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Leather - GQ - Leica0051-editAlton 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 commercial 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 north to train at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT. Soon after, Alton tapped all of his experience 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 wrote, produced, and hosted the show for 13 years for The Food Network.

Brown has written seven books including “I’m Just Here for the Food” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2002) which won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Cookbook in the Reference category, in 2002 and the massive three volume companion to Good Eats, each of which made the New York Times best seller list.

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. In 2011, Brown was awarded his second James Beard award, this time for outstanding television host.  Cooking Channel airs the series approximately sixteen times each week.

Brown’s newest show for Food Network is Cutthroat Kitchen, a slightly twisted game show that Brown refers to as “evilicious”.  He has also mounted a traveling road show called the “Edible Inevitable Tour” which will be launching on its first national tour in the fall of 2013.

Brown lives near Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and daughter.  He likes flying airplanes, riding motorcycles and can hold his own on both guitar and saxophone.  He has a Nobel acceptance speech all ready and in his wallet.

Food Network Shows: Good EatsIron Chef AmericaFeasting on Asphalt, Feasting on Waves, Next Iron Chef, Food Network Star, Cutthroat Kitchen


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  1. 1
    Ross Statham

    Thanks for a very interesting and entertaining series of shows– my wife and I also live in metro Atlanta, and I noticed that you took your private pilot “solo” ride on June 25, 2007– two days before I took mine in Gainesville, Georgia. Cheers!

  2. 2

    I just watched the Good Eats Turns 10 special on Netflix, and wondered about Mr. Brown’s sister, Marsha. I could swear I’ve seen her on TV before, but neither his IMDB, Wikipedia article, nor any Googling of “Marsha Brown,” results in who she is beyond possibly a restauranteur.

    If she’s his sister and not a character for the show, would it hurt to give a short mention somewhere? I think I need to rewatch that episode’s credits to see if she was at least recognized in them.

  3. 3
    Dr. Richard Periut

    I’m wondering when Alton is going to do an episode on Cuban cuisine? After all, he did one on Indian, and it’s one of my favorite recipes which I often cook. I would start with Ropa Vieja (but made with veal brisket instead of beef; more delicate.) Classic Cuban black beans. Rabo Encendido (Oxtail Stew Cuban style.) and finally Moros & Cristianos (Moors and Christians) which is White Rice Mixed with Black Beans. As a side, Tostones, and/or Platanos Maduros Fritos: Fried green plantains which he did a show that included that, and fried ripe plantains. There are dozens of more, but these are the most common that we Cuban Americans like to eat. Keep up you genius Alton, your Good Eats shows are such an immense pleasure to watch, and one of the most educational! God bless you and your family!

  4. 4

    Every time I watch Good Eats, I’ve thought, “I bet he’s a Christian.” I did a search online and it would seem to be true. Thank you for being the kind of Christian that reveals God in his life without having to say a word about it. Now that’s class.

  5. 5

    Good eats and Feasting on Asphalt are my favorite shows.
    I’m sooo bummed I can’t go to your road show here in Cincinnati. I’ve wanted to see the show for a year. Can you stop by the Kroger General office on Friday so atleast I get to meet you? It’s only a couple of blocks from the theatre?

  6. 6

    Just wanted to say what a HUGE fan I am! I have been told that I am ‘borderline annoyingly methodical’ which I’m not sure how big of a compliment that is but anyway… Good Eats is the exact show for me. I learn more than 1 thing every time I watch (understatement) & I now have a list of things to try in the kitchen to keep things (my family) diverse, tasty and happy. Thanks so much for the inspiration and know how! I just wish I could ‘jam’ sometime with you, musically, although culinar-ily would be fun. I have been playing guitar for around 15 years and recently have been experimenting with mandolin and banjo. I am a midwesterner btw ;)

  7. 7

    Hello Chef Brown,

    I am 9 years old and love to cook! I like to watch Cutthroat Kitchen and had a couple of ideas I’d like to share with you.

    I thought why not have one of your contestants roller blade the entire round. It can be used on any dish.

    I also had another thought to make one of your contestants use a tiny spoon and cheese knife the entire round – no other utensils.

    If you like the ideas just email me back.


  8. 8
    Kristen Doogan

    Mr. Brown, you are my go to chef for recipes that include food I actually have in my house. But now I need some extra help in the knife department. My husband has requested a good set of knives and I confess I don’t know where to start. I’m guessing the kinds of knives you use aren’t the kind you can pick up in the kitchen gadget aisle at Target. What would you say are the most important knives an at home chef should have? I am fully prepared to spend some money to get quality pieces and I do realize that whatever I choose will need to be cared for and sharpened by a pro…not just thrown in a drawer and used all nimbly pimbly. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  9. 9

    Started the Alton Brown non-diet eating plan a little two weeks ago and have noticed three things…..
    1. I feel better
    2. My weekly food bill dropped significantly since I have been cooking at home.
    3. I’ve actually lost a few pounds….Wow!!
    Thanks for screwing my head on right and reinforcing the non-diet / life style approach to eating healthy and taking off the unwanted pounds.
    Alton, your are my hero!!!! Love the show(s) and all that you represent with you zany but brilliant approach to all that you do. Keep up the great work!!

  10. 10

    I am getting ready to redo my kitchen and I remember an episode Alton Brown did where the KitchenAid mixer had its own cabinet. I MUST have one of those. Can anyone direct me to that episode (a few years back) where I can review how this was done? Thank you!

  11. 11

    Hey Alton, what ever happened to Steve Rooney a.k.a. the Mad French Chef? Why’d he just disappear from the Food Network? I have to say, it must have been almost 15 years now, but I miss him.

  12. 12
    Len Findley

    My wife and I are huge fans. She has seen every good eats and I cannot get enough of ck. We saw your show in pittsburgh. How can I get her an autographed copy of your book?

  13. 13

    On your podcast, can you discuss cooks tasting their food and then putting the tasting spoon back in the dish. It seems to be much more common on TV these days. I realize there is probably not a big chance of coming down with something, but cooks are always talking food safety for surfaces, gloves, freezing, washing hands, etc. This seems inconsistent and is disgusting to those of us who don’t believe in double dipping. Why not advocate good food tasting practices and enforce it on the network? Cheers

  14. 15

    Hi there. I just watched “Good Eats” for the first time in many years on Netflix and I was left feeling very thankful for it and AB. After watching the show I was left with the realization that most of my techniques, quirks, and style of cooking are based on Alton’s ways of operating. What is second nature to me now had to be learned and observed and practiced. As a know-nothing, 22 year-old spoiled child bride I was intimidated and afraid of the kitchen. In my early marriage I watched Alton cook and explain techniques and the science of cooking, and as a result I was motivated to cook and prepare food for my husband and growing family. I still cook every night for our family using AB’s recipes and methods. Thanks for teaching the clueless of the world and giving them confidence to cook.

  15. 17
    Ken Rundle

    Hi.. I’m trying hard to get Alton’s autograph?
    I live in Alaska so I can’t get to any of his appearances. Any help would be thankfully appreciated! .. :-D

  16. 18

    As an adult with A.D.D., I had difficulty working in the kitchen cooking pretty much anything that involved multi-tasking. It has been a fun joke amongst family members and the folks at the security company, ADT, who handle the smoke alarm calls. Seriously. An ADT customer service representative chuckled and asked if I had burnt another meal (with other reps chuckling in background — they must have a database with notes about their customers) when I had called to have them notify the fire department that there was no emergency…again. I was a DISASTER in the kitchen. My kids understandably would balk after politely trying my numerous attempts at culinary greatness, my ex-husband can recall only liked my hot dog sandwiches as a highlight in our former marriage and my boyfriend flatly refused to even take a single bite of a broccoli quiche. The dog would not eat my eggs. Moving on as you get the picture. Fast forward to 2014 and my father has reached the age of 92. He has always said that he does not like to eat, but loves to dine. We would eat out frequently to appease his palette but over the last several months we have had to make financial adjustments that do not include dining out 4 to 5 days a week. I have always found cookbooks to be daunting and assume this is the A.D.D. I knew that my father had a favorite dish of seared scallops at local Washington D.C. restaurant, Jaleo and during a moment of insanity, decided to look up a video for preparing seared scallops. Your video popped up and I watched it over and over thinking, “I can totally do this.” I decided not to mention this to ANYONE for fear of being talked out of it. I made a trip to Whole Foods with my list and told me Dad to stay out of the kitchen until I was done. He had a worried look on his face but vacated to his Turner Movie Classics. I played your video a few more times, took a deep breath and fired up the skillet. My heart was racing as I carefully watched for the flip time, no wanting to undercook or turn dinner to rubber. I knocked the seared scallops out of the ballpark. They were like dreamy pillows of delicious buttery goodness. The texture, taste and presentation were perfect. My father was shocked and overjoyed, telling me, “Jen, these scallops are just as good as Jaleo!” My A.D.D. kicked in and I was jumping up and down like a hyperactive first grader. This single, unforgettable dish has given me the confidence to make many other meals for my family and admittedly, it has been nice to prove everyone wrong but even better, it was a very large obstacle in my life that I was finally able to overcome. The videos are perfect for those of us that are visual learners with short attention spans. I am so thankful to you, Alton Brown, for your videos and helping a stranger achieve what MANY folks thought was impossible. I now have a passion for cooking and can actually deliver on it. Thanks again and best wishes to you and yours.

  17. 19
    Ben Macdonald

    So, a wonderful thing happened recently… GOOD EATS IS ON NETFLIX!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love it, love it, love it. As my mom put it, your show is like the Bill Nye of food. But, I had some questions that I wanted to ask of you. I noticed about the flour, you always seem to use it in a weight format instead of volume. I was wondering what the reason behind that is and why it doesn’t matter for everything else you use (I think I saw someone else had a similar question). Also, why kosher salt? Everything seems to be kosher salt?

    If you have time to answer this thank you in advance. If you don’t I understand but would still like to thank you for the wonderful entertaining and knowledge packed shows you put out there! I have loved watching them for a while now and can’t wait to continue doing so!!

  18. 20

    Any chance you could weave in cooking for people living with digestive/immune disorders into your TV shows? Celiac, Diabetes, Crohns, and Colitis to name a few? It could help people newly diagnosed to understand there are ways around their new diet that tastes good and meets their diet. Things like replacing dairy with coconut milk for cooking etc goes a very long way to help new people with dietary restrictions. I’ve experienced a loss of a grandparent and parent due to diet because they were afraid to change their diet (Celiac) and get a diagnosis. It could help to make a difference in a lot of peoples lives.

  19. 21

    just found “Good Eats” on Netflix! I told my wife it’s the greatest day of my life. She promptly reminded me of our wedding day. I thought I gave the appropriate response… but now I’m sleeping on the sofa tonight. The joke is on her though, now I have access to the Xbox and as such…Netflix.

  20. 22
    Nick F

    I work at the galley on a naval base and thought it would be pretty awesome if Alton could come and teach us a few things and check out our operation.

  21. 23
    Dave Cline

    I have an idea for a show, it’s called “King’s Kitchen”.

    Imagine cooking for the past kings and queens of the world. Imagine the environments, the foods, the tools, the pressure.

    Now imagine touring the castles of the world, the homes and palaces of past monarchs, and now imagine actually cooking in these places.

    The show would tour different world locations and cook the meals “fit for a king.”

    The show would portray the historical aspect, the origins and the techniques of cooking in these times and for these heads of state.

    Kings of England
    Kings of Egypt
    Zulu kings,
    Chinese dynasty rulers,
    Persian caliphates,
    Russian tsars,

    Across the globe, across time, interview experts and decipher the methods and the foods cooked.

    And then — actually cook — using the ancient techniques and foods available.

    Hundreds of historic kingdoms to choose from. Thousands of unique foods and skills.

    Send this on to Alton won’t you?

  22. 26

    I was just curious if you have any internships available or can point me in the right direction for something like that. It isn’t for me, but for a friend, who makes her own cooking videos in a very unique style on YouTube (Miss SemiSweet). She and I went to culinary school together and she’s fantastic. I know she would love to learn more about food photography and styling. Also, so very glad that you’re on Netflix!!!

  23. 27
    Mary Woodworth

    My grandson is ten. Robert Pavlis is his name. He has watched me and his mom cook since he was two. He cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner for ten people last yr and putting his menu together this year. He would like to have an instructional study to head his way to college. Where should I direct him. Cutthroat Kitchen fascinates him. He just wants to start learning about more spices and broadening his knowledge at this age so when he gets to college he will have a head start. He learns a lot from Good Eats. Maybe advise is to what cookbooks to purchase or where to buy videos. He is a good student in school and reads well. We live on a hobby bfarm in southern Idaho. We have a Texas Longhorn bull who drinks Dr. Pepper–draft and mini horses with carriages, the boys are raising sheep and win blue ribbons with their sheep in 4-H. HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON

  24. 28

    It bugs me that you routinely mix measurements by weight and measurements by volume in a single recipe…you always talk about weight (4 oz flour) but minimize volume (1/4 teaspoon). The inconsistency is disappointing. Why not all weight?

  25. 32
    Food Television | Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer

    [...] Alton Brown is probably my top food celebrity idol because he is very knowledgeable in all things food-related with a sense of humor. In his show, Good Eats, Brown explores the science and technique behind the cooking, the history of different foods, and the advantages of different kinds of cooking equipment. The show tends to focus on familiar dishes that can easily be made at home. (Wikipedia). It’s a great show to learn interesting facts and tips about food and cooking. For example, I learned why one should gradually add flour when mixing the batter – to better soak in the moisture. Also, rolling cookie dough balls in powdered sugar, instead of flour, helps avoid producing too much gluten or potentially tough cookies. [...]

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