Alton Brown

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Alton Brown

Born

7/30/1962, Los Angeles, CA

Birth Name

Gender

Male
  • Alton Brown on The Next Iron Chef from S...
  • Alton Brown on The Next Iron Chef from S...
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
100 votes

Biography

EDIT
Alton Brown spent eight years working in the film business as a cameraman and video director, and he spent a lot of his spare time watching cooking shows. He found them dull and uninformative, and felt that he could do better. After this epiphany, Alton and his wife,…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2008 Alton Brown joined forces with The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) to help clear up consumer confusion on what sustainability really is.

    • Alton's first book I'm Just Here for the Food, won a James Beard Foundation Book Award in the Reference category in 2003 and his follow-up, I'm Just Here for the Food: Kitchen User's Manual, was nominated for the 2004 James Beard Foundation award in the Tools & Techniques category.

    • Alton has at least two tattoos, a honeybee on his left shoulder, shown on Iron Chef America, and a crossed knife and fork with the inscription "Eat to Live" that he got during the filming of Feasting on Asphalt.

    • Alton is a born-again Christian and a member of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia.

    • Good Eats was awarded a Peabody Award in 2006 for teaching science in an entertaining and appetizing manner.

    • Alton was nominated for a James Beard award in 2000 in the category Best T.V. Food Journalism.

    • Alton was the director of photography on the music video for R.E.M.'s "The One I Love."

    • Alton received a degree in drama from the University of Georgia.

    • Alton is obsessed with aviation and is working on getting his pilot license at Superior Flight School in Kennesaw, GA.

    • Alton is an experienced motorcyclist. He owns a 2005 BMW R1100RT which he bought used from a local BMW dealer. He is shown riding his bike in his Food Network special series, Feasting on Asphalt.

    • Alton was named Bon Appetit's 2004 Cooking Teacher of the Year.

    • Alton has written 5 books:

      I'm Just Here for the Food

      I'm Just Here for the Food: Kitchen User's Manual

      Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen

      I'm Just Here for More Food:
      Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking

      Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run

    • An avid Motorcycle enthusiast. You can see him riding his bike in the Good Eats episode "Circle of Life", dropping off doughnuts to his "sister", played by Merrilyn Crouch, and her troop of Bunnies.

    • Alton's dog, Matilda, a basset hound mix, has appeared on Good Eats playing herself in the episode "Casserole Over."

  • Quotes

    • Alton: I say grace. I'm a big believer in grace. I happen to believe in a God that made all the food and so I'm pretty grateful for that and I thank him for that. But I'm also thankful for the people that put the food on the table.

    • Alton: I love poking fun at myself. I have a rather mean sense of humor.

    • Alton: I looked for a very long time, knowing that it had to happen, but it took me a long time to find someone with the same background and whatnot and I finally found him.

    • Alton: I like television. I still believe that television is the most powerful form of communication on Earth - I just hate what is being done with it.

    • Alton: I kept thinking, 'Somebody has to make a food show that is actually educational and entertaining at the same time... a show that got down to the 'why things happen.' Plus, I hated my job - I didn't think it was very worthwhile.

    • Alton: I had kicked around the idea for Good Eats when I was directing commercials.

    • Alton: I can't talk about anything or write about anything if I don't understand it. So a lot of the stuff that I go through and a lot of the time that I spend is understanding.

    • Alton: For me, it was kind of like going into the military or something. And anybody - any male - who has ever worked in a French kitchen knows what I am talking about when I say that.

    • Alton: Enough people have now mentioned Bill Nye the Science Guy to me that I now desperately avoid it all costs.

    • Alton: Although I don't take myself very seriously, I do take my work extraordinarily seriously.

    • Alton: A lot of food shows need only to tempt. Some food shows only need to inspire, to empower. And there are a lot of shows that do that.

    • Alton: The problem is I am both a procrastinator and a power junkie, so I am very frustrating to work with.

    • Alton: Take ice. Ice is fascinating to me. Ice is the one thing in our world that went from an agricultural product to being manufactured.

    • Alton: So I quit my job and went to the New England Culinary Institute for the full two years and worked in the restaurant industry after that until finally I thought I had a grasp on what I needed to do what I do.

    • Alton: Seriously. I'm not very bright, and it takes a lot for me to get a concept - to really get a concept. To get it enough that it becomes part of me. But when it happens I get real excited about it.

    • Alton: Recipe writers hate to write about heat. They despise it. Because there aren't proper words for communicating what should be done with it.

    • Alton: My feeling has always been that Good Eats would have never happened had it been left to a committee.

    • Alton: My college degree was in theater. But the real reason, if I have any success in that milieu, so to speak, is because I spent a lot of years directing, I spent a lot of years behind the camera.

    • Alton: Last year, I made a refrigerator in my basement. And I needed to because I needed to figure how - you know there is no such thing as cold. There is only less heat.

    • Alton: I'm going from doing all of the work to having to delegate the work - which is almost harder for me than doing the work myself. I'm a lousy delegator, but I'm learning.

    • Alton: I love to have battles of the wits with people that can dish fast and dirty - and it leads to problems occasionally, 'cause I can sound mean without attempting to be mean.

    • Alton: I have nothing but sympathy for the people who are forced to work with me. I'm better now at picking out those that want to play that game with me, and those that don't.

    • Alton: Wash those oystery hands.

    • Alton: Wash these engine-y hands.

    • Alton: Wash those lamby hands.

    • Alton: Wash those beety hands.

    • Alton: I'd better wash those charcoal-ly hands.

    • Alton: Wash those fishy hands.

    • Alton: Wash those porky hands.

    • Alton: Wash those turkey hands.

    • Alton: Wash these nasty chicken hands.

    • Alton: Your patience will be rewarded.

    • Alton: Thank you, Thing.

    • Alton: ...other worldly...

    • Alton: ...the rest of the hardware ..., ...now, the software...

    • Alton: ... works and plays well with others ...

    • Alton: Oh bother.

    • Alton: .. but that's okay.

    • Alton: do it's Voodoo.

    • Alton: ...and it will bring a lot of _________ to the party.

    • Alton: ...makes great refrigerator Velcro.

    • Alton: ... we're dealing with a culinary ticking time bomb.

    • Alton: ... now the secret to _________, and I'm not saying there is one ...

    • Alton: ... but that's another show.

    • Alton: Of course, we're not going to have any more fresh ingredients because we're all out of hand grenades.

    • Alton: Perhaps it's the griddle. Ah, yes. That wide open plane of inch thick, high carbon steel. It's dense so it heats evenly and cooks evenly. There's plenty of room to flip things around on there. And, hey, it's as slick as the back seat in Shaft's El Dorado.

    • Alton: Pizza dough gets its rise from the gas produced by billions and billions of unicellular fungi called 'yeast' that chomp down on the sugar in flour-based doughs. Have a look. They are real pigs. And once their little feeding frenzy is over...that's right, yeast belch makes bread rise.

    • Alton: So, after two to three minutes and 375° oil what was once limp and pallid is now crisp and golden brown (I've always wanted to say that.)

    • Alton: There are all of these warnings and incantations and unnatural rituals and everything's veiled in this threat of "you mess with the mayo, the mayo mess with you, man."

    • Alton: Wow. Look at that tight pattern. That's really beautiful. You know, uh, being ambisinister I think I'll opt for the more neoteric of the, uh, quintuplet. And although I delectate in discommoding you, I will tarry here no longer. As always, you have been supernumerary.

    • Alton: Oh, don't worry, Chuck. I'm positive she did not get taken up by giant squid-man.

    • Alton: I regrettably let my Wacky Golf Weekly expire.

    • Alton: Don't thank me, Chuck. I'm only here because a bet's a bet.

    • Alton: Of course, uh, peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation.

    • Alton: Okay. I'll take the baret for sure. I gotta have that barrette. And, um, that pillow, that "I'd rather be in Paris" pillow. Oh, yeah. That's nice. Um, the Jerry Lewis box set and, uh, oh is that a French for Stupid American Cooks? Definitely need one of those. Oh yeah. That'll be great. I'll take this bumper sticker and one of these, one of these flags. Hey, is that one of this grill medallions under there? Yeah, I want one of those for my ... and a key chain.

    • Alton: So on one hand, honey is an amazingly sophisticated and efficient food source. On the other hand it's bee backwash.

    • Alton: Ahh. Okay. So would you say that eating honey is about as close as you can get to eating flowers?

    • Alton: As far as the fire? Ah, forget about it. It's going to go out. That's what fires do.

    • Alton: Exactly. The butterfat reacts with the oxygen either from the air or in the water inside the butter itself to create butyric acid. That leads to rancidity and rancidity and tastes like ...old, wet yak back to be exact.

    • Alton: Mom, where did you get a helicopter?

    • Alton: "The chicken," it's been said, "is just an eggs way of making more eggs." And, since she can grind out 1 about every 25 hours the female Gallous here could be considered an egg factory, no rooster necessary. And since she's a cumulative layer as along as someone keeps taking them, she'll keep making them, 365 days a year, no Lamaze, no epidural. Now that's dedication!

    • Alton: But, consider this: if you're capable of converting a common crimini into truly good eats just think of what you'll be able to do the next time you see a porcini pop up in your yard ... supermarket, pop up in your supermarket. That's what I meant to say.

    • Alton: Like the hat?

    • Alton: See, there's still a lot of heat in there. That rice is still cooking. You open that lid now, whew, that rice will miss it's one shot at all it can be and believe me, a grain is a terrible thing to waste.

    • Alton: You like my drawing? You like my cow drawing?

    • Alton: At a farmFor those of you who might have grown up in the city, these are cattle.

    • Alton: Candy making is basically the manipulation of sucrose by heat. Um, taffy, jawbreakers, fudge, divinity, butterscotch are all made possible by the fact that between 230 and 350 degrees plain old table sugar, sucrose, goes through more changes than a teenager during prom week.

    • Alton: Now really last but not least, two smashed and chopped cloves of garlic. Now, why garlic? Hey, garlic don't need no reason.

    • Alton: Now, wet stuff does not like sticking to other wet ... stuff. It's one of those universal axioms that keeps the galaxy from ripping itself to shred and
      dissolving into the void.

    • Alton: Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt.

    • Alton: Okay, hey, hey. You know what? Time out, Paul. Time out.

    • Alton: That dingo ate my belly.

    • Alton: When proteins get hot they tend to tangle
      up tighter than teenagers at a dance. And when they bond up tight enough, they over coagulate. And when they over coagulate, they can curdle. And any cook or parent will tell you that leads to trouble.

    • Alton: Now my wife may think she's locked me out of the kitchen but MacGyver's not my patron saint for nothing.

    • Alton: Wash those ___________ya raw meat or fish item hands!

    • In his book, I'm Just Here For the Food, Alton stresses that he does not view himself as a chef, for he says he has no talent for creating new dishes, but wants more to make the inner workings of food understandable. "In that regard I'm more a mechanic more than I am a cook,"

    • Alton: (On what his favorite curse word is)
      Oh bother. I'm from the South.

    • Alton: The brain is the most important tool in cooking.

    • Alton: Everything in food is science.

    • Alton: There are no bad foods, only bad food habits.

    • Alton: Even people who don't actually cook can enjoy the show.

    • Alton: In the first days, when we first made the test pilots, we didn't even think much about market. I just wanted to make the show.

    • Alton: I'm going from doing all of the work to having to delegate the work - which is almost harder for me than doing the work myself. I'm a lousy delegator, but I'm learning.

    • Alton: I love to have battles of the wits with people that can dish fast and dirty - and it leads to problems occasionally, 'cause I can sound mean without attempting to be mean.

    • Alton: I love poking fun at myself. I have a rather mean sense of humor.

    • Alton: I like television. I still believe that television is the most powerful form of communication on Earth - I just hate what is being done with it.

    • Alton: I have nothing but sympathy for the people who are forced to work with me. I'm better now at picking out those that want to play that game with me, and those that don't.

    • Alton: I had kicked around the idea for Good Eats when I was directing commercials.

    • Alton: I can't talk about anything or write about anything if I don't understand it. So a lot of the stuff that I go through and a lot of the time that I spend is understanding.

    • Alton: Although I don't take myself very seriously, I do take my work extraordinarily seriously.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Awesome.

    10
    Alton Brown is my favorite television person/cooking personality ever. He is so entertaining and interesting to watch, and his shows overall are just fun and very informative. Anyone who is starting out watching cooking shows, should watch any of Alton Brown's, specifically, Good Eats. So much information is packed into half an hour, and it is the best cooking show ever created.
  • fun show tyo watch

    10
    i love your show so much you are a fun guy to watch.
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