get this down…
Josh: My first cheesesteak was really a Tony Luke cheesesteak. Right after my buddy took me there, he took me to Pat’s and Geno’s afterward and we tried one of each. I happen to love Tony’s and I happen to love his roast pork sandwich more than any cheesesteak.
Tony: The secret is we’re all friends. It’s the people that think we’re sworn enemies but we all go out together.
Did you ever think your food would become so iconic?
Tony: My father always taught us to do the best that you can and always take pride in what you do. We did things a little different. We don’t pre-cook the steak so everything is cooked to order and we bake our own bread. You wait longer at Tony Luke’s for your sandwich. I tell people to go and try them all and choose the one you like best. As long as you’re enjoying your sandwich and having a good time in Philadelphia that’s all I care about. There’s plenty for everyone.
Who are the most famous people or favorite customers that have come into your restaurants?
Tony: Oh my God, you’ll be here an hour. There’s so many to list from Gene Hackman to – oh my God you go blank. Baseball players, football players, singers, song writers…
Josh: I get a ton of professional athletes and musicians being in downtown New York but last night one of my favorites came in by the name of Robert Plant – the lead singer of Led Zeppelin so that for me was big.
Tony: It’s a great complement to what you do because we work so hard to build a business and it feels good when people in general – not just celebrities – especially when the economy is so tough and people don’t have a lot to spend that when I see someone at the window they are the celebrity to me. I don’t exist if they don’t come and they can spend their money anywhere.
Josh: You have to give people a reason to come back. There are a number of cheesesteak shops and thousands of restaurants in New York City and you have to provide that personal touch.
Giants/Yankees? (pointing to Josh) Eagles/Phillies? (pointing to Tony) – Do you argue about sports?
Tony: I don’t really argue with him, he’s wrong and that’s it.
Josh: That’s what sports are all about.
Josh: We want to thank everyone at Six Flags. It’s been a great day.
Tony: We’ve added one more thrill to the thrills at Great Adventure!
Josh: Well said, Tony Luke!
I got to interview these two awesome guys @tonylukejr @chefcapon thank you so much! #peptocopter View on Instagram
There was a fun game set up for the event where fans had the chance to catch a parachuting box of Pepto Bismol, the perfect antidote for a sour stomach. Josh and Tony could not resist. ;)
Pepto-Bismol is the only leading brand that can provide soothing relief for five different stomach symptoms: nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach and diarrhea. Manufactured by Procter & Gamble for adults and children 12 years of age and older, Pepto-Bismol is available in multiple forms (regular strength liquid, maximum strength liquid, chewables, caplets and To-Go Cherry Chewables) and flavors (Peppermint with InstaCool, Cherry, and Original wintergreen). The brand also offers Children’s Pepto Antacid for children 2 years of age and older.
My family and I received car service, park admission and food vouchers to attend the event sponsored by Pepto Bismol.