Alton Brown Takes A Final Bite Of 'Good Eats' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Alton Brown Takes A Final Bite Of 'Good Eats'

Play associated audio

Good Eats isn't your typical cooking show. Its host and creator, Alton Brown, does more than just recite recipes.

He's as often in front of a blackboard as he is in front of an oven. Brown uses quirky skits, puppets and props to serve up the history and science of food — and the secrets of simple great eating.

Good Eats has a large, loyal following of fans and they're all about to be very disappointed. The show taped the final episode this week after 13 years of being on-air.

Brown says he wants to go out on top and that his new projects will be a nice segue from the show.

"I've got so many other projects I'm willing to do," Brown tells NPR's Laura Sullivan, "and yet I'm not willing to let Good Eats slip down to even 95 percent."

An Unusual Recipe

In a way, Good Eats is like a mini-documentary about food. There's much more production involved with screenplay scripts and mounds of research that goes into each show. Brown writes, directs and produces each episode.

Even with all the work, the focus has been on foods everyone knows and eats, like meatloaf, waffles and scrambled eggs. Brown says each episode looks to take those foods and make them better.

But Brown hesitates to peg it as a cooking show. To him, the show has never fit perfectly into one category.

The style can be summed up with a note Brown wrote to himself in the early 1990s:

"I wrote down Julia Child, Monty Python, Mr. Wizard and thought if I could put those three things together, that would be fun," he says.

Throw those three ingredients in a blender and out comes Good Eats.

Learning Through Your Stomach

With that unique style, Good Eats has become a beloved show that you can learn from. An audience can learn a better way to make frosting and that a dairyman named William Lawrence invented cream cheese — all in one episode.

"We've always thought if we could entertain and tell good stories, be very visually arresting, then people will soak up the information," says Brown, "and we slather that information on very thick."

It might be factoid heavy show, but Brown says he has never talked down to his audience.

"I think everything is accessible. You just got to tell the story right."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

How Tinseltown Got Tipsy: A Boozy Taste Of Hollywood History

Mark Bailey, who detailed old Hollywood's legendary love affair with liquor in his book Of All the Gin Joints, shares stories from a bygone era over cocktails at a legendary Hollywood bar.
NPR

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered a link between what you taste and what you hear.
NPR

North Korea Has An Interesting Offer. And Another Threat

The secretive regime denies any involvement with the Sony Pictures hack and says the U.S. must allow it to help find the real culprit. Or else.
NPR

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Some in the entertainment industry are wondering if they'll have to be careful now about the stories they tell or the jokes they make in the wake of Sony's withdrawal of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.