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Alton Brown: The Cineaste Culinarian

Movies, Meals, Memories, and More

Nov 09, 2016

Long before he was the host of Food Network staples like Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef America, and long before he’d taken his culinary variety show on tour or authored a shelf’s worth of books, Alton Brown was an aspiring filmmaker. Fresh out of college, the young Brown cut his teeth as a camera man and cinematographer, shooting the music video for “The One I Love” for fellow Georgians R.E.M., and landing steady work on commercials. By the mid-1990s he was overcome by the desire to do something more. Going off a hunch that food-related TV programming was on the brink of exploding, Brown walked away from his comfortable career directing commercials and enrolled in culinary school. Good Eats was born of Brown’s dual loves for cooking and for visual storytelling. His seminal, award-winning food program—which ran for fourteen seasons, starting in 1999—helped countless viewers get over their fear of the kitchen by serving up the science and history of food preparation with a generous side of humor (and more than a few puppets.) More