Alton Brown

Host


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Alton Brown talks about his early love of being in the kitchen and his early interest in science. He describes how he came to major in theater, discusses his fascination with directing, and recounts his early work in production -- doing camera work for commercials and music videos (including R.E.M.'s "The One I Love"). He speaks of the genesis of the idea for his cooking show, Good Eats, of attending culinary school in his 30s, and of originally not wanting to host Good Eats. Brown details how the show aired on a PBS station in Chicago before getting picked up by the Food Network, and discusses the intricacies of researching show ideas, writing scripts, directing, and creating characters for the program. He explains how he was approached to begin hosting Iron Chef America, and outlines his preparations for the show. He also comments on hosting Feasting on Asphalt and Feasting on Waves, and on serving as a mentor on The Next Food Network Star. He describes his production company, Be Square, his wife's role in the company, and the appearances family members have made on his programs. Amy Harrington conducted the interview on May 22, 2012 in North Hollywood, CA.

"There are people that want to be good. There are people that want to be original. A lot of people want to be both. I wanted to be original more than I wanted to be good. I wanted to do something that hadn't been done before. Above all, I really wanted that."

Highlights
Alton Brown on believing cooking shows in the late '80s were dull, and getting the idea that would become Good Eats
01:23
Alton Brown on the philosophy behind Good Eats
01:33
Alton Brown on one scene Food Network asked him to remove
01:17
Alton Brown on how he got asked to host Iron Chef America
01:36
Alton Brown on being Director of Photography for R.E.M.'s music video for "The One I Love"
02:26
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on moving from Los Angeles to Georgia when he was a child; on enjoying being in the kitchen and his early interest in science
06:39
On attending college and eventually getting a degree in theater; on wanting to be behind the camera; on his early jobs in production; on being Director of Photography for R.E.M.'s music video for "The One I Love"; on working in commercials
10:16
On getting interested in the culinary arts; on watching food shows; on the germ of the idea for Good Eats, getting married, and attending culinary school; on agreeing to host Good Eats
10:46
On people thinking he was crazy for going to culinary school; on the philosophy behind Good Eats; on food science and thinking televisually; on parting ways with his original partners on Good Eats
11:47
On the two pilots of Good Eats; on getting the show on PBS Chicago, eventually getting on Food Network, and passing up a deal with Discovery; on book rights
09:08
On how the format of Good Eats evolved; on the research, scripts, stories for the show, and directing
09:51

Chapter 2

On the lack of food styling and of fetish-izing food on Good Eats; on the show's pop culture references and his persona as host; on his on-screen wardrobe
09:58
On characters on Good Eats - "W", crew members on camera, food experts, and the lady in the refrigerator; on his family members appearing on the show; on his wife's one appearance on the program; on one thing Food Network censored
09:47
On his production company and his wife being president of the company; on 9/11; on favorite episodes of Good Eats
06:14
On covering up logos and brands on the show; on how the Internet impacted Good Eats
02:45
On how he got asked to host Iron Chef America; on his preparations for the show
08:58
On hosting The Next Iron Chef, Feasting on Asphalt, Feasting on Waves, and The Next Food Network Star
08:51
On what being on the Food Network has meant for his career; on being a "cable-ebrity"; on promoting healthy eating; on his career achievements and regrets; on upcoming projects
12:02
Shows

Good Eats

View Show Page
Alton Brown on believing cooking shows in the late '80s were dull, and getting the idea that would become Good Eats
01:23
Alton Brown on developing Good Eats, getting married, and attending culinary school 
01:53
Alton Brown on agreeing to host Good Eats
04:05
Alton Brown on the philosophy of and developing the visual style of Good Eats
07:53
Alton Brown on parting ways with his original partners on Good Eats
01:50
Alton Brown on the two pilots of Good Eats, getting the show on PBS Chicago, eventually getting on Food Network, and passing up a deal with Discovery
08:01
Alton Brown on book rights for Good Eats
01:07
Alton Brown on how the format of Good Eats evolved; on the research, scripts, stories for the show, and directing
09:51
Alton Brown on the lack of food styling and of fetish-izing food on Good Eats; on pop culture references on the show
06:12
Alton Brown on characters on Good Eats - "W", crew members on camera, food experts, and the lady in the refrigerator
04:40
Alton Brown on favorite episodes of Good Eats
02:50
Alton Brown on not being beholden to sponsors on Good Eats
01:14
Alton Brown on how the Internet impacted Good Eats
01:31

Iron Chef America

View Show Page
Alton Brown on how he got asked to host Iron Chef America; on his preparations for the show
07:04
Alton Brown on hosting The Next Iron Chef   and how it's similar to Iron Chef America
01:36
Topics

9/11

View Topic
Alton Brown on where he was on 9/11
01:04

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Alton Brown on one scene Food Network asked him to remove from Good Eats
01:17

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Alton Brown on pop culture references on Good Eats
03:21
Alton Brown on characters on Good Eats - "W", crew members on camera, food experts, and the lady in the refrigerator
04:40

Fame & Celebrity

View Topic
Alton Brown on what being on the Food Network has meant for his career and being a "cable-ebrity"
03:31

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Alton Brown on favorite episodes of Good Eats
02:50

Pop Culture

View Topic
Alton Brown on pop culture references on Good Eats
03:21
Alton Brown on characters on Good Eats - "W", crew members on camera, food experts, and the lady in the refrigerator
04:40
Alton Brown on favorite episodes of Good Eats
02:50

Technological Innovation

View Topic
Alton Brown on the philosophy of and developing the visual style of Good Eats
07:53

Television Industry

View Topic
Alton Brown on one scene Food Network asked him to remove from Good Eats
01:17
Alton Brown on what being on the Food Network has meant for his career and being a "cable-ebrity"
03:31
Professions

Directors

View Profession
Alton Brown on directing himself on Good Eats
01:03

Hosts

View Profession
Alton Brown on agreeing to host Good Eats
04:05
Alton Brown on developing the visual style of Good Eats
04:25
Alton Brown on his "character" as host of Good Eats, his evil twin "B.A.", and his wardrobe
03:46

Show Creators

View Profession
Alton Brown on believing cooking shows in the late '80s were dull, and getting the idea that would become Good Eats
01:23

Television Chef

View Profession
Alton Brown on agreeing to host Good Eats
04:05
Alton Brown on developing the visual style of Good Eats
04:25
Alton Brown on his "character" as host of Good Eats, his evil twin "B.A.", and his wardrobe
03:46

Writers

View Profession
Alton Brown on writing scripts for Good Eats
02:22
Genres

Service Shows

View Genre
Alton Brown on how the format of Good Eats evolved; on the research, scripts, stories for the show, and directing
09:51
Alton Brown on the two pilots of Good Eats; on getting the show on PBS Chicago, eventually getting on Food Network, and passing up a deal with Discovery; on book rights
09:08
Alton Brown on the philosophy of and developing the visual style of Good Eats
07:53
Alton Brown on the lack of food styling and of fetish-izing food on Good Eats; on pop culture references on the show
06:12
Alton Brown on characters on Good Eats - "W", crew members on camera, food experts, and the lady in the refrigerator; on his family members appearing on the show; on his wife's one appearance on the program; on one thing Food Network censored; on his favorite episodes of the show
18:46
Alton Brown on how he got asked to host Iron Chef America; on his preparations for the show
10:34
People

Julia Child

View Interview Page
Alton Brown on watching Julia Child on television as a kid
00:23

William Shatner

View Interview Page
Alton Brown on William Shatner hosting Iron Chef USA
00:37

All Interviews

Q
S