I like Alton Brown almost as much as I like Costco; he’s the Costco of television chefs to me. If you’re not familiar with Alton Brown, however, he has a cooking show on the Food Network called ‘Good Eats’. But he doesn’t just give you recipes while you sit there and watch him cook, he gives you the actual scientific reasons for why foods react the way they do to various cooking procedures and how you can make a better recipe by knowing that information. Dave and I are faithful watchers of his show; we have all of the episodes parked on our TiVO right now even. Every Thanksgiving we depend on his roast turkey recipe to prepare the most beautifully perfect and juicy turkey; it’s all about the brine and the turkey triangle (page 74). And he has a steak recipe that will lead to the perfect steak every time (page 12)!
So, his new book, ‘Good Eats: The Early Years’ is part cookbook and part show guide and backstage pass to the first 80 episodes. The book has more than 140 recipes, including some that never made it into the show but there are also pictures from the show and little tips, tricks and trivia about food and the show. The book is presented in much the same style as the television show, with great recipes interspersed with fun stuff. This definitely is not your typical cookbook! But make no mistake, he presents tons of information but you’re enjoying reading (or watching) so much, you barely notice all the knowledge that you’re picking up too. He explains things very clearly and uses great illustrations as well, all of which will actually help you become a better cook, even when you’re not using his recipes or a recipe at all. If you like to cook and have an appreciation for knowing how things work, you’d like this book and should probably pick up a copy of it next time you’re at Costco.
The book is $20.39 at Costco right now (vs. $21.93 at Amazon), and as I said it has more than 140 recipes spread across the 381 pages (not including conversion charts or the index) and tons of additional information too. Hopefully, some of you were lucky enough to catch Alton Brown’s author signing this past weekend, October 17th, at the San Diego Costco. Unfortunately, he’s not listed on the Costco.com Author Signings page to visit anywhere else in the next month or so. But I’m still hoping that he’ll make it to Austin!