Alton Brown Biography
Food Network Shows: Good Eats, Iron Chef America, Feasting on Asphalt, Feasting on Waves, Next Iron Chef
Alton Brown’s flair in the kitchen developed early with guidance from his mother and grandmother, a budding culinary talent he skillfully used later “as a way to get dates” in college. Switching gears as an adult, Alton spent a decade working as a cinematographer and video director, but realized that he spent all his time between shoots watching cooking shows, which he found to be dull and uninformative. Convinced that he could do better, Alton left the film business and moved to Vermont to train at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT. Soon after, Alton tapped all of his training to create Good Eats, a smart and entertaining food show that blends wit with wisdom, history with pop culture, and science with common cooking sense. Alton not only writes and produces the shows but also stars in each offbeat episode, which premiered in 1999 on Food Network.
Alton Brown’s first book, “I’m Just Here for the Food” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2002) won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Cookbook in the Reference category, and was one of the bestselling cookbooks of 2002.
“Alton Brown’s Gear for Your Kitchen,” his long-awaited homage to tools and gadgetry, was published by STC in September 2003 and was nominated for both a James Beard Award for Best Cookbook in the Tools & Techniques category and an IACP Cookbook Award in the Food Reference/Technical category. Gear is an essential guide to all the “hardware” you need in the kitchen packed with practical advice and tips, this book takes a look at what’s needed and what isn’t, what works and what doesn’t.
Alton’s third book, on baking, “I’m Just Here for More Food”, hit bookstores in November 2004 and has since gone on to become a New York Times Best Seller.
His fourth book, “Feasting on Asphalt,” released March 2008, documents his motorcycle ride from New Orleans to the headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota and complimented the TV mini-series of the same name that debuted two seasons in 2006 and 2007. Along the way he and his crew met the people and sampled the food that embody our American road-food heritage, and explored our collective history as a population on the move. In 2008 Food Network premiered Alton’s, Feasting on Waves following the format of his original series Feasting on Asphalt. The crew traded their motorcycles for catamarans to travel the Caribbean – sampling the islands’ food culture and meeting the people who create it.
The first in a three-book series on Alton’s award-winning television show–Good Eats–“Good Eats: The Early Years” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), was published in October of 2009 landing on The New York Times Bestseller list for 13 weeks. Showcasing everything Alton Brown fans have ever wanted to know about his award-winning television show, the “Good Eats” series is chock-full of behind-the-scenes photographs and trivia, science-of-food information, cooking tips, and—of course—recipes, Alton released his second of the series, “Good Eats 2: The Middle Years” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) on September 27, 2010. The second book in the series also landed on The New York Times bestseller list and remains there today, 8 weeks and counting. The third volume in the series, “Good Eats 3: The Later Years” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) is slated to be published in October 2011.
Good Eats was recognized as a Peabody Award winner in April of 2007, a distinguished prize presented for excellence in broadcast news, education and entertainment. Food Network airs the series approximately sixteen times each week. Hosted by Alton Brown and now in its 15th season, Good Eats combines pop culture, comedy, kitchen science, and plain good eating. For more information, visit the Food Network website at www.foodnetwork.com/goodeats.
Alton appears regularly as the resident food historian, scientist and commentator on Food Network series Iron Chef America and is the host/judge on reality series Next Iron Chef in its fourth season in October 2011. Based on the Japanese cult classic (originally produced by Fuji Television) that launched on Food Network six years ago, Iron Chef America the series pits some of America’s favorite chefs against the inspired food wizardry of American Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora and Next Iron Chef winners, Michael Symon, Jose Garces and Marc Forgione.
Iron Chef America: Supreme Cuisine, a game for Nintendo Wii and DS, hit stores in December 2008, with Alton doing his commentary and providing background information on the various ingredients and tasks.
In recent news Alton was recognized as a 2011 James Beard Award winner for TV Food Personality/Host for “Good Eats”
Brown lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and daughter.