Host Alton Brown explores the origins of ingredients, decodes culinary customs and more on Good Eats.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Good Eats - Good Eats - Netflix
Good Eats is an American television cooking show, created and hosted by Alton Brown, which aired in North America on Food Network and later Cooking Channel. Likened to television science educators Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye, Brown explores the science and technique behind the cooking, the history of different foods, and the advantages of different kinds of cooking equipment. The show tends to focus on familiar dishes that can easily be made at home, and also features segments on choosing the right appliances, and getting the most out of inexpensive, multi-purpose tools. Each episode of Good Eats has a distinct theme, which is typically an ingredient or a certain cooking technique, but may also be a more general theme such as Thanksgiving. In the tenth anniversary episode, Brown stated that the show was inspired by the idea of combining Julia Child, Mr. Wizard, and Monty Python. On May 11, 2011, Brown announced that the series would come to a close, ending production at episode 249. Good Eats is the third longest running Food Network series, behind 30 Minute Meals and Barefoot Contessa. A “sequel” to Good Eats will be released in 2018, by Alton Brown, on the internet.
Good Eats - Format - Netflix
The show had a distinct visual style involving Dutch angles and shots from cameras placed inside and on various items in the kitchen, including the ovens, refrigerator, and microwave oven. In some episodes, Brown and other actors play various characters to tell the story of the food. For example, in the episode “The Big Chili”, Brown played a cowboy trying to rustle up the ideal pot of chili. In the episode “Give Peas a Chance” (a parody of The Exorcist), Brown plays a Father Merrin-like character who tries to convince a “possessed” child to eat (and like) peas. In other episodes Brown is simply himself, but interacts with fictional characters such as his eggplant- and tomato-wielding neighbor Mr. McGregor, or a city councilman who refuses to eat fudge. He also uses various makeshift teaching aids to demonstrate scientific concepts. They also feature many episodes where the ingredients themselves are portrayed by actors, represented by an agent who uses Brown to “gussy up” these foods for mainstream appeal. Episodes of Good Eats typically began with an introductory monologue or skit that leads into the phrase “good eats.” The show often closed with the phrase as well. For the first several seasons, Brown himself would say the words “good eats.” Since approximately season seven, however, Brown avoids saying “good eats” at the end of the intro, stopping just short and allowing the main title graphics to complete the phrase. Episodes were primarily set in the (fictional) kitchen of Brown's house, although his actual home kitchen was used in “Give Peas a Chance”. In seasons 1–4, the episodes were shot in the actual home kitchen of Brown's original partners in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. In season 5, taping moved to the new home of the show's Line Producer (Dana Popoff) and Director of Photography (Marion Laney), in which they built a much larger and more versatile kitchen for taping. A 7 foot (2.1 m) section of the island was built for the show and placed on wheels, so it can be moved (or removed) for various shots, and a 12 sq ft (1.1 m2) grid of pipe was hung from the ceiling, for easier placement of cameras and microphones. Starting with season 7, the show moved, this time to an exact replica of the previous kitchen and surrounding areas of the home, built on a sound stage. In the “Behind the Eats” special, Brown said that complaints by Popoff's neighbors (not adjacent neighbors but at the end of the block) prompted the move. The stove top and the sink are the only functioning pieces in this kitchen. Many of the other appliances have even had part of their backs removed, so shots of Brown can be taken from inside cabinets, ovens, and refrigerators. This change was generally not known until after season 7 started airing when the house used in season 5–6 was put on eBay for sale. It was then revealed that they had moved. It is generally thought that in the “Q” episode on barbecue that was taped in Brown's Airstream trailer, when Brown says that they are “building the set for Good Eats: The Motion Picture” this is in reality a reference to the new house set. The set was not officially unveiled on the show as a set until “Curious Yet Tasty Avocado Experiments”. Incidental music during the show is typically a variation of the show's theme, which in turn was inspired by music from the film Get Shorty. There are dozens of variations of the theme played throughout, crossing all genres of music, including the keypad tones in “Mission: Poachable” and nearly every incidence where a countdown of ten seconds is used. New music is composed for each episode by Patrick Belden of Belden Music and Sound. Brown met Belden while working on other projects before Brown's culinary training. Each episode also featured tidbits, text pieces containing trivia related to the food or cooking technique featured in the episode. These are always shown just before ad breaks, and are often shown between major transitions in location or cooking action. The information presented is usually notes about the history of the food or technique, helpful cooking hints, or technical or scientific information which would be too detailed or dry to include as part of the show's live content. During the show's first seasons, at the end of each episode Brown would give a summary of the important points covered during the episode; these points would be shown on the screen as he talked. These summaries still appear in later seasons from time to time, but rarely have the textual accompaniment. Brown also traveled to food manufacturing facilities frequently in the first few seasons to talk with experts about the foods being featured. In later seasons, he still visits farms, groves, and other places food is grown as well as processing plants and other factories, but less frequently. Beginning in season 9, episodes have been filmed in high definition, and these episodes also appear on Food Network HD.
Good Eats - References - Netflix