Lacking the ability to produce their shows through traditional methods, more and more familiar food television faces are turning to home-based programming. Alton Brown is numbered among them and through his weekly Quarantine Quitchen, the results are eye-opening.
How would we describe Alton Brown? Let us count the ways. Acerbic. Persnickety. Testy. Cantankerous. Gruff, but NOT loveable. Yet despite the prickly television persona, the possibility always remains that the man behind the curtain is a walking contradiction of what we see. Could it be? Could the culinary curmudgeon actually be, gulp, likable?
Shockingly, we’re here to tell you that the answer is yes and we may never look at the irascible Food Network stalwart the same again. Left to his own devices while sheltering at home, Alton has pulled back the proverbial curtain and exposed a side of him that is engaging, funny, and real. His YouTube channel offerings are proof-positive that necessity is in fact the mother of invention.
Alton Brown-centric shows have never been our cup of tea. Whether Good Eats, Feasting on Asphalt, Cutthroat Kitchen or more recently Worst Cooks in America, his programs have never been part of our viewing routine. Sure, we’re always up for the original Iron Chef America, but since he’s just a cog in the ICA wheel instead of the show’s focus, his edgy personality isn’t as off-putting to us.
Having established our relative indifference for him, we’ll admit to having stumbled upon the sizzle reel for Alton’s weekly Quarantine Quitchen YouTube show and finding it amusing. Appearing with a woman named Elizabeth whom he purports to be his wife, Brown comes off as naturally witty and dare we say charming? Who’d have thunk it?!
As if this late-to-the-game conversion hasn’t been conflicting enough for us, we can’t get our fill of Alton and Elizabeth, guitars in-hand, channeling their inner Sinatra on episode 5 of QQ and singing ‘That’s Life’. Going one once-unthinkable step further, we would definitely advocate for Food Network adding the show to their weekly schedule, even after sheltering-in-place becomes nothing more than a painful memory.
While Toto has long gone to the great Yellow Brick Road in the sky, we can’t help but find a parallel between his discovery behind the Wizard’s curtain and the one we made when Alton & Elizabeth pulled theirs back and welcomed us into their home. Better yet, we want more of the real Alton Brown.