Marietta food guru Alton Brown announced yesterday that after 249 episodes, he is shutting down “Good Eats,” a Food Network staple since 1999.
Beau Benton, his spokesman, confirmed that “Good Eats” will no longer be a regular series though Brown does plan three one-hour specials this year. He said Brown was not available for interviews.
Brown’s “Good Eats” has been a standard dish on Food Network’s menu for years, frequently in prime time. A fast-paced, intricately-created concoction, the show provides viewers with food history, cooking tips and oddball trivia on a single topic in Brown’s signature light-hearted and frequently sardonic tone. Over nearly 250 episodes, he chewed on almost every food subject there is, be it olives, steak or bouillabaisse. With some common staples like pasta or eggs, he’s done multiple episodes. And he’d hire local actors to play goofy parts.
One of those actors, Vickie Eng, who played the mysterious W character on about 30 episodes, said Brown put “blood, sweat and tears” into the show as director, writer and star. Her favorite moment was dangling from the ceiling Tom Cruise/”Mission Impossible” style for an episode on oysters.
Bobby Flay, another Food Network staple, said in an interview yesterday that he admires Brown for his “encyclopedic knowledge” of food and how he’s able to leverage that in multiple arenas.
Brown owns a 15,000-square-foot studio in Atlanta where he has shot “Good Eats.” Much of his staff and crew has been with him for years, a testament to his good works as a boss. “Everybody there is like family,” Eng said.
The Welch’s spokesman and author recently re-signed a new contract with Food Network and has an entrenched job with “Iron Chef” and its various incarnations. Undoubtedly, he has another show idea in his fridge.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog