Biscuits hold a special, fluffy, buttery place in Alton Brown’s heart. His grandmother made the best biscuits every day for more than 50 years, and re-creating those legendary biscuits took him 10 years of science projects, oven temperature readings and failed attempts.
So it’s only fitting that he kicked off this weekend’s International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville, Tenn., with a talk on all things biscuit, including how he finally cracked the recipe and what you should and shouldn’t (read: yogurt) mix into your biscuit dough.
“Biscuits aren’t food, they’re currency for the soul,” Alton says. That’s because they’re all about tradition. After trying literally everything — including mimicking the barometric pressure and humidity of his grandmother’s mountain home in his Atlanta-area residence — to re-create the family biscuits, Alton finally learned that a difference in technique was ruining batch after batch. His grandmother kneaded with her fingers straight, while he kneaded with bent hands. For this reason, he says, “You can only learn biscuits from a direct transfer of one to another.” (Watch Alton make biscuits with his grandmother.)
No biscuit-savvy grandmother in the family? Continue reading for some of Alton’s tips to baking better biscuits.
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Food Network Star kicks off its eighth season this Sunday night, but this year’s competition will be like nothing you’ve seen before. Three of Food Network’s finest chefs and superstars – Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis – are joining the contest, not as judges, but as guiding mentors to groups of five hand-picked Star hopefuls. With the advice and support of their coaches, finalists on Team Alton, Team Bobby and Team Giada will battle it out week after week in the ultimate job interview to prove they have what it takes to host their own Food Network show.
Get to know each of the contestants before Sunday night’s episode by watching a never-before-seen casting special on Saturday, May 12 at 9pm/8c. Alton, Bobby and Giada reveal why they chose each finalist for their respective teams and offer a behind-the-scenes look into this season’s competitive casting process.
Then tune in to the season eight premiere of Food Network Star on Sunday, May 13 at 9pm/8c to see which finalists are early favorites and who gets sent home first.
Cast your preseason Fan Vote now and join the #Star conversation on Twitter. Tell us: Will you be rooting for #TeamAlton, #TeamBobby or #TeamGiada?
This coming Monday, the James Beard Foundation will host its annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center to honor the chefs and restaurateurs who made the food industry unforgettable in 2011. This year, the foundation has asked Food Network’s own Alton Brown to host the awards. A true entertainer and culinary superstar, Alton’s no stranger to hosting gigs. Between Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America and previous seasons of Food Network Star, the James Beard Foundation should rest easy knowing they have a pro on stage.
Last year, Alton Brown was awarded the Best TV Food Personality Award for Good Eats. Prior to that, in 2003, he was awarded the Book Award in the Reference category for his first book, I’m Just Here for the Food (2002).
We recently caught up with Alton to ask him about this honor, especially since the foundation will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.
You’ve hosted numerous shows on Food Network, but this somehow seems different. What are you doing to prepare? Are you nervous?
Prepare? Absolutely. A couple of jokes and an escape route. Nervous? Let’s say I’m appropriately aware.
More from Alton after the jump
The James Beard Foundation announced today that one of Food Network’s favorite personalities and multiple James Beard Award winning celebrity chef Alton Brown will host the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards on May 7 in New York City.
He won’t be the only Food Network chef making an appearance on stage. On Friday, May 4, James Beard Award winning chef and Food Network Iron Chef Michael Symon, along with four-time James Beard Award winning correspondent Martha Teichner, will co-host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner.
Read the entire press release »
After 14 seasons, hundreds of recipes and dozens of memorable characters (Lactose Man! The Yeasts!), Alton Brown is bidding farewell to Good Eats. The final episode, an homage to dark chocolate, airs tonight at 8pm/7c.
Fans of our beloved food-science geek need not panic — you’ll still see plenty of Alton on Food Network. He’s got a major new role on the upcoming season of Food Network Star, commentates on Iron Chef America and serves as host of The Next Iron Chef. Plus, classic Good Eats episodes will continue to rerun on Food Network and Cooking Channel.
To celebrate Alton’s many years of (exceptionally) Good Eats, we’ve rounded up his 10 most popular recipes from the show. His top recipe, Good Eats Roast Turkey, is the #1 recipe on FoodNetwork.com with a whopping 3,905 five-star reviews and counting. It has graced thousands of your Thanksgiving tables since 1999, and we’re guessing many of you also made #8 or #9 (or both!) for last Sunday’s big game.
Alton’s 10 most popular recipes from the show »
- Your Caption Here
In this week’s episode of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs, the seven remaining rival chefs head to a comedy club to cook up some humor in the form of all-star dishes that are made with a heaping helping of improvisation.
In this sneak-peek shot, Saturday Night Live comedian Kevin Nealon stops by to help host and chef Alton Brown choose the ingredients the competitors must incorporate into their dishes. Will Kevin and Alton go easy on the chefs, giving them common ingredients, or will they select the oddest of the bunch?
Before you tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c to watch these guys in action, we’re challenging you, Next Iron Chef fans, to write your best captions (tastefully appropriate, please) for this moment in the comments below.
Who’s your favorite rival chef so far? Cast your Fan Vote up to 10 times per day.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, we caught up with Alton Brown and chatted about his plans for the upcoming food-focused holiday.
Speaking of his Turkey Day tradition at home with his family, Alton said, “It’s really simple. Really simple. I’m not one of those guys who wants to cook for 13 hours and eat for five. So it’s very, very basic stuff.” What exactly is on his menu? “I handle the turkey. There’s some dressing. My mother-in-law makes a pecan pie. I like Brussels sprouts. And we, like, cook some sweet potatoes, and it’s done.” he said. I bet Alton makes a mean batch of Brussels sprouts.
We also talked with Alton about his Good Eats Roast Turkey (pictured above), Food Network’s most popular turkey recipe, boasting a 5-star rating and more than 3,400 user reviews.
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The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs kicks off on Sunday night, and we chatted with host Alton Brown about the fourth season of this all-star culinary competition.
After four years of hosting The Next Iron Chef and 10 on Iron Chef America, Alton has witnessed hundreds of culinary battles, experienced a myriad of secret ingredients and tasted thousands of gourmet plates. We asked him about the difference between a typical Iron Chef battle and that between Super Chefs. He explained, “It’s professional, but there’s the added tension of having a lot to lose. Every one of those chefs doesn’t need to prove anything, but losing still really kind of sucks. There’s a lot of tension there because of that.”
Of the rivalry between the 10 Super-Chefs, Alton assured us that the battles would be aggressive, but never malicious. “You’re never going to see any backstabbing or cattiness; they don’t do that,” he noted. We would expect nothing less from such professionals as Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell and Michael Chiarello, among others, as they are friends and colleagues outside of the competition, as well.
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This afternoon, Alton Brown took to Twitter for a live Q&A session with fans and Food Network. Alton touched on topics from Iron Chef America, to current food trends and this Sunday’s upcoming premiere episode of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs — find out what he had to say.
Question: How do you decide what tie to wear on Next Iron Chef?
Alton: I do dress myself and I must confess, I travel with about 30 ties so that I always have choices.
Question: Do you get nervous when you walk into Kitchen Stadium?
Alton: I have butterflies in my stomach every time I walk into kitchen stadium.
Question: If you could challenge one chef to a battle, who would it be and what secret ingredient would you have?
Alton: If I could challenge an Iron Chef, it would be Morimoto: Battle beanie-weenies.
Alton’s favorite cookbook »
Ina Garten recently shared a few of her favorite fall recipes on the Today Show. The clip features her Roast Loin of Pork With Fennel, Creamy Parmesan Polenta and an Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake from her latest best-selling cookbook, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?
Alton Brown has teamed with Welch’s and Zagat to introduce the Taste of Harvest Guide for 2012, which includes a free downloadable guide for picking fresh, local and seasonal foods to encourage and excite people about eating produce. Fitness Magazine featured this must-have eating guide and spotlighted Alton’s love for the fall harvest, when nutrients and flavor are at their highest levels. The guide encourages shopping at farmers’ markets for fresh items to prepare at home and finding restaurants that are offering seasonal fare.
Find out what Paula and Ree are up to »