Chef Alton Brown Combines Food and Science | Culinary Arts Schools

by Jane Greer
CulinaryEd Columnist
May 19, 2011

College Cooking was a Way to Get Dates

Alton Brown first used his culinary prowess in college to get dates. With a drama degree, he worked for ten years as a cinematographer and video director. Then he realized that most TV cooking shows left much to be desired. With the germ of Good Eats in his head, Brown moved to Vermont to attend culinary school and then created two Good Eats pilots for the Food Network. The show first aired in 1999.

Culinary School + Science + Great Videography = Groundbreaking TV

There had never been anything quite like Good Eats. Most culinary school students are interested in how to make food; Alton Brown is interested in the science, fascinated by why one preparation method or taste combination works and another doesn't. "Everything in food is science," Brown told Wired, which describes Good Eats--where Brown is writer, director, producer, and star--as "a cross between Julia Child's Kitchen Wisdom and MacGyver." And the accolades keep pouring in--from all directions. Brown has received numerous culinary awards and is also regularly asked to lecture to Harvard chemistry classes.

Alton Brown Has Little Restaurant Experience

Brown, who has never run a restaurant or been a head chef, is the author of three best-selling cookbooks and a regular contributor to Bon Appetit and Men's Journal. He's also added several more Food Network shows to his repertoire. He hosts Iron Chef America and The Next Iron Chef and created and stars in Feasting on Asphalt, in which he and a few of his friends motorcycle across America while rediscovering great American roadside food.

Alton Brown made television history by combining a handful of seemingly unrelated skills and interests. What was the secret ingredient in his recipe for success? That's right: attending culinary school. Ready to launch your own culinary career? Many culinary schools require a traditional or online high school diploma -- or the GED. If you have that under your belt you're good to go!



Atlanta Journal

UGA Georgia Magazine


About the Author

Jane Greer is a freelance writer and editor and is also brave enough to teach English grammar at a community college.
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