Good Eats (1999– )

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Pop culture, comedy, and plain good eating: host Alton Brown explores the origins of ingredients, decodes culinary customs and presents food and equipment trends. Punctuated by unusual ... See full summary »

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 Himself - Host (254 episodes, 1999-2012)
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Storyline

Pop culture, comedy, and plain good eating: host Alton Brown explores the origins of ingredients, decodes culinary customs and presents food and equipment trends. Punctuated by unusual interludes, simple preparations and unconventional discussions, he'll bring you food in its finest and funniest form. Written by Anonymous

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7 July 1999 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Vickie Eng (aka W) is a licensed chiropractor. See more »

Quotes

Alton Brown: Catch phrase, "... bring flavor to the party".
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Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.74 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The show that takes one food subject per episode and explains the hell out of it!
22 October 2005 | by (Wavy Wheat, Nebraska) – See all my reviews

A couple of months ago, I was trying to get back into the habit of cooking, and a friend recommended that I try watching two shows on the "Food Network" to keep up my motivation and interest. The first recommendation was Rachel Ray's "30 Minute Meals". The second was Alton Brown's "Good Eats". "You'll like Alton Brown", said my friend. "He's smarter than hell AND he's a born wise-*ss, just like you."

And this was indeed the case. I like Ray's show (she has a knack for accessible recipes and a very appealing screen presence), but Brown is simply fun to watch. Brown focuses on common, ordinary dishes that no one seems to respect anymore: eggplant, meatballs, ice cream, peas, pilaf, yellow cake, yogurt, etc. And he shows the viewer how to prepare them right, so instead of dull, flavorless, uninspired filler, you get..."GOOD EATS".

An aside: Part of my problem with the "Food Network" is that large portions of its programming (subvertly) and advertisements (overtly) are essentially public relations releases for processed and convenience foods manufacturers on one hand, and overpriced exotica on the other. The viewer is continually encouraged to explore expensive, exotic "fine" cuisine and taste sensations...while at the same time told not to bother actually putting any effort into the everyday items he/she actually eats on a daily basis...just rip open the package, stick it in the microwave, and "pretend" that it is real food. But Brown is one of the few cooking show writers who maintains a skeptical, even cynical attitude towards the "common wisdom" of the Food Network "world view". The viewer gets a real sense of being taken aside and given the inside scoop on how things REALLY work...and how to get the best out of every day meals with just a little bit of extra effort and a layman's understanding of the finer properties and subtleties of the "stuff" he's preparing. This is a very empowering and encouraging approach to learning how both to cook, and how to get the most bang for the cooking buck.

The other thing that distinguishes "Good Eats" is the combination off- hand humor and careful production work that keeps things from being overly pedantic or boring. Every show has a 'story' that incorporates the food, and the show is always visually interesting. The camera hops all over the place (half of the shots seem to be from inside the oven range,looking out from the food's POV). And the show's writers inject location shots, pop culture lampoons, and variety show skits and performances into each episode. The viewer can be assured that even if he/she doesn't really care about the dish Alton is discussing at the moment, within a few seconds there will a snotty 'insider' remark, or a self-deprecating joke, or a "walk-on" by a food anthropologist, or a pratfall, or SOMETHING to keep things light and amusing. The show seems casual and loose, but it's really incredibly tight and slick. That's a good trick to pull off, and Brown and his crew make it seem easy and effortless.

So, "Good Eats" is a good show, one I will try to catch whenever it's on and I am at home. Accessible, informative, entertaining, and even somewhat subversive in its message against the mindless consumerism of the typical "fine living" show...I am very pleased to have discovered it, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in real food in a real life. (And "30 Minute Meals" is a close second.)


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