Brown, Alton. Good Eats: The Early Years.

NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009.

I’m a foodie. Not a gourmet, you understand — just a serious eater. And for that reason, I’m also something of a serious cook (again, non-gourmet). For these reasons (and also just because he’s the sort of person he is), I’m also a great Alton Brown fan. And I’m sure, the world being the sort of place it is, that there are people who actually don’t like Alton, but those undoubtedly are dreary, unpleasant people who take themselves way too seriously.

No, really — Alton Brown is a cross between Julia Child, Steven Wright, and Mr. Wizard. I don’t always agree with his methods (I can’t drink his coffee and I simply don’t care for his BBQ rib-rub), but there’s a great deal of useful stuff in the show in addition to the entertainment (including what non-cooks would probably call “trivia”), from nutrition nuggets to advice on multi-use kitchen tools. This volume, he says, is meant to be the first of a trilogy, and it covers the first six seasons of the show. (Now, there’s optimism!) That’s eighty not-long chapters, one for each episode, beginning with #1 — The Steak. Each chapter repeats the important points of the show itself, with stills of Alton doing his thing, sidebars of interesting facts and comments (like the proper way to break an egg, the ideal shape for a meatloaf, and why deep-frying a turkey is similar to the way an internal combustion engine works), the text of the recipes he develops, and lots of comments about the guests (most of his family have made appearances over the years) and revelations of what went on behind the scenes. And all of it leavened by Alton’s oddball, deadpan sense of humor. The text design takes a little getting used to, though, especially locating the citations to which the footnotes refer.

Published in: on 9 December 2010 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: