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How They Work: Alton Brown

Image credit: Alton Brown

Alton Brown's status as a "celebrity chef" and host has only grown since his show Good Eats first aired on Food Network. Known for his easy to follow instructional style, extensive food knowledge, and quirky antics, Alton has helped many become great home cooks.


Known for: His TV show Good Eats, that he wrote, produced, and hosted, which ran for 13 years on Food Network. Also hosts a variety of other shows and has authored several cookbooks. Recipient of several James Beard awards and a Peabody for his work.

Location: North of Atlanta, Georgia

Current gig: On his Edible Inevitable Tour through March 2014. Host of Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen, he also makes appearances on numerous other Food Network shows such as Iron Chef America, Next Iron Chef, and Food Network Star. He also has a weekly podcast.

How They Got Started: Alton became interested in cooking shows when he worked in film production and realized how boring and uninformative they were. He believe he could do better and left the film industry to attend the New England Culinary Institute.

One word that best describes their work: Educational

Any apps/tools/software they favor?

Alton is fond of American cast iron pots and pans, as well as tools that are able be used for multiple tasks. For more info, check out his Gear for Your Kitchen book. You can also check out this list complied from an interview Fast Company did with Alton.


Best hack or tip?

"My number one rule for cooking is just to do no harm. You know, buy simple, good ingredients and don't mess them up. And don't try to cover them up with your ego and your ability to use 15 different herbs and spices — how about just cook the chicken and don't screw it up?" (source)


What is a gadget they love?

Directly from Alton himself, "I fly my own airplane. It's a Cessna 414A and it was built in 1979. She has two engines and holds 8 people and she's very pretty." (source)


He also recommends the Cut Brooklyn 8 inch Chef's knife.


image credit:Buzzfeed

What is a little known fact about them?

In October 2013, Alton partnered with Hook & Albert to release his own limited edition line of reversible bow ties. Sadly, they're all out as only 100 of each style was produced!


What do they recommend to read?

The Refrigerator and the Universe: Understanding the Laws of Energy. (source)

A piece of great advice they've received or that they have given?

"The real power that food has is its ability to connect human beings to each other — that's the stuff right there and, to me, everything else is secondary to that." (source) And for the aspiring cook: "Cook, Travel, Eat, Read, repeat." (source)


Other stuff:

Alton wrote a great piece for Wired Science on Beyond Meat's faux chicken product, including several original recipes by him.


Where to find them online: Alton is particularly active on Twitter. He also has a website and Facebook page. Other links.

Inspired by Lifehacker's "How I Work" series, "How They Work" answers similar questions based on research from reliable sources. If the individual this post is about, or their official representative, wishes to contact me about the content of this post, tweet me. Have someone you want to see featured? Tweet me.

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