Alton Brown

Alton Brown bigraphy, stories - food personality, cinematographer, author, television personality and actor

Alton Brown : biography

July 30, 1962 –

Alton Crawford Brown (born July 30, 1962) is an American television personality, celebrity chef, author, actor, and cinematographer. He is the creator and host of the Food Network television show Good Eats, the mini-series Feasting on Asphalt and Feasting on Waves, and host and main commentator on Iron Chef America. Brown is also the author of several books on cookery.

He brings a knowledge and enthusiasm for the science of cooking and food and a humorous approach to his shows. Bon Appétit magazine named him "Cooking Teacher of the Year" in 2004. He was named "Best Food Guru" by Atlanta magazine in 2005. In 2011, he won the James Beard Award for Best TV Food Personality.

Early life

Brown was born in Los Angeles, California. He was in the Boy Scouts.[!/altonbrown/statuses/76433682474336256 Alton Brown Twitter] He received a degree in drama from the University of Georgia. He began his career in cinematography and film production.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was the cinematographer for several music videos, including "The One I Love" by R.E.M..


Brown notes that he was dissatisfied with the quality of cooking shows airing on American television, so he set out to produce his own show. In preparation, he enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute, graduating in 1997. Brown says that he was a poor science student in high school and college, but he focused on the subject to understand the underlying processes of cooking. He is outspoken in his shows about his dislike of single-purpose kitchen utensils and equipment ("unitaskers"), such as garlic presses and margarita machines, although he adapts a few traditionally single-purpose devices, such as rice cookers and melon ballers, into multi-purpose tools.

TV series

Good Eats

The pilot for Good Eats first aired in July 1998 on the PBS member TV station WTTW in Chicago, Illinois. Food Network picked up the show in July 1999. In May 2011, Alton Brown announced an end to Good Eats after 14 seasons. The final episode, "Turn on the Dark", aired February 10, 2012.

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.

Good Eats was nominated for the Best T.V. Food Journalism Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2000. The show was also awarded a 2006 Peabody Award.

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, after UPN’s Iron Chef USA, which 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. When the show became a series, Brown began serving as the play-by-play announcer, with Kevin Brauch as kitchen reporter. Brown also served as the host for all four seasons of the spin-off The Next Iron Chef.

Feasting on Asphalt

Brown’s third series, Feasting on Asphalt, explores the history of eating on the move. Brown and his crew crossed the United States via motorcycle in a four-part miniseries about the history of road food. Brown samples food all along his travel route. He includes a "history of food" segment documenting famous road trips and interviews many of the foodies he meets en route.

The series premiered on Food Network on July 29, 2006. The mini-series was picked up for a second run, entitled Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run, in 2007. Six episodes were filmed during April and May 2007. The episodes trace the majority of the length of the Mississippi River through Brown’s travels. The second run of episodes began airing on Food Network on August 4, 2007.