I like cooking shows. It’s fun to learn new recipes and get ideas for meals, it’s even better when they expose you to techniques and styles of cuisine you might not ordinarily encounter. My favorite of all cooking shows though has always been Alton Browns Good Eats.
I didn’t catch the show when it first premiered on Food Network in 1999, I think it wasn’t until the third or fourth season that I started watching (I was late to that party, as usual) but I fell in love with it immediately. Good Eats wasn’t just another celebrity chef giving you a bunch of recipes, each episode was a cooking class, it was a testing lab, it was an equipment review, a history lesson, it was one of the best resources for culinary information I have ever come across. Even better than all the Dummies books I had been buying.
The format was simple in appearance. Alton would pick a single topic like steak, pasta, bread or pie and then go through everything about it, and I mean everything. Not just “This is my Grandmas peach cobbler recipe, it’s the best, here are the ingredients”, but the history of pies, pies from other cultures, what makes a good pie, what makes a bad one, what equipment gives the best result and why. The whys were key, not just explaining how to do something, but the reason it was done that way.
It was on the air for 14 seasons and ended in 2012, doesn’t seem that long ago, but it feels like forever. The new shows in the works Alton describes as a “full reboot” called Return of the Eats and are planed to come out this year (2019 if you’re reading this from the future). In the mean time he give us… Good Eats: Reloaded! I’ve already watched the first two episodes for free on Cooking Chanels website and it’s great! They’ve taken the early episodes from twenty years ago and gone back over them to correct mistakes they’ve made, or updated it with better, more current information. Alton made watching re-runs even better.