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Alton Brown

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Alton Brown (born on July 30, 1962 in Los Angeles, California) is the creator and host of the television show Good Eats, a cooking show on the Food Network. He is often described as a culinary version of Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye because he brings a scientific and humorous approach to his cooking shows. Bon Appétit magazine named him "Cooking Teacher of the Year" in 2004. He also is the commentator on the show Iron Chef America, an American adaptation of the Japanese series Iron Chef.

Prior to his cooking career, he received a degree in drama from the University of Georgia. He then worked in cinematography and film production. In that field, he is probably best known for his work as the director of photography for the R.E.M. music video "The One I Love".

At some point, he noticed that he was very dissatisfied with the quality of cooking shows currently airing on American television, so he set out to produce his own show. Not possessing the requisite knowledge, he enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute, from which he graduated in 1995. Brown states that he had been a poor science student in high school and college, so he began to study the subject as he took cooking training and felt the need to understand the underlying processes of cooking.

Contents

Good Eats

The pilot for Good Eats first aired on the Chicago, Illinois PBS affiliate WTTW-TV in July 1998. The show was picked up by the Food Network in July 1999, and as of 2005, new episodes are still airing on that network. A self-professed nerd, he's quickly warmed his way into the hearts of food and nerd lovers alike.

Many of the Good Eats episodes feature Brown building makeshift cooking devices in order to point out that many of the devices sold at conventional "cooking" stores are simply fancified hardware store items that are sold at grossly inflated prices, and are not as effective as his "homemade" gizmos. For example, in an episode devoted to pizza, Brown uses a flat quarry stone purchased at a hardware store as a substitute for a much more expensive pizza stone sold at a cooking specialty store. In an episode devoted to coleslaw, Brown makes a more convenient shredding device by attaching a cheese grater to a folded cardboard pizza box.

Iron Chef America

In 2004, Brown appeared on Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters, the second attempt to adapt the Japanese cooking show Iron Chef to American television (a previous adaptation featured William Shatner and was not well received). Brown served as the expert commentator, a modified version of the role played by Dr. Yukio Hattori in the original show. The show was extended with ten new episodes scheduled to air in 2005, and Brown continues to serve as commentator.

Personal information

Currently, Alton Brown lives in Marietta, Georgia with his wife DeAnna, daughter Zoey, a hound dog Matilda, and an iguana. A few members of his extended family have appeared in Good Eats (such as his grandmother, Ma Mae and daughter, Zoey), but most of his "family" portrayed on the series is made up of actors and the show's production crew.

Brown loves apples — not only the fruit, but also the computer company, Apple, as he was interviewed by Macworld magazine. Additionally, Brown frequently features Apple-branded computers on Good Eats. Although the Apple logo is usually masked, the computers' unique appearance makes them quite noticeable. [1] (http://www.macworld.com/2001/03/bc/buzzbrown)

He is also a connoisseur of cheese and a motorcycling enthusiast.

Books

On May 5, 2003, his first book, I'm Just Here for the Food, won a James Beard Foundation Book Award in the Reference category.

See also

Other cooks and authors who use a similar science-based approach to cooking include Shirley Corriher (who sometimes appears on Good Eats) and Russ Parsons. They, along with Brown, all owe a debt of inspiration to Harold McGee.

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