Coming from the UK, I had never heard of Alton Brown let alone the TV Show ‘Good Eats‘. Before being involved with TV Cooking, Alton was a cinematographer for various music videos including The One I Love by REM, and then, because he was dissatisfied with the quality of cooking shows on American TV, so he set out to produce his own show and enrolled in the New England Culinary Institute to understand the underlying processes of cooking. Though the series of ‘Good Eats’ has now ended after 14 seasons (249 episodes), I’m sure it would be a big hit in the UK because of its humour and quirky style.
Back at the end of last year, Bill and I heard that Alton was going to be signing the latest, and possibly last ‘Good Eats’ book at book-store just round the corner from us. Though it took nearly 6 hours waiting in line to get the book signed, Alton was extremely patient and gave the same amount of time to everyone and stayed cheery to the end.
Good Eats 3 – The Later Years is a fairly hefty tome with more than 200 recipes from Seasons 10 to 14, as well as the science and backgrounds to the different foods which are what really makes ‘Good Eats’ so good. Unlike standard cookbooks, there aren’t simple categories such as appetizers or desserts , but there is an eclectic array of classic dishes, ingredients and techniques from the best bits of the TV shows.
Each of the topics is accompanied by interesting narratives, just like the TV show, along with a good smattering of science, history, cooking techniques and photos. Alton never complicates any of the recipes or techniques, but explains everything in a straightforward and humorous way to make sure that even the most basic cook will be able to attempt them and hopefully create good eats.
For those that have seen the show, you will know about the ‘yeast’ sock puppets and there is a page of laminated stickers in the back of the book, with instructions for creating your own very own.