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Alton Brown is the writer, director, and host of the Food Network show Good Eats, which won a 2007 Peabody Award, and is the resident food historian, scientist, and color commentator of the network's Iron Chef America series. In 2004, his book I'm Just Here For the Food won the James Beard Award for Best Cookbook in the Reference category. A regular contributor to Bon Appetit and Men's Journalmagazines, Brown lives in the southern United States with his wife and daughter.
Best known for his Good Eats program on the Food Network, Brown has all the colander knowledge, marketing savvy and geeky male appeal to whip up a big hit from this unwieldy but very fun macropedia of gadgetry. Splashing the word "gear" across the cover in capital letters is clearly an appeal to the male shopper. Descriptions of every conceivable pan, peeler and propane torch get their due in entries ranging from a few sentences to a few pages, depending on which items Brown considers to be absolute necessities or which are just cool to have around. (As Brown is a self-confessed java-holic, the extensive overview of coffeemakers reads as a labor of love.) There are Mr. Science type explorations of topics such as, "Why Eggs Stick So Bad," and "The Proper Way to Pack a Cooler." One hundred photographs and another 100 illustrations make sense of what, for example, a nylon fish turner or an immersion blender looks like. Lost in the mix are 25 random recipes ranging from Icebox Bran Muffins to Potato Leek Soup. Brown does his own photography but designers Galen Smith and Amy Trombat deserve credit. The layout and graphics, replete with faux handwriting in the margins and arrowed lines zipping through the text are part 1950s Sears catalogue gone art deco, part coffee-table book for George and Judy Jetson. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"[Alton is] one part epicure, one part Einstein..."