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Food & Wine Ground >> Alton Brown


1/13/09 3:29 PM
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Extendo
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Edited: 01/13/09 3:29 PM
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This sub-forum seems to rave about Alton Brown. I assumed it had to be a different guy than the host of American Idol US, but it is the same guy right?

What is to like about this guy? He's annoying, gimmicky, way too over the top and his recipes rarely have anything special going on from what I have seen.

How does his show compare at all something like any of Bourdain's shows, or Martin Picard's "The Wild Chef"?

Maybe it's a cultural thing, but I just don't 'get' Alton Brown.
1/14/09 10:34 AM
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MikeZev
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i think you are confusing alton brown with ryan seacrest. seacrest is a master chef.
1/14/09 10:49 AM
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Extendo
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LOL, sorry I meant Iron Chef USA.
1/14/09 11:43 AM
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MikeZev
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he's appealing in the sense that he makes high quality and favorite dishes readily accessable to the average home cook. he appeals to the food nerds with the science and detailed explanations of ingredients/technique/equipment.
1/14/09 2:37 PM
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crescentwrench
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Edited: 01/14/09 2:38 PM
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It's not the recipes that make the show so awesome, for me it's more the concepts and science behind why we cook certain things certain ways, how the process works, plus sometimes that will lead to an explanation that old traditional methods are useless or well-known reasons for doing things aren't really why we do them.  

And it gives me some avenues in which to explore my own way to do things, or sometimes I'll make up a solution to a particular problems based off of something I saw there.  If it weren't for that show my kitchen would probably be without things like a MAPP torch and bricks and a magnet that can pick up an armored toddler.  Okay that's in there because I haven't put it back in the garage but still.  

He's the geekground version of a cook.  And if you like that you'll like him.  And if you like AB then you'll like On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee 

I do use a lot of his recipes though.  His pantry pasta sauce is really good I think.
1/14/09 4:38 PM
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Extendo
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I appreciate the answers MikeZev and crescentwrench, both of your posts make total sense and the concept completely appeals to me. I wonder if I just have an irrational dislike of him for no good reason.

I'll give it another shot and try and look at it with some fresh viewpoints.

Also, just re-read my first post and think it was exceptionally harsh and rather dickish. Didn't mean to be that over the top, my dislike is really not that extreme.
1/14/09 6:22 PM
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shibbytastic
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His personality as a host and the jokes used to annoy me a lot, BUT once you start watching his show you realize that it is the most useful cooking show out there.

Most cooking shows teach you how to make one thing. Good Eats goes over the science and concepts behind whatever he is cooking. This knowledge allows you to use these techniques in other recipes making you a better cook.
1/14/09 7:47 PM
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crescentwrench
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Extendo -  I wonder if I just have an irrational dislike of him for no good reason.


It could be the hair. His hair is atrocious.

1/15/09 3:08 AM
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Mullet @ Heart
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crescentwrench - If it weren't for that show my kitchen would probably be without things like a MAPP torch and bricks and a magnet that can pick up an armored toddler.


I appreciate him as much for what he tells me not to buy, as much as I do for what he tells me to buy.
1/15/09 6:16 AM
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junon
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yeah he can get annoying but i learned a lot of stuff from his Good Eats show.
1/15/09 10:04 AM
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MikeZev
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i have never met a woman that was not absolutely disgusted by him though.
1/15/09 10:06 AM
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Extendo
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LOL, maybe my estrogen levels are getting out of control!
1/26/09 12:49 PM
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Worth
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His recipes are nothing fancy but I enjoy the science behind the food, it's different than the other cooking shows and deserves a spot.

Alton Brown is a graduate of Johnson & Wales culinary school in Rhode Island.
1/26/09 7:06 PM
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LeroyJ
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Nobody else is out there telling us why we do, what we do, when we do, what we do.

It's easy to watch somebody assemble a recipe, but to understand what's behind the magic happening in the pot has helped me a lot. The science is a unique hook.

He's absolutely wrong about how to make food good, and how to love food, but the chemical reaction stuff is usefull.
1/26/09 8:10 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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The science and history lessons are great, but sometimes they do go a little too far. Didn't he do like a 17-part series on water?
1/27/09 9:23 PM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Just watched Alton's chili (with an "I"!) show.

Now I know what you guys are talking about. That looked unbelievably bad.
1/28/09 8:29 AM
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crescentwrench
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 Correct, that was an abortion.  I try a lot of his stuff as-is to get a baseline and then modify as needed.  That chili was a total loss.  As was these peppermint pinwheel cookies, those are two that stick out.  

The latest one on brussels sprouts is more the reason he's awesome.  He tells you why they smell like a giant fart (sulfides) and how to minimize that event (cook fast, use fat)

As far as straight recipes my favorite of his is probably the "Pantry Friendly" tomato sauce.  I freakin' love it, I make it by the gallon and freeze it for later consumption.  
1/28/09 11:13 AM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Yeah. I make his roasted tomato sauce (modified version) all the time too. Great stuff.
1/31/09 7:13 PM
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BaldTony
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Glad someone mentioned On Food and Cooking. That's an awesome book.
3/2/09 6:17 PM
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Rali
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He really knows his stuff but stikes me as a pompous ass who takes himself too seriously. I wonder what is background is? Seems like an IVY leaguer.
3/3/09 1:00 AM
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Mullet @ Heart
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Takes himself too seriously? Have you seen the costumes he wears, and the characters he plays?

I can't think of anyone else on Food TV that would do that stuff.
3/3/09 8:05 AM
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Tys
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I like his show for the science behind the food. I haven't actually tried any of his recipes but I use his information as a baseline when messing around with recipes.
3/3/09 1:08 PM
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GaryG
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Edited: 03/03/09 1:09 PM
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"Takes himself too seriously? Have you seen the costumes he wears, and the characters he plays?"

I understand your above comment but when I've watched feasting on asphalt or feasting on waves he shows major attitude. Pompous ass isnt too far off the mark.

That being said, Good Eats is entertaining not just for a cooking show, but for ANY type of programing.
3/3/09 11:34 PM
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KlingKiteMayor
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Rali - He really knows his stuff but stikes me as a pompous ass who takes himself too seriously. I wonder what is background is? Seems like an IVY leaguer.


haha

he was a camera man for spike lee in the 80s, that wanted to learn how to cook so that he could have a better cooking show than julia child.

no joke.
3/4/09 3:48 PM
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Rali
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KlingKiteMayor - 
Rali - He really knows his stuff but stikes me as a pompous ass who takes himself too seriously. I wonder what is background is? Seems like an IVY leaguer.


haha

he was a camera man for spike lee in the 80s, that wanted to learn how to cook so that he could have a better cooking show than julia child.

no joke.


Yeah, I looked him up after posting here and you're right. Weird shit.

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