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Jason Perlow

Good Eats

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Given the educational/cerebral nature of the show and how different a personality he is from most of FoodTV's other celebrity chefs, how did "Good Eats" come to be produced, and how did Alton come from obscurity to become one of the most popular food shows on TV? What role did you play in that?

Was this a question of being there at the right time?


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Given the educational/cerebral nature of the show and how different a personality he is from most of FoodTV's other celebrity chefs, how did "Good Eats" come to be produced, and how did Alton come from obscurity to become one of the most popular food shows on TV? What role did you play in that?

Was this a question of being there at the right time?

I was fired from Food Network October 11, 2000. The opinions I express reflect only the time that I was employed there. I have no knowledge of any programming or business strategy beyond that point. I do not mean to imply that I do, I don't.

I found a reference to a pilot called "Good Eats" on the Kodak website. it was in reference to a type of film that the pilot was shot on. reading the description i felt that it was going to be a hit... i just felt it in my gut.

When the programming group saw the pilot I don't think there was much of a question that it was a really good show. It was viewed by some as quirky and a stylistic departure from other shows, but that was a compliment. some wondered how long he could keep up that level of intelligence and wit, but even that was not a serious objection just more of a "how long can he be so good?" type of a thing...

It did take some work to help create the "Good Eats" world and mythology and refine its style and appraoch for a larger arc but largely it was a work of parthenogenesis - springing fully formed from altons head dripping genius.

alton and i really enjoyed working together and made some really good stuff together. i am pround of his success and my part in that show.

i did find the show when the network made it first huge foray into making entertainment programming about food. it launched the same summer as Iron Chef. so i guess it showed up at a time when departures from "traditional" food shows was smiled upon. but i like to think that altons genius would be happily accepted by anyone no matter the climate.

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