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eGullet Q&A with Alton Brown, May 24-28, 2004.
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 on Food Network.
Alton Brown’s first book, I’m Just Here for the Food, won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Cookbook in the Reference category, and was one of the bestselling cookbooks of 2002, with over 165,000 copies now in print. It was also chosen by Amazon.com as one of the top 50 books of 2002 by both editors and readers.
Alton Brown’s Gear for Your Kitchen, his long-awaited homage to tools and gadgetry, was published in September 2003 and is nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Cookbook in the Tools & Techniques category. Gear is an essential guide to all the “hardware” you need in the kitchen. Packed with practical advice and tips, Alton’s new book takes a look at what’s needed and what isn’t, what works and what doesn’t. It even includes 25 recipes and a six-month plan to overhaul your kitchen with the most effective, innovative and even surprising culinary tools available.
Alton’s third book on baking, I’m Just Here for More Food, is due in bookstores October 2004. Also in October, read Alton’s second piece (on yeast) as a contributing editor for Bon Appetit Magazine.
Food Network’s Good Eats airs Wednesday at 9:00 pm, 9:30 pm, 1:00 am, and 1:30 am. Plus, catch additional episodes Monday through Friday at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 8:30 am, and Sunday at 6:30 pm. All times ET/PT. Hosted by Alton Brown and now in its fifth season, Good Eats combines pop culture, comedy, kitchen science, and plain good eating. For more information on the show, visit the Food Network website.
For more information on Alton Brown, visit altonbrown.com.
Five copies of Alton Brown’s Gear for Your Kitchen will be given away to Q&A participants.