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Alton Brown Keeps It All in the Family with Criticism of "Top Chef"
Thursday, October 11, 2007 | posted by Mike

So, our post about The Next Iron Chef America spurred some discussion the other day. More to the point, the last part of the post -- which included some pretty inflammatory remarks from Alton Brown -- raised a few eyebrows. A couple of commenters pointed to the remarks as evidence of Alton's ego (check out Dan's thoughts at The Hungover Gourmet for more on this point of view). I don't necessarily disagree, but here is something to keep in mind:

The quote comes from an article written and carried by Food Network's parent company, Scripps.

Now, obviously these are separate entities within a large organization and I'm not implying anything by the association, but it makes for an interesting twist.

So, what was the motivation for this whole thing? Was it an attempt to stir the pot and get some press for the new show? Or did Alton go "off the reservation" and pop off? If there's something PR people love, it's when people start giving "interesting" quotes to the press.

I've been thinking about this for the whole thing and finally chalked it up to a one-time thing, but my peaceful commute this morning was interrupted by an interview in the Philadelphia edition of the Metro newspaper with Alton Brown, which included this exchange:

How do they compare to contestants on shows like "Top Chef?" On that show they don't make it look easy.

For people on "Top Chef," boiling water is hard work. When America watches it, they think that's what a chef is. My mom could outcook half the people on that show.

OK, we've now officially ventured into the realm of trash talk.

Will we be lucky enough to get a response from Gail Simmons? We can only hope.



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