1     



Alton Brown

  • American entertainer
  • Born July 30, 1962

Alton Crawford Brown Jr. (born July 30, 1962) is an American television personality, food show presenter, author, actor, cinematographer, and musician. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, host of the mini-series 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. On Alton's 2017 book tour, he stated Good Eats will have a "sequel", and it would be released in 2018 on the internet.


Unless your kid is Pele Jr., they're not going to be able to feed themselves from soccer. If your kid knows how to play soccer, but not make dinner, you have done them a disservice.




I know people that could serve me canned tuna and saltine crackers and have me feel more at home at their table than some people who can cook circles around me. The more you try to impress people, generally the less you do.




Molecular gastronomy is not bad... but without sound, basic culinary technique, it is useless.




Culinary tradition is not always based on fact. Sometimes it's based on history, on habits that come out of a time when kitchens were fueled by charcoal.




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.




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.




The kitchen's a laboratory, and everything that happens there has to do with science. It's biology, chemistry, physics. Yes, there's history. Yes, there's artistry. Yes, to all of that. But what happened there, what actually happens to the food is all science.




Basting is evil. Basting does nothing for the meat. Why? Skin. Skin is designed to keep stuff out of the bird, so basting just lets heat out of the oven. That means the turkey will take longer to cook... so don't touch that door!




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




I spent a college semester in a small town in Italy - and that is where I truly tasted food for the first time.




We're getting dumbed down, taste-wise.




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




My mantra was to educate people - to actually give them the know-how they could use - and to do it in a very subversive kind of way. I would entertain them, and I was going to teach them whether they knew it or not.




The stubby French painter Toulouse-Lautrec supposedly invented chocolate mousse - I find that rather hard to believe, but there you have it.




The thing that helped me get into the film business was that I went to school in Athens, Georgia and managed to get on, um, working on music videos for a band called R.E.M. and that kind of opened up a lot of doors for me.




Everything in food is science. The only subjective part is when you eat it.




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.




Stuffing is evil. Stuffing adds mass, so it slows the cooking. That's evil because the longer the bird cooks, the drier it will be.




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.




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




I'm a filmmaker who decided to go to culinary school. All I picked up was the fact if I didn't understand what was going on with every single ingredient, I could be qualifying for, like, the lunch food job at my daughter's school.




Gluttony is wrong. It's wasteful.




I think a lot of food shows, especially when we started 'Good Eats' back in the late '90s, they were still really about food. 'Good Eats' isn't about food, it's about entertainment. If, however, we can virally infect you with knowledge or interest, then all the better.




The worst food you'll ever eat will probably be prepared by a 'cook' who calls himself a 'chef.' Mark my words.




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.




You don't want flame to hit your food. Flame is bad. Flame does nasty things to food. It makes soot and it makes deposits of various chemicals that are not too good for us. The last thing you really want to see licking at your food while it's on a grill is an actual flame.




I found that if I offered to cook for a girl, my odds improved radically over simply asking a girl out. Through my efforts to attract the opposite sex, I found that not only did cooking work, but that it was actually fun.




You know most of the food that Americans hold so dear - things like hamburgers and hot dogs - were road food, but even before they were road food, they were peasant food.




I think in the end there are only 20 or 30 tenets of basic cooking. It's going at perhaps the same issue from different angles, from different points of view, from different presentation styles, that really makes things sink in and become embedded.




I'm an absolute connoisseur of cheeseburgers and like to think that I can detect even mere percentages of shift in fat content in ground meat in a burger and can actually name the temperature to which it was actually cooked to the degree if I'm, you know, really on my game.




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




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.




If you really love stuffing, wait until the turkey comes out of the oven, add some of the pan drippings to the stuffing, and bake it in a dish. That's called dressing, and that's not evil - stuffing is, though.




That's the ultimate goal of most turkey recipes: to create a great skin and stuffing to hide the fact that turkey meat, in its cooked state, is dry and flavorless. Does it have to be that way? No. We just have to focus on what the turkey is and what the turkey needs.




'Outlaw Cook' was a revelation. Folks like Jeff Smith and Marcella Hazan got me interested in cooking, but John Thorne pushed me into the path that I follow to this day. This is the only cookbook I've ever read that understands how men really eat: over the sink, in the dark, greasy to the elbows.




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



1