14 Things You Didn’t Know About Alton Brown

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 14th, 2014

10 Things You Didn't Know About Alton BrownMost fans believe Alton Brown‘s a walking food dictionary (and he is). He’s the ultimate commentator on Iron Chef America, he’s a mentor and judge on Food Network Star and no one will ever forget Good Eats. But there’s still so much to learn about this pillar of Food Network. FN Dish caught up with Alton on the set of his newest show, Cutthroat Kitchen, where he chatted about survival techniques for future competitors and even a couple things you may not know about the man who so many admire and look up to.

1. When Alton was younger, he always thought he would end up directing movies, which is what he trained for. “Only I got sidestepped into commercials for a long time.”

2. Alton spends a lot of time flying airplanes.

3. Alton plays multiple instruments including the guitar. “I always travel with a guitar when I’m on the road.” He also sings with his trio on his live tour.

4. Going along with music: Alton almost always listens to music while he cooks. The playlist depends on the day. “I’m anywhere from opera to Led Zeppelin — and everywhere in between. My daughter is 14 and listens to a lot of pop stuff, so I tend to gravitate way, far away from whatever she’s listening to. I have music on in the kitchen all the time. The last 10 things I cooked were probably to mid-’70s Elton John,” Alton shared with FN Dish.

5. Alton is terrified of calf’s liver. “I’ve tried it and I can’t make it edible. I don’t like anyone else’s either — and mine is just worse,” Alton adds.

6. “While I like eating artichokes, I hate cooking them. It’s so much work. Who decided we should even eat that?”

7. “I love watches, though my collection is small.”

8. Alton has a lot of glasses. “When you have to wear them every day, you tend to switch them up.”

9. Alton’s bow tie collection: “I have 200 bow ties at home. I inherited most of them. When an art school professor retired, he sent me his collection, which was 145 bow ties that he collected over a 30-year period.”

10. What’s the most-memorable item Alton’s received from a fan? “Just last year someone gave me a homemade ceramic dog treat jar made to look like my corgi, Sparky. And darn if it doesn’t look just like him.”

11. “I’m addicted to canned sardines,” Alton admits.

12. When Alton was a kid, he wanted to be Jacques Cousteau.

13. “I would ride a motorcycle every day if I could.”

14. Alton has over 2,000 cookbooks in the library at his office.

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Comments (69)

  1. Diana says:

    I promise if you go to Quatorze Restaurant on 79th Street between 1st & 2nd in NYC (on the uptown side) and order the calves liver you will be converted. Friend Jane didn't even want me to order it when we dined together until one night, after a few Bushmills on the rocks, she tried a bite of mine. She now orders it all on her own…..which is a good thing since I have retired to the wilderness of Louisville, KY.

  2. Rachel says:

    I lurrrve him..I almost got a corgi, they are so cute. Artichokes aren't that much work, really, I don't trim them or anything. I eat all the leaves, it's half the good eats!

    • Linda says:

      Me too! I just put them in salted boiling water, melt some butter dip and eat!

      • Lilla says:

        Completely agree with you girls, the only addition to my utterly simply cooked artichokes (I usually steam them, as everything else) is a divine dip of purest Sauce Holandaise. Beats everything else, IMO, although it is a little tricky to make. Bon appetit :-))

  3. Brian says:

    I think he his the best chef on Food Network because of his excellent recipes and the Good Eats show gave me insight to cook with confidence through thorough explanation.

    • Dot says:

      Me too. Everything I make using Alton Brown's recipes have been delicious. I'm trying many more types of foods and spices than I ever would have without Alton to push me. He's also adorable, I could be his grandmother.

  4. Beth Polovischak says:

    Alton I'm with you on the liver- When I was growing up my mother told us liver was steak! It wasn't till I was a teenager that I found out the truth. What an awakening that was! We were poor and I understand why she did it but she overcooked it and it was like shoe leather. I have many funny stories about food growing up! I'm sure that's why I'm such a foodie now!

  5. BrianDaley says:

    Personally, and nothing against Alton. I don't care for him. He is nothing more than what David Rosengarten was back in FoodTV's earlier days. I think Alton has overstayed his welcome, and it's time for him to to be replaced. He acts too silly, ridiculous and pathetic on Good Eats, and can't stand his arrogance and joy of back-stabbing on Cut-Throat Kitchen, which I wish Food TV would do away with. And him being the Commentator on Iron Chef, again he's wearing out his welcome. Please shoo him away!

    • Mel says:

      You're entitled to your opinion, but a) you could be more polite in expressing it and b) it's silly to say "nothing against Alton" and then make it extremely clear that you personally have a lot to say against Alton. Personally, I absolutely adored and completely miss Good Eats, and I like Alton as the host of Iron Chef America, but I have trouble with the "evil Alton" incarnation for Cutthroat Kitchen; I can understand it working for other people, though.

      • BrianDaley says:

        Mel, "Pardon" my comments, sorry you felt I was not being polite! However, you endorsed what I said, believe it or not with such comments, "and I quote you," "but I have trouble with the "evil Alton" incarnation for Cutthroat Kitchen," and hypothetically speaking, while you quoted me as saying "nothing against Alton." You duplicated what I did, by saying yourself You adore him, but then, what's with the comments "but I have trouble with the "evil Alton" incarnation for Cutthroat Kitchen." So in essence here Mel, did we both not make the same mistake?

    • Brian says:

      Wow, if you think Alton is arrogant I'd hate to hear what you think of Giada and Bobby

    • Rodh says:

      I too respectively disagree, I consider Alton to be the blanket host of the Food Network and would feel his absence should he disappear.

  6. Candi says:

    I love Alton he is so funny and nice and smart, I call him the Chef Nerd Hope he doesn't get mad LOL!

  7. Rhonda says:

    BrianDailey is accurate.

  8. Dana says:

    I think it would be so amazing to see Alton go up as a contestant on Iron Chef America !!!

    • BrianDaley says:

      I'd agree wholeheartedly Dana, I'd love to see that too! Pit him against either Iron Chef Morimoto, or even the almost unbeatable, unstoppable Bobby Flay as well!

  9. johnocooper says:

    Love Love Love Cutthroat as with any show Alton hosts – he is a fantastic host. Let's see more variety in judges. I like the ones you have had but let's mix it up – there are so many food network stars.

  10. Danimal says:

    My two cooking show mentors…Alton Brown and Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gourmet)…

    • Dana says:

      Great choices my family loved to watch Jeff Smith and learned so much from him too Mr Brown is just the bomb have a great night.

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