Alton Crawford Brown is a James Beard Award-winning television personality, celebrity chef, author, actor, and cinematographer. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, and host and main commentator on Iron Chef America. Brown is also the author of several books on cookery.
Brown will appear in the new 100 percent grape juice from Concord grapes campaign. He'll appear in television, print, and online advertising. Chris Heye, vice president of marketing for Welch's, explains why Alton is the perfect fit for grape juice:
People have a growing interest in foods and beverages that deliver health benefits. Alton is the perfect partner to help us explain the science behind our Concord grapes and the health benefits they deliver to moms and their families. He has a knack for conveying these messages in a way that is both engaging and credible.
After 249 episodes, "Good Eats" is no more.
Alton Brown called an end to his instructional half-hour show yesterday, announcing it to fans as his first post on Twitter:
"G.E. fans, I've decided to cut the half hour series at 249 eps. There will be 3 new 1 hour eps this year and that's it. But mourn not. New things brew on the horizon..."good" things."
Brown said nostalgia has yet to set in. “I haven’t had a chance to stop and look back like at the end of ‘Toy Story 3′ when he’s driving off to the next point of his life and says goodbye to his toys. I’m proud to have been able to provide employment to a bunch of people for a good many years and hopefully more. I’m proud to say I’ve never phoned it in. I gave every one of those 250 episodes my honest-to-gosh all.”
“Good Eats” was a loss leader: “We don’t make enough with ‘Good Eats’ to keep my company open. We can with speaking fees and publication fees. ‘Good Eats’ is a loss leader, the prime rib on the buffet in Vegas. It’s my sweet little Faberge egg. I get to fawn over it. We treated it well. It built credibility. Once you’ve lost that, it’s hard to get it back.”
I did a thing with the Sopranos, mostly, because I was at a party in New York—this doesn't happen to me very often—I was at a party for Gourmet Magazine for the launch of somebody's book and there was this guy there that came up to me and said, "Wow. I just want you to know that me and all the guys that I work with love Good Eats. We watch Good Eats all the time." And I said, "What do you do?" And he said, "Oh, we write the Sopranos." And I was like [puts hand over heart and struggles as if having difficult breathing]. I was like, "Oh, my god. You watch Good Eats?" And I was like … oh, I was floored. And I immediately felt like going home and start writing scenes that were hommage to the Sopranos.
This has kept me from making a lot of money because there have been a lot of companies, Mike, that have come to me and offered me endorsements that've said, "If you'll use blah, blah, blah on Good Eats …" And I've said, "Understand something: Good Eats is off limits." By the same token, I told the Food Network, "You will never dictate to me what tool I use on the show, ever." That is the onlyreason people will trust me. Because if I pick up something on that show, it's because I believe in that thing. No one will own me that way. That is not to say that I won't do endorsements. I may have some endorsement deals this year. I'd be a fool not to. But they will a) not be involved with Good Eats in any way and they will never be with products that I don't believe in, okay?
Alton Brown: Anyway, coming up with titles, actually, is the hardest thing. I had it down to either a U2 joke, Unforgettable Foam from Unforgettable Fire if you're a U2 fan, or Quantum Foam. And I decided to go with Quantum Foam because I could literally lift it right out of the book and of course Quantum Foam for physicists is something that I'll go goo-goo over. So there are just layers. And I know that some of the jokes are so 'in' that nobody else on the set even gets them. Well, usually somebody else on the set will get them. But there will be a joke that the Network will say,
"Why did you say that?"
I say, "Well, because blah, blah, blah, blah."
They'll go, [looking around suspiciously] "okay."
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.
I have a wife and a daughter. They do not laugh all the time, nor do they eat sumptious home prepared foods each day. But they do tolerate my presence.
I am a Christian which is not to say that I am high and mighty, or squeaky clean, or holier-than-though. But I know where I’m headed and why. I won’t use this space to Bible thump, but if we ever meet and you’re curious, we can talk about it. I’ll take the time...I promise.
The first cook book I ever bought was The Frugal Gourmet. I still use it.
My favorite cook book is the 1962 edition of the Joy Of Cooking. (I like the lovingly illustrated instructions for skinning a squirrel).
I delivered pizzas in college.
I learned to cook to get dates. I wasn’t very successful
My specialty is meat. My daughter calls me “the meat whisperer”.
But when I get tired of cooking, I cook eggs.
I cook a lot of eggs.
I’m a pretty decent baker.
I prefer knives forged from Japanese steel...white or blue.
I have a weakness for American cast iron.
I cannot tolerate a unitasker, unless it’s a fire extinguisher.
Born on July 30, 1962 in Los Angeles, California, to parents from rural Georgia, Alton Brown moved back to Georgia with his family when he was 7. His father, the publisher and editor of the local newspaper, committed suicide, and his mother remarried.
Brown later said that he developed his cooking skills by watching his mother and grandmother in the kitchen. He also said that he learned to cook "as a way to get dates" in college.