Alton Brown

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Alton Brown (born on July 30, 1962 in Los Angeles, California) is the creator and host of the television show Good Eats, a cooking show on the Food Network.

Good Eats Quotes

  • Remember, America: organization will set you free.
  • Two smashed and chopped cloves of garlic. Why garlic? Hey, garlic don't need no reason.
  • on rice cookers: The problem is, this is a unitasker. And we've got rules about that kind of thing here. (throws the rice cooker out the window.)
  • Of course, we're not going to have any more fresh ingredients because we're all out of hand grenades.
  • Look at that crust. Looks like Limp Bizkit isn't just the name of a band anymore.
  • Time passed in a blur of tropical days and long, sultry, lonely nights. And then came the day I discovered I was not alone. It happened in a banana grove.
  • No matter how hard we try, sex isn't as good as sweet corn. (quoting Garrison Keillor)
  • Silly sea monsters.
  • Allow me to present.. my bean board. Like it? I made it myself. Wouldn't Martha be proud?
  • Wilber, set the table. There's going to be good eats tonight.
  • This is how it starts, you know. Dissatisfied with the sustenance provided by home, these kids are walking right into the clutches of the processed food world! I mean, from here on out, they'll look to drive-thrus for satisfaction and "Biggie size!" will be their battlecry.
  • Build it right, and they will come.
  • You're a French chef. Okay? Until great white sharks figure out how to catch rabies, that is going to be the scariest thing on earth.
  • The way to any woman's heart, be she witch or Wonderwoman, princess or Pocahontas, is through her stomach.
  • Behold -- the human eyeball. Okay, it's a kettle grill with a fancy paint job. Just work with me here for one second, okay, people?
  • Believe it or not, one polar bear liver can kill you quicker than a blowfish fillet.
  • Mandolines all come with hand guards. You'll notice that I'm not using mine. And that is because it is almost impossible to cut carrots on a mandoline with a hand guard. I am, however, wearing a CUT-RESISTANT GLOVE! And I suggest that you do the very same thing, because food is good -- but safety should always come first.
  • I don't need luck! I've got.. (Good Eats theme starts playing)
  • Hey, look! It's our old friends Tender and Flaky!
  • You know what, I hate sifters. You can't clean 'em, they rust, they take up a lot of storage space, and half the time, they're broken! The food processor is always there for ya.
  • Now, wet stuff does not like sticking to other wet... stuff. It's one of those universal axioms that keeps the galaxy from ripping itself to shreds and dissolving into the void.
  • handing an apple to a doctor: Here you go. This should keep you away from yourself for at least a day. How do you like them apples?
  • With the possible exception of college-aged males, the acetobactors are just about the only critters on Earth who can actually thrive on alcohol.
  • 20 mothers. Gives you the shakes just thinkin' about it.
  • You'll need a basting brush. I like this silicone one--it's bouncy!
  • My, my, my! Would you just look at that meaty lava flow of love!
  • Waffles may have actually originated in a penguin tank. (Nun grabs his hand and whacks it with a ruler) Ouch!
  • I'm just not into vegetable bondage.
  • (about salt) Don't worry about it burning. It's a rock!
  • (quoting Cervantes) Hunger is the best sauce.
  • Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt.
  • (on pearled barley) It looks like me: pasty...white...starchy.
  • Stock is like a computer--crap in, crap out.
  • Whoa! It's like a Kiss concert!
  • Well, we hope that you enjoyed Flap Jack Do It Again. I know I did. How many times does a guy get to walk around the neighborhood in his robe and not get arrested, right?
  • With a large amount of high protein or horny endosperm.. No, I told you, I didn't make that up!
  • Everybody ready to dough?
  • Although you don't necessarily have to have a stand mixer in order to bring this dough together, it certainly will make things a whole lot easier. Besides, I'd, uh.. be lonely without mine.
  • We gotta change over to the hook in order to work in the rest of the flour, of course, to do the kneading that will be necessary. So.. hook time. Pirate time. Arrrgh.
  • Obviously, I need to send Thing to baking school.
  • Ahhh, just smell that rosemary, I... Oh. I'm sorry. You can't. That was mean.
  • I always consider raisins optional.
  • Pope hat, Pope hat!
  • Look at this. A picket line! Can you believe this? I've never even heard of Cooks Against Wasted Leftovers! ... CAWLO? That's a silly name! They seem to be under the impression that I haven't made enough shows focusing on the utilization of recipe remains or some such thing as that. To make matters worse, my crew is refusing to cross the picket line. Some have actually joined it! [shakes fist] Oh, you faithless cur!
  • (Anytime after Debra mentions an international dish created in New York) NEW YORK CITY?!
  • Chocolate is its own inspiration, ganache its finest reincarnation. So go ahead. Ganache yourself silly!
  • Pretty is nature's way of saying, "Hey animals! Eat me up!"
  • Just another deviation from the norm. Heh heh, I like those!
  • Squishable spreads go on squishable breads.
  • Last but not least, one cup of heavy cream. That's right, heavy cream. Look, I said I would help you make premium ice cream. I didn't say anything about low carb ice cream, or low fat ice cream, or low anything else ice cream. As far as I'm concerned, ice cream shouldn't be low anything! It should just taste good!
  • And of course, chocolate. Dark. Creamy. Decadent. Oooh.. come to Papa.
  • Candy making is basically the manipulation of sucrose by heat. Taffy, jawbreakers, fudge, divinity, butterscotch are all made possible by the fact that between 230 and 350 degrees plain old table sugar, sucrose, goes through more changes than a teenager during prom week.
  • Now, these will be perfectly roasted in 30 to 35 minutes. But halfway through the cooking process, you will have to rotate and spin the pans. Meaning, the top will go to the bottom, the bottom will go to the top, the back of both pans to the back of the oven.. um, you know what I mean? Good.
  • Some people like their meringues all wavy on top. Me, I want mine as smooth as Kojak's noggin.
  • Then we have a tablespoon of fish sauce, an ingredient I keep around for making pad thai or, well, any dish where you want a little flavor of cat food and athletic sock.. but in a good way. That's why we only use a tablespoon!
  • I know they say that man can't live on bread alone.. but this is one man who's willing to try.
  • You make cupcakes, which are supposed to make people happy. And childlike. But instead, you and the foodie cognoscente have corrupted them into fussy, heavy, cloyingly clever, and sickeningly sweet cups of condescension! And I think I shall now wage war on you and your ilk!
  • This is called a peel; I call mine Emma.
  • Though there is such a thing as saltless pretzels, called 'baldies' , I would suggest that they are really not pretzels at all, but rather cruel jokes perpetrated by bitter bakers.

Good Eats Catchphrases

  • The only unitasker allowed in my kitchen is a fire extinguisher.
  • Oh, bother.
  • Wow! Time flies when you're on TV.
  • Sorry, we're still working on that scratch and sniff TV.
  • But that's another show... or at least it could be.
  • If there was a trick to [recipe or ingredient], and I'm not saying there is. But if there was...
  • Thank you, Thing.
  • Take your time, and your patience will be rewarded.
  • Golden brown and delicious.
  • Like the hat?
  • Time to pan up.

Feasting on Asphalt

  • Great googly-moogly!
  • By the way, I don't recommend this for most people. I'm just a little bit crazier than most.
  • to a truck that roars by while he's filming: Get a muffler!
  • after inspecting a honey tree full of bees: Okay, they're mad now. Run away.. run away!
  • I don't have any idea what to order, so I talk to a few of the folks milling around outside. I think I've got it straight, but then I go inside and find a factory that would make Willy Wonka blush. I'm lost in a sea of possibilities.
  • from a Feasting on Asphalt vignette on YouTube:
Alton: Now here's our first road food of the trip. A pickle. (rips the bag open, takes a bite) Wow, that--oh, my eyes are watering. That is ONE hot pickle! I doubt that thing needed to be in a bag. (later, walking away from the camera) Oh my God! Whoo! (to the cameraman) Here, have a bite. You know you will!
Cameraman: (taking a bite) Oh god, that's hot!
Alton: Isn't it?
Cameraman: (spits out pickle juice)
Alton: Ahh! (backs away from the camera all of a sudden) Arterial pickle spray!


  • Although I don't take myself very seriously, I do take my work extraordinarily seriously.
  • I like cooking with kids... and I don't mean in a Grimm Brothers kinda way.
  • As Jerry Seinfeld once said, "Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason." But I have often wanted to take the road less traveled simply because it was.
  • A small, foot activated, pop-top trash can makes a fabulous flour storage device.
  • No matter how much creativity goes into it, cooking is an art -- or perhaps I should say a craft. It abides by absolute rules, physics, chemistry, etc. and that means that unless you understand the science you cannot reach the art. We're not talking about painting here -- cooking's more like engineering. I happen to think that there is great beauty in great engineering (the wing of a Boeing 777, a suspension bridge) but they are not works of art, they are works of science. To my mind art is a matter of personal expression and the exchange of ideas; food is in the end, fuel -- a means to an end.
  • I approach cooking from a science angle because I need to understand how things work. If I understand the egg, I can scramble it better. It's a simple as that.
  • My neighbors thought I was insane because I was standing there with a stopwatch grilling ice cubes for three days.
  • When I get things -- when I really get something -- I have a talent for being able to communicate it and help others get it faster and better than I did. It's probably my only true talent. I think that I'm a teacher that happens to be a decent filmmaker. And that I happen to be able to use the visual narrative form in an effective way. I think I use television in a relatively positive way.
  • I still believe that television is the most powerful form of communication on Earth -- I just hate what is being done with it.
  • Since I never thought I'd come this far, I honestly have no idea what will be next... I'm working on it though. I guess that above all I'd like to stay employed.
  • on Iron Chef America: The biggest surprise to me was how fierce the competition was. I mean these guys are some of the best cooks on the planet but that’s so easy to forget when you see them on television. They were dead serious and amazing to watch. I wasn’t (nor am I now) worthy.
  • Because I think the more you understand the world around you, I think the more power you can have in it. And the more you can do. And I think that's important.
  • I love poking fun at myself. I have a rather mean sense of humor. Viciously, viciously mean sense of humor, and I find that it does less damage if I turn it on myself. So I spend a lot of time making fun of me.
  • I’m a hacker at heart and I like finding different ways of doing things because in doing so, I find new ways of examining the job at hand.
  • There are no bad foods, only bad food habits. I eat cream, butter, and bacon; I just don't eat pounds of it at a time. I use these things when they are needed in recipes and leave them out when they're not needed.
  • As for substitutes, I only agree with them if they really don't change a person's response to a dish. Take mashed potatoes, for instance. I recently saw a recipe that suggested that the fat we all know that mashers need could be replaced with vegetable broth. Hogwash. All that does is lead to dissatisfaction and I think that dissatisfaction results in overeating. We like fats because fats satisfy. They break down in the digestive track very slowly so they keep us fuller longer. Now if I find a way to replace a fatty ingredient without missing it (I do this a lot with yogurt) then you bet I'm going to do it. But I repeat: there are no bad foods.
  • on possibly making Good Eats: The Movie: That would be one movie the world just doesn't need.
  • on diets: My advice: write down everything you eat. It's amazing what that "self honesty" can do for you. (Do you really want to have to confess that doughnut? I thought not.)
  • Americans don't eat near enough vegetables. I'm not a vegetarian, though I do respect anyone who makes a hard and fast decision about what he or she is going to live on. All you have to do is look at the health statistics from countries whose cuisines are lighter on meat and heavy on veggies and fish. They live longer. It's as simple as that. What I would hate to see is a radical swing away from meat. I think we evolved as omnivores for a reason. And that's all I have to say about that.
  • I had kicked around the idea for Good Eats when I was directing commercials. I kept thinking, "Somebody has to make a food show that is actually educational and entertaining at the same time ... a show that got down to the 'why things happen.'" Plus, I hated my job -- I didn't think it was very worthwhile. The world's got enough Pampers and retread tires without me.
  • Everyone that works on the show (on the TV side) has done serious time in commercials and movies and we tend to treat every episode of Good Eats like a little movie. I direct them just as I did commercials, heavy on composition.
  • Here's a little culinary confession: given all the wonderful "gourmet" chocolates available in the world, my favorite chocolate confection remains a Hershey bar with almonds.. hands down.
  • Here's the thing.. I'm slower than the average tree sloth when it comes to writing. Because of that, the scripts I write are never all they could be and therefore the shows aren't either. They're certainly made better by those that I work with but I often feel as though I'm the weak link in the whole system. I've even recommended to the executive producer that I be fired. It really would be the best thing for the show. interview

  • You know we fixate on the food so much itself: “Oh, the ultimate brownie or the ultimate this or that” -- well, let me tell you something: It’s all poop in about 12 hours, okay? The real power that food has is its ability to connect human beings to each other -- that’s the stuff right there and, to me, everything else is secondary to that.
  • A whole meal can change for me if there’s paper on the table that me and my daughter can draw on with crayons.
  • Good service can save a bad meal, but there is no level of food that can save bad service.
  • Life is always the best teacher, no matter what you’re doing.
  • I know people that could serve me canned tuna and saltine crackers and have me feel more at home at their table than some people who can cook circles around me. The more you try to impress people, generally the less you do.
  • The problem now is that even the really great little mom-and-pop places are trying to make themselves more like the thing that’s trying to kill them. You know, "I own a little hamburger stand but because the standard for hamburgers is McDonald’s, I’m going to make my hamburgers more like McDonald's does so you’ll like me." So smaller places are losing their identity by attempting to conform in order to survive.
  • on Feasting On Asphalt: I wanted to do a project to go out and try to pretend that the big freeways don’t exist and the big fast-food restaurants don’t exist and that you can still have yourself a high old time if you pay attention, are willing to meet strangers -- which, in this culture, we’re not so big on anymore really -- and kind of be willing to let the unexpected happen.

Guideposts magazine

  • In the end, all journeys are spiritual. So go off the main road. Be givers of hospitality and gracious takers of it too. Accept the serendipitous moments of life because, when all is said and done, you may find out that they were not serendipitous at all. And know that faith is as real as bread broken among friends. What you believe will take you far on your journey. If you search carefully, you will find good food all along the way.


  • I think the part of my job that I take most seriously is being an educator. If I can get people interested enough in food to adventure into it themselves and to understand it better -- that's what my fondest hope is.
  • Martin Scorsese likes to make films about the mob, and I happen to like to make films about food.
  • I am a nerd, I guess, if you think that getting kind of excited about understanding ionic bonds is nerdy. Truth is, I was a horrible student. I sucked at everything because nothing mattered to me. History was a bunch of numbers, chemistry was a bunch of symbols, math was bunch of equations. And once in my adulthood, I started getting really interested in food. All of those things started to make sense, and now I'm into it. I can't learn enough about chemistry because now it applies to something. And I blame the educational system for that -- for making it meaningless. For making a lot of what we learn in the educational system meaningless.
  • If I have a brand loyalty, it's to Macintosh. And maybe that's because my computer skills and the way my life has changed through my ability to use computers have been so attached to Macintoshes that... I feel about them the way a lot of farmers feel about Ford trucks. You've got certain tools that you have to have, and so you're very, very picky; and once you make up your mind about what you're going to go with, you stick with it... And I do not think that I could do what I do without them.
  • Good Eats was, if nothing else, original. I can't always say that it's good, but I do think it's original. And I think that's something that comes from one person being allowed to exercise their vision, be it twisted or otherwise -- that's usually where great innovations come from.

Roadfly magazine

  • on Iron Chef America: To be honest, I don't know who the competitors will be. When taping the episodes, I know what the secret ingredient is going to be ahead of time, but that's about it. But even that information is highly privileged. It's like they send me this encrypted message that says, 'Go to the phone booth near the corner and await further instructions. This message will self destruct in five seconds...' It's very secretive, but it's a really fun show to do.
  • It's funny--when I showed up for my first book signing at Barnes & Noble, I got there and the place was empty. I turned to the manager and said, 'Hey, I'm really sorry that no one showed up,' and he points to the mezzanine level above us where there were 770 people and goes, 'They're all here to see you.' I was floored. I turned to my wife and said, 'You know, maybe the book doesn't suck so bad after all.

Iron Chef America episodes

  • Bobby Flay's getting ready to crack some coconuts. He's choosing his arsenal for that.. his head, he's using his head--which may be the hardest thing here in Kitchen Stadium, I'm not sure. (He and Flay both laugh.)
  • Poppy seeds! Poppies!
  • Ah! A parfait! Everybody loves that!
  • Well, Kevin, it's on. The ice cream maker is on. Iron Chef Cat Cora has activated the device!
  • Salted pork belly, yum. I'll get my angioplasty suite ready.
  • (takes a deep breath) Can you smell it? Can you smell Kitchen Stadium? Awww, of course not--you're watching television. But hey, at least you get to watch!
  • She has a dessert with the ice cream, streusel, and pork! Yummy! (laughs nervously)
  • You've stumped me, and that makes me grouchy all the livelong day.
  • I don't know about you, but I think this is a mmmmoving experience. Goshdarnit, the jokes aren't getting better--but the food's gonna be real good!
  • on the infamous ice cream maker: It's like the Sirens in Greek mythology. You're lured to the machine, and then destroyed by the machine.
  • Okay, so all of those items are being made into a frosting for the chocolate eggplant cupcakes. What a magical world we live in!
  • on cotton candy covered with red curry powder: That's just mean! Think about being some little kid! And you get this big thing of cotton candy and you latch into it and then it's like, ahhhhh!
  • Ooh, Chef got hold of a bad avocado there, and that happens. And he's not liking that one either. Do not wave your knife at me, I did not buy the produce, Chef!
  • Cat Cora's got a fascinating way of getting creme fraiche out of the container. Instead of simply removing the lid by lifting it up away from its interlocking device, she just simply whacks off the whole top of the thing. The woman is positively medieval!
  • Folks, all I can say is sit back and relax. I think we're in for a real culinary donnybrook here. (smiles proudly) That means brawl.
  • George Bernard Shaw wrote that there is no greater love than the love of food. If that be true, then Kitchen Stadium must surely be Love Central. Granted, I admit, it's kind of tough to feel the love, you know, with all that battling, and yelling, screaming, chopping, and searing going on. But hey, tough love can still be true love, and I, for one, could use a big fat hug. So let's get to cooking, shall we?
  • (on deep fried bacon) Bacon.. fryer! Fryer.. bacon! Have I died and gone to heaven?
  • That's a big, big fire.. Iron Chef Bobby Flay, willing to sacrifice life and limb all in the name of flavor!
  • That's an interesting texture. IT'S ALIVE!
  • Anne Burrell, just putting down a piece of that dough right on the grill. It's very thin, and I bet it's got a sexy name.
  • We see the chairman scooping a snack down by the altar. Hey, it's your house, buddy! You eat from anywhere you want, okay?
  • Now I have to tell you, sometimes, occasionally, when I've been very very good, the chairman allows me to glimpse the secret ingredient before that two-ton lead shield seals its secrets. Now I gotta tell you, get ready to lick your TV screens, America, because today's battle is going to send your salivary glands into hyperdrool.
  • Goshdarnit, food-borne illnesses is one of my favorite things to get into, but personally, I eat the cookie batter, you know what I'm sayin'?
  • If you take a raw egg like this and you give it a spin and stop it and let go, it'll start spinning again. However, if you take a hard cooked egg and spin it and stop it, it won't spin again. That is because the liquid has set in here, but this is still free to move around. That is so cool! But then.. I'm kind of.. a geek that way.
  • That truffle probably cost more than my first car. But let's not be wowed by flashy fish and expensive pounding fungi, this is about cooking and this is about egg!
  • They are now looking at twenty minutes left in Battle Egg. [announcer says, 'twenty minutes to go'] THAT'S WHAT I JUST SAID! I don't know who that woman is, I never do get to see her.
  • [at the end of Battle Ostrich] It's nice to know that neither of them chickened out. [awkward pause] Sorry.
  • Food: the final frontier. These are the battles of Iron Chef America: our continuing mission to discover strange new groceries, to seek out talented culinary combatants, and boldly go where no kitchen arena has gone before. Let's cook.
  • Over on the challenger's side, we've got some chemicals at play. And I understand that that is methylcellulose.. and methylcellulose, it's a gelling agent. But guys that are getting on an age like me, know it mostly as the main ingredient in Metamucil. And goshdarnit, you've gotta be regular if you're gonna be happy on this planet.
  • Hi, I'm Alton Brown here in Kitchen Stadium, the culinary coliseum where the only ingredient that isn't allowed is FEAR. Well, that, and those little containers of yogurt they give you on airplanes that always blow up in your face? Oh, and mothballs. We frown on those, too. Anyway! Are you ready for some down and dirty deep-fried fisticuffs? I know I am!
  • Battle Asparagus officinalis is on, and millions and millions of children across America just freaked out.
  • A bottle of ouzo! Gracious, he's been out with Cat Cora. All right, he's got some grape leaves out, pickled grape leaves.. so he has been hanging with Cat Cora, it looks like.
  • on the possibility of someone using the ice cream machine during Battle Asparagus: It could happen, keep an eye open for that. We've got new rules around here, we're gonna scream bloody murder when we see that come on.. [later, as the ice cream machine is turned on by Morimoto's sous chef] ICE CREAM MACHIIIIINE! It's on, the ice cream machine is on.. oh, the mother of all that is holy. The ice cream machine is on here in Kitchen Stadium! It's always a comfort to see either fish or vegetables go into the ice cream machine.. and all I can say is, the judges are in for a surprise!
  • A torch.. and he's brought protective eyewear, God bless 'im! I always like it when somebody brings their own welding mask.
  • during Battle Rabbit:
Alton: Looks like some vodka being poured with orange juice, and I think carrot juice. That mixture is going into a cocktail shaker over in the hands of Jonathan. I always like it when they make cocktails over there because they generally bring me one.
Michael Symon: Oh, we've got one for you, buddy!
Alton: Looking forward to it, Chef!
  • Between the rhythm of the double knives and the chatter of the pressure cooker, I feel like I should be doing a scat up here.. I'll spare you that horrible pain, though.
  • Well, the cooking continues as the commentator becomes.. very confused about things. It's the ginger cognac, I'm telling you. Iron Chef America will be right back, I'll get my head right.
  • All right, kids. Up to this point, I've been okay with you drifting away, going into the kitchen, getting a beverage or maybe some reference books to look up all the ingredients today. But at this point on, you have got to stay RIGHT THERE. Let's get back to the action!
  • There on the challenger's side, we can see those crawfish being peeled. That's a lot of work; it would be a lot easier to suck them out with his mouth.. but that would be a sanitation violation here in Kitchen Stadium.
  • (To Kevin Brauch, regarding the peeling of crawfish) Gosh, you work so long and so hard for so little tail meat. You know what I'm saying Kevin?
  • (After Kevin announces the rules for scoring the battle) Boy Kevin, you sure do know a lot about scoring!
  • So.. the challenger has already rubbed his meat and spanked his pomegranate right here on national T.V.! So at least somebody's having a good time here in kitchen stadium.

The Next Iron Chef

  • Chefs! Stop.. staring at my hair net!


  • on starting to shoot Good Eats in HDTV format: But, although our look may have gotten expensive, I assure you our props, sets, costumes, actors, and general mentality are still budget basement. Good Eats is still held together by dental floss, duct tape, peanut butter and brine. We still don’t spend as much per episode as American Idol spends on Paula Abdul’s hair. And unlike much of what goes out on those 315 or so channels that pass for television, Good Eats is hand made…no committees, no corporate spank, and no stinkin’ focus groups.
  • I didn't think they airbrushed anything that much any more! (in Cincinnati, on 3/3/07, re: Rachel Ray on a box of Triscuits)

Blog entries

  • I have decided to move from the planet. I’m sorry but I simply cannot remain on a world where Paris Hilton is allowed to publish “memoirs." (Sunday, September 05, 2004)
  • I recently discovered that someone has taken out email accounts with addresses containing my name. ...If caught (and of course they won’t be) but, if caught I hope the responsible parties will be forced to live on the South Beach diet for an entire month. I know that may seem like cruel and unusual punishment but goshdarnit identity theft is an ugly thing. (Sunday, February 27, 2005)

External links

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