Alton Brown

Alton Crawford Brown Jr.[1] (born July 30, 1962) is an American television personality, food show presenter, chef, author, actor, cinematographer, and musician. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats that ran for 14 seasons, host of the miniseries Feasting on Asphalt and Feasting on Waves, and host and main commentator on Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. Brown is a best-selling author of several books on food and cooking. A recap series titled "Good Eats Reloaded" aired on Cooking Channel starting in October 2018, and a true sequel series, Good Eats: The Return, premiered on August 25, 2019, on Food Network.[2][3]

Alton Brown
Alton Brown Hopelink 4 (cropped).JPG
Brown speaking at a Hopelink fundraiser event in 2015
Born
Alton Crawford Brown Jr.

(1962-07-30) July 30, 1962 (age 58)
Education
Spouse(s)DeAnna Brown (div, 2015)
Elizabeth Ingram (m. 2018)
Children1
Culinary career
Cooking style

Early lifeEdit

Alton Brown was born July 30, 1962, in Los Angeles, California.[4][5] Brown's father, Alton Brown Sr., was a media executive in Cleveland, Georgia; owner of radio station WRWH; and publisher of the newspaper White County News.[6][7] He died on Alton's last day of sixth grade from an apparent suicide.[8] In the late 1980s and early 1990s, after studying film at the University of Georgia, Brown was the cinematographer for several music videos, including "The One I Love" by R.E.M.[9][10]

CareerEdit

Brown was dissatisfied with the quality of cooking shows airing on American television, so he set out to produce his own show. In preparation, he enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute, graduating in 1997.[11][12] Brown says[13] he was a poor science student in high school and college, but he focused on the subject to understand the underlying processes of cooking. He is outspoken in his shows[14] about his dislike of single-purpose kitchen utensils and equipment such as garlic presses and margarita machines, although he adapts a few traditionally single-purpose devices, such as rice cookers and melon ballers, into multipurpose tools.[15]

TV seriesEdit

Good EatsEdit

The pilot for Good Eats first aired in July 1998 on the PBS member TV station WTTW in Chicago. Food Network picked up the show in July 1999. Many of the Good Eats episodes[16] feature Brown building makeshift cooking devices in order to point out that many of the devices sold at conventional "cooking" stores are simply fancified hardware store items.Good Eats was nominated for the Best TV Food Journalism Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2000.[17] The show was also awarded a 2006 Peabody Award.[18] In May 2011, Alton Brown announced an end to Good Eats after 14 seasons.[19] The final episode, "Turn on the Dark", aired February 10, 2012.

On Alton's 2017 book tour, he stated that Good Eats would have a sequel[20] and that it would be released to the internet in 2018. This was changed in late 2018 when Brown made arrangements with The Cooking Channel to air "revised" versions of several episodes with new recipes entitled Good Eats Reloaded, in which he stated new episodes of Good Eats are also in the works. Thirteen episodes of Good Eats Reloaded aired late winter and early spring 2019, and were added to the Good Eats reruns on The Cooking Channel. It was announced on June 5, 2019, that the new show will be called Good Eats Returns; it premiered on the Food Network on Sunday, August 25.[21]

Good Eats Reloaded and Good Eats: The ReturnEdit

Brown relaunched the show in two versions: as Good Eats Reloaded on Cooking Channel (which updates, reworks and adds to original Good Eats episodes), and on Food Network as Good Eats: The Return in August 2019 (all-new episodes). Both the Reloaded series and the Return series are said to be returning in 2020. New episodes of Reloaded premiered in April 2020. New Return episodes are currently in the writing process and were planned to be filming over the summer, but may be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[22][failed verification]

Iron Chef AmericaEdit

In 2004, Brown appeared on Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters. This was the second attempt to adapt the Japanese cooking show Iron Chef to American television (the first being UPN's Iron Chef USA, which featured William Shatner). Brown served as the expert commentator, a modified version of the role played by Dr. Yukio Hattori in the original show. When the show became a series, Brown began serving as the play-by-play announcer, with Kevin Brauch as kitchen reporter. Brown also served as the host for all five seasons of the spin-off The Next Iron Chef.

Feasting on AsphaltEdit

Brown's third series, Feasting on Asphalt, explores the history of eating on the move. Brown and his crew crossed the United States via motorcycle in a four-part miniseries about the history of road food. Brown samples food all along his travel route. He includes a "history of food" segment documenting famous road trips and interviews many of the foodies he meets en route.

The series premiered on Food Network on July 29, 2006. The miniseries was picked up for a second run, Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run, in 2007. Six episodes were filmed during April and May 2007. The episodes trace the majority of the length of the Mississippi River through Brown's travels. The second run of episodes began airing on Food Network on August 4, 2007. The third season uses the title Feasting on Waves and has Brown traveling the Caribbean by boat in search of local cuisine.[citation needed]

Cutthroat KitchenEdit

In 2013, Brown began hosting the cooking competition series Cutthroat Kitchen on the Food Network. In each episode, four chefs are each given $25,000 with which to bid on items that can be used to hinder their opponents' cooking, such as confiscating ingredients or forcing them to use unorthodox tools and equipment. Three chefs are eliminated one by one, and the winner keeps his/her unspent money as the day's prize. The series premiered on August 11, 2013.[23]

ToursEdit

The Edible Inevitable TourEdit

In October 2013, Brown launched "Alton Brown Live: The Edible Inevitable Tour," his first national tour visiting 46 cities through March 2014. The show included stand-up comedy, talk show antics, a multimedia lecture, live music and "extreme" food experimentation [24] After a hiatus of several months while Brown worked on his Food Network shows, the tour resumed in October 2014 and concluded on April 4, 2015, in Houston, Texas, after visiting more than 60 cities.[25]

Eat Your ScienceEdit

Brown mounted a second tour show, Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science, in 2016. The show toured through the fall of 2017. All totaled, Brown's shows have played over 225 dates including Broadway. Both his tours have included "large, unusual and probably dangerous" food demonstrations, audience participation and even food songs performed by Brown and his combo. Brown has been quoted as saying his final tour will launch in fall of 2020.[26]

AwardsEdit

Brown is the recipient of two James Beard Awards. He won the Best Book award in 2003 for his first book, I'm Just Here for the Food, and the Broadcast Media Award in 2011 for TV Food Personality/Host. He has also been nominated four additional times.[27]

Other appearancesEdit

Brown served as a mentor on Season 8 of The Next Food Network Star alongside Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis. During Season 8, each mentor selected and mentored a team of five finalists. Alton's finalist, Justin Warner, was the Season 8 winner; however, Brown will not be producing Warner's show.[28]

Brown appeared on the Travel Channel show The Layover with Anthony Bourdain which focused on the city of Atlanta in 2013. In the episode Bourdain takes Brown to the Clermont Lounge.[29]

Brown guest-starred as the "Guest Bailiff" and "Expert Witness" in John Hodgman's comedy/court show podcast Judge John Hodgman.[30][31]

In October 2017, Brown was featured on the Food Network television show Chopped in a five-part series called "Alton Brown's Challenge."

Brown voices Yum Labouché in Big Hero 6: The Series. The character is a judge for an underground cooking competition.[32]

Brown appeared on episode 196 of MythBusters titled "Food Fables".

CommercialsEdit

Brown has done commercial work for General Electric products,[33] including five infomercials touting the benefits of GE refrigerators, washers and dryers, water purifiers, Trivection ovens, and dishwashers.[34] The infomercials are produced in the Good Eats style, employing the use of unusual camera angles, informational text, props, visual aids, scientific explanations, and the same method of delivery. These infomercials are distributed to wholesale distributors of appliances/plumbing devices.

Brown has also aided GE in developing a new type of oven. He was initially called by GE to help their engineers learn more about the effects of heat on food;[35] that grew into an active cooperation to develop GE's Trivection oven.[36]

Brown has promoted Colgate toothpaste,[37] Dannon yogurt, Welch's, Shun knives, and Heifer International.[citation needed] In 2010, he endorsed kosher salt use in a campaign for Cargill.[38] In 2020, he began doing commercials for Healthy Choice's line of low-fat, low-calorie, vegetable-based "Power Dressings", [39]

TwitterEdit

In 2012, Brown gained popularity by pioneering the use of humorous "Analog Tweets," wherein he posts pictures of hand-drawn Twitter responses on Post-it notes which he has stuck to his computer monitor.[40]

The Alton BrowncastEdit

On June 28, 2013, Alton Brown joined the Nerdist Podcast Network with his podcast The Alton Browncast, covering food news, men's style, music and other topics.[41] Through February 15, 2017, 68 episodes have been produced.[42]

Pantry Raid and Quarantine QuitchenEdit

With the COVID-19 quarantine in 2020 and the subsequent delays in production on Season 16 of Good Eats (Season 2 of "The Return"), Alton took to YouTube to make two new online cooking series.

Pantry Raid was a series of once-weekly shorts (usually released on Fridays or Saturdays) for making palatable foods while staying safe at home. The episodes were filmed in the Good Eats test kitchens at Brain Food Productions, and consist of Alton and a cameraman as the only personnel onsite.[43]

Quarantine Quitchen started as a single livestream titled "The Browns Make Dinner", referring to Alton and his wife Elizabeth making dinner at their loft apartment in Georgia. After the success of the first such "episode", the once-weekly series is now released live every Tuesday.[44]

Personal lifeEdit

Brown lives in Marietta, Georgia. He and his former wife DeAnna, an executive producer on Good Eats, divorced in 2015.[45] DeAnna and Alton have one daughter, Zoey (born in 1999).[46] A few members of his extended family appeared on Good Eats (such as his late grandmother, Ma Mae, his mother, and daughter, Zoey, who is known on the show as "Alton's Spawn"), but most of his "family" portrayed on the series were actors or members of the show's production crew.[47][48]

Brown and Atlanta restaurant designer Elizabeth Ingram became engaged in 2018.[49] According to Brown's Instagram account, as of September 2018, he and Ingram had married, on a boat in Charleston, South Carolina.[50] Brown and Elizabeth Ingram have two dogs: a terrier named Francis Luther and a Boston terrier/pug mix that the couple rescued in 2018 named Scabigail Van Buren.

Brown was once a motorcycling enthusiast,[36] although he no longer owns one. He gave up motorcycling by 2012, citing issues of slowing reflexes and safety.[citation needed] In a recent Quarantine Quitchen episode, Brown stated that he currently owns a 1980 BMW R60.[citation needed] Additionally, Brown was an airplane pilot, and was featured in the aviation magazine AOPA Flight Training.[51] He owned two planes, a Cessna 206 and a Cessna 414.[52]

Brown enjoys vintage watches and wore a different watch for every season of Good Eats; this was used in production to quickly identify which season a clip is from. When his watch broke down midseason,[which?] he continued to wear the broken timepiece to maintain this system. Twenty years after the Omega Seamaster watch his father left him was stolen, Brown bought it from an eBay seller and had it restored.[53]

Brown changed his eating habits in 2009 in order to lose weight and become healthier, losing 50 pounds (23 kg) over the course of nine months.[54]

Brown discussed his Christian beliefs in a 2010 interview with Eater. He said at the time:

I'm not a spooky snake handler because I live in Georgia and I'm Christian… that I believe in the Bible, that I travel with the Bible, that I read the Bible every day. I'm still me. I'm still a guy doing a job. I find, actually, that people ask me a lot about it. I don't hit people over the head with the Bible ... I still feel a funny little tinge in my stomach when I'm out to dinner with my wife and daughter in New York. We'll go to dinner and we'll be sitting around the table and we'll say grace. You know what? People are going to stare at you. I used to feel really self-conscious. But I've gotten to a point where I think, nah, I'm not going to feel bad about that. I'm not going to apologize about that.[55]

Brown said in a December 2014 interview in Time that he "could no longer abide the Southern Baptist Convention's indoctrination of children and its anti-gay stance" adding that he is now "searching for a new belief system."[56]

In November 2020, Brown declared on Twitter that he has almost always voted Republican, but that he supported Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, as well as Democrats running in U.S. Senate races in Georgia.[57]

ControversyEdit

In November 2020, Brown referenced the Holocaust flippantly in a tweet. He apologized the next day, saying on his social media, "It was not a reference I made for humorous effect but rather to reflect how deeply frightened I am for our country. It was a very poor use of judgement and in poor taste."[58][59]

BibliographyEdit

  • I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking (ISBN 1-58479-083-0, 2002)
  • Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen (ISBN 1-58479-296-5, 2003)
  • I'm Just Here for the Food: Kitchen User's Manual (ISBN 1-58479-298-1, 2003)
  • I'm Just Here for the Food: Cook's Notes (ISBN 1-58479-299-X, 2003)
  • I'm Just Here for More Food: Food × Mixing + Heat = Baking (ISBN 1-58479-341-4, 2004)
  • I'm Just Here for the Food: Version 2.0 (ISBN 1-58479-559-X, 2006)
  • Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run (ISBN 1-58479-681-2, 2008)
  • Good Eats: The Early Years (ISBN 1-58479-795-9, 2009)
  • Good Eats 2: The Middle Years (ISBN 1-58479-857-2, 2010)
  • Good Eats 3: The Later Years (ISBN 1-58479-903-X, 2011)
  • Good Eats: Two-Volume Set - Episodes 1 Through 164 (ISBN 978-0-81-099822-3, 2011)
  • Good Eats: Three-Volume Set - The Complete Episodes (ISBN 978-1-61-769105-8, 2013)
  • EveryDayCook (ISBN 978-1-101-88571-0, 2016)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Alton Brown Interview". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "Alton Brown on Facebook Watch" – via www.facebook.com.
  3. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (September 1, 2019). "Bristling with nerdy energy, Alton Brown's Good Eats is back — and not a moment too soon". Vox. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  4. ^ "Alton Brown Celebrity". TV Guide. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Parker, Virginia (April 2007). "Alton Brown Steaks His Claim". Atlanta. Atlanta Magazine: 80ff. ISSN 0004-6701. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  6. ^ Parker, Virginia (April 2007). "Alton Brown Steaks His Claim". Atlanta. pp. 96–97. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  7. ^ Grimes, Millard B. (1985). The Last Linotype: The Story of Georgia and Its Newspapers Since World War II. Mercer University Press. p. 504. ISBN 9780865541900.
  8. ^ Severson, Kim (September 26, 2016). "Alton Brown, Showman of Food TV, Pulls Back the Curtain". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  9. ^ Melancon, Merritt (May 12, 2010). "Brown talks TV, food, R.E.M." Online Athens. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  10. ^ "Alton Brown Biography". biography.com. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  11. ^ Belden, Patrick. "Good Eats Music". Belden Music. Archived from the original on June 26, 2008. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
  12. ^ "Profile: Alton Brown". 2005. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
  13. ^ "The Food Scientist: 20 Things Foodies Don't Know About Alton Brown". TheRecipe. December 17, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  14. ^ Alton Brown reviews Amazon's dumbest kitchen gadgets. The Daily Dot. December 10, 2015. Retrieved August 24, 2019 – via Youtube.
  15. ^ Rothman, Wilson (August 27, 2009). "Alton Brown: Kitchen Gadget Judgment Calls – Yea or Nay?". Gizmodo. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  16. ^ Good Eats, retrieved April 3, 2019
  17. ^ "Broadcast Awards". James Beard Foundation. 2000. Retrieved June 29, 2008.
  18. ^ "Complete List of 2006 Peabody Award Winners". 2007. Archived from the original on June 6, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  19. ^ Cavendish, Steve. "Alton Brown calls an end to 'Good Eats'". Chicago Tribune.
  20. ^ Ferst, Devra. "Alton Brown's 'Good Eats' Will Make a Triumphant Return: Get ready to be schooled in the kitchen". Tasting Table. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  21. ^ "Alton Brown's Series Good Eats Is Finally Returning to the Food Network". PEOPLE.com.
  22. ^ VanDerWeff, Emily Todd. "Bristling with nerdy energy, Alton Brown's Good Eats is back - and not a moment too soon". Vox. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  23. ^ "No-Mercy Culinary Antics to Take Over Alton Brown's Cutthroat Kitchen". Food Network.
  24. ^ Debbi Snook (September 18, 2013). "Food Network star Alton Brown coming to Akron for first national tour", The Plain Dealer, Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  25. ^ "Client Alton Brown's Live Tour Extends Route, Adds 16 Cities".
  26. ^ Filloon, Whitney. "Alton Brown Slayed Broadway with 'Eat Your Science'". Eater. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  27. ^ "Alton Brown". James Beard Foundation.
  28. ^ "Alton Brown | Mediaite".
  29. ^ Rodney Ho (January 14, 2013). "Clermont Lounge featured on Jan. 14's 'The Layover' with Anthony Bourdain on Travel Channel". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2013.
  30. ^ Justin Morissette (March 28, 2012). "Judge John Hodgman Episode 53: Cannery Row". Maximum Fun. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  31. ^ MaxFun Intern (April 10, 2013). "Judge John Hodgman Episode 105: To the Victor Goes the Spoiled". Maximum Fun. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
  32. ^ Hmmert, Kylie (April 24, 2018). "Big Hero 6: The Series Launching June 9 on Disney Channel!". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  33. ^ "AltonBrown.com". AltonBrown.com. July 29, 2006. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  34. ^ "GE Innovations with Alton Brown". Archived from the original on October 24, 2007.
  35. ^ Lauterbach, David. "Brian's Belly: Alton Brown". Briansbelly.com. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  36. ^ a b Alton Brown Archived March 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine at Roadfly magazine
  37. ^ Colgate Optic White Whitening Toothpaste with Alton Brown. YouTube (Commercial). September 9, 2019. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  38. ^ Moss, Michael (May 29, 2010). "The Hard Sell on Salt". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  39. ^ Alton's initial commercial for HEALTHY CHOICE Power Dressings.
  40. ^ Craig, Elise (September 19, 2012). "Saucy or Stale? Alton Brown Defies Twitter With Weird Post-it Notes". Wired. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. ^ The Alton Browncast Episode 68.
  43. ^ PANTRY RAID series on YouTube
  44. ^ QUARANTINE QUITCHEN series on YouTube
  45. ^ "Report: Alton Brown finalizes divorce". AJC.
  46. ^ "Alton Brown Biography". Tv.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  47. ^ "The Family Tree". Goodeatsfanpage.com. August 27, 2010. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  48. ^ "Alton Brown". MutantNation. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007.
  49. ^ "The scabs-to-riches tale of Alton Brown's new rescue dog, "Scabigail"". atlantamagazine.com. June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  50. ^ "Alton Brown on Instagram: "Yeah, we wore sneakers. #mybouquetwasabloodymary"". Instagram.
  51. ^ "AltonBrown.com". AltonBrown.com. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
  52. ^ Murphy, Kate (July 4, 2011). "iPads Replacing Pilots' Paper Manuals". The New York Times.
  53. ^ "Alton Brown's Other Obsession: Vintage Watches". Men's Journal. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  54. ^ Brown, Alton (January 4, 2010). "Live and Let Diet". Good Eats. Food Network. Archived from the original on January 7, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  55. ^ Joshua David Stein (September 28, 2010). "Alton Brown on Being a Vessel, Next Iron Chef, and His Faith – Eaterrogation – Eater National". Eater.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2012. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  56. ^ Jack Dickey (December 15, 2014). "Existential Stew Touring TV chef Alton Brown hunts down the recipe for joy". Time Magazine. p. 64.
  57. ^ "Alton Brown's Twitter account". Twitter. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  58. ^ Oliver, David (November 11, 2020). "Food Network star Alton Brown apologizes for Holocaust tweet: 'In poor taste'". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  59. ^ Brown, Alton (verified account) [@altonbrown] (November 11, 2020). "I apologize for the flippant reference I made to the Holocaust in my tweet last night" (Tweet). Archived from the original on November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020 – via Twitter.

External linksEdit