June 30, 2002 --
Alton Brown uses all kinds of strange implements for cooking: hair dryers, telephone books, trash cans. But, he says, "The brain is the most important tool in cooking."
On his TV show Good Eats, which airs on The Food Network, Brown emphasizes the science of cooking, but he does it always with tasty results in mind. It is science in service of culinary art.
For All Things Considered,, Brown recently met with NPR's Korva Coleman in a Washington, D.C., backyard to show off some of his more entertaining techniques and to talk about his new book, I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking. "I'm like a really goofy home ec teacher," he says.
That goofiness has a purpose -- to get people to pay attention to what he has to teach them about food. And sometimes, the goofiness is a natural byproduct of his unorthodox techniques -- as when he dons welding gloves so he can handle hot charcoal.