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 Brown 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 Brown left the film business and moved to Vermont to train at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. Soon after, Alton Brown tapped all of his training to create Good Eats. Alton Brown acts as writer, producer and star of the show, now in its 7th season on Food Network. Alton Brown is often described as a culinary version of Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye because of his scientific and humorous approach to cooking which combines his passion for food with quirky pop culture.
Alton Brown is also the commentator on the huge hit Iron Chef America, also on the Food Network. As the expert commentator, Brown is usually heard throughout the episode explaining to the audience what the competing chefs are doing, able to identify most cooking techniques and explain them long before anyone watching can.
Alton’s newest series, Feasting On Asphalt, features Alton with only his motorcycle, a few buddies and the clothes on his back, taking a nostalgic trip across the country to rediscover the disappearing people, places and stories of great American road food. Feasting On Asphalt merges a little Easy Rider with good eats and great tales from our road food’s past and present, while preserving the map for its future.
Alton Brown’s “Gear for Your Kitchen,” his long-awaited homage to tools and gadgetry, was published by STC in September 2003 and was nominated for both a James Beard Award for Best Cookbook in the Tools & Techniques category and an IACP Cookbook Award in the Food Reference/Technical category. Gear is an essential guide to all the “hardware” you need in the kitchen. Packed with practical advice and tips, this book takes a look at what’s needed and what isn’t, what works and what doesn’t.
In 2004, Bon Appetit Magazine named him “Cooking Teacher of the Year.” Alton Brown is also a connoisseur of cheese and a motorcycling enthusiast.