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Good Eats: Volume 1, The Early Years Hardcover – October 1, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 237 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Good Eats Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Every so often a cookbook comes along that wishes it were a television show. Brown's latest effort actually is a television show, or rather, a marathon of all 80 episodes from the first six seasons of his Food Network hit. Egotistical yet thrifty, Brown interviews himself in the introduction, describing this work as four hundred pages of liner notes. And that is sadly accurate. For all its girth, there are merely 140 recipes, ranging from chocolate syrup to butternut dumplings with brown butter and sage. That these entries appear sequentially exemplifies the book's biggest problem; it is organized by TV episode number, causing readers to repeatedly visit the index to make sure they're not missing anything. The roast turkey is toward the beginning of the book, for example, but the turkey salad is hiding out somewhere in the middle. Recipes that never made it into the show! are promised, but good luck identifying them, and is that really a bonus? Accompanying each meal is a chart labeled, Knowledge Concentrate. These contain the fun, quasi-scientific facts that are the author's bread and butter (The higher the egg-to-dairy ratio, the firmer the custard). The remainder of the pages are cluttered with photo strips, sketches and squiggly lines, lest you get bored and turn on the tube. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Alton Brown is the writer, director, and host of the Food Network show Good Eats, which won a 2007 Peabody Award, and is the expert commentator on Iron Chef America. In 2004 his STC book I’m Just Here For the Food won the James Beard Award for in the reference category. Brown lives in Georgia with his wife and daughter.

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Product Details

  • Series: Good Eats (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; 1st Printing edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584797959
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584797951
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.5 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally! No more having to dig through the search engine of the food network website or dreading that I wrote the wrong measurement or ingredient while watching the show and frantically trying to copy all the juicy "tidbits"! No more looking at the DvD collection and sighing at the price, knowing I could never afford it! It's Good Eats, concise, compact and affordable.

This volume contains the first 6 seasons and covers all 80 shows, covering: steak, spuds, eggs, baking, grilling, jams, frying, apples, mushrooms, and many more Good Eats.

All of the tidbits are here and I dare say if not all, most of them, including updates on some of the tips and hints since the episodes were made (such as the recent teflon scare and how teflon isn't bad below 550F). The recipes from each episode are listed with procedures, diagrams, pictures and notations. It takes the fear away from the complexity of cooking and gives you fun history tips that you can pass on during dinner chat or use in a friendly game of trivial pursuit. Having seen other works of Alton's and considering him the best of the best for telling you how, when and why with science to back it up, I rate this the #1 must have.

BTW, it's printed in a durable binder and the dustjacket folds out into a pulp-fiction type poster (cover art) that I'm seriously considering hanging in the game room due to its fun nature.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok, I didn't give this five stars...which really kind of hurts to do because I am a huge Alton Brown fan. (My DVR is set to record every episode of Good Eats as it airs, I have autographed copies of all his other books and I've cooked just about everything on the show so far.) Anyway, the book is great, the "knowledge concentrate" is great in that it gets to the point of each topic/show, the recipes that are there are great and well written and the book is very well put together in general.

So why didn't I give it five stars...well mainly because I find myself wishing it had a better way of organizing it and making the information and the related recipes easier to get to when you are cooking and don't really want to improvise and want to try his recipes out. Case in point, I had a bunch of friends coming over for dinner and I had very short notice to throw something together so I was following Alton's recipes for meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Finding the recipes was kind of challenging because i first tried to use the table of contents but that is sorted by the order of the episodes so it isn't really that helpful. next I turned to the index which actually worked very well. I think I am just spoiled by the ease of use of some good eats fan pages websites as easier ways to find recipes by searching by things like food and find myself wishing that was included in the book. I am also hoping (Wishing) that future editions will include some sort of master index (hopefully by food too) so that I can just look up something like "Pork, tenderloin" and see that it was used in his schweinbrauten recipe in episode x, and the recipe is contained in book y on page z kind of thing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alton Brown is, quite simply, the best talent the Food Network has, and this book is a great review of the first few years of Good Eats. Brown manages to cram all the important stuff in each episode into less than a page in each chapter, as well as bringing *most* of the best recipes from each show into the book and giving much background and trivia on the production and cast of each show. It's a very worthy addition to anyone's cooking science shelf.

That said, I wish they hadn't left out a lot of the second-string recipes -- there's only one chocolate chip cookie recipe out of a show that featured three (though there's presumably enough information in the "knowledge concentrate" to recreate them), and the recipe for stovetop mac and cheese (a huge favorite of mine, and one I've recommended to others) simply isn't here. That's rather a shame -- it's not like they're hard to find on the Food Network website, but in focusing only on the marquee recipes Brown left out a lot of hidden gems.

Still, nothing that is in here is the least bit disappointing, and most of it is flat out awesome; it's not the bible of kitchen geekery by a long shot, but it definitely belongs on the same shelf with Shirley Corriher, Harold McGee, and Hervé This.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I hate to give this book a THREE STARS.
My hope is that the editor will correct the problems
before the next edition of the MIDDLE YEARS.

The book is better than expected.
Organized greatly ... how else could you do it except
by Episode. There is an index for looking up by
specific items.

Well thought out.
But if you are buying this book as a gift for someone,
then make sure that someone is YOUNG with young eyes

The MAIN text is okay ... as least it is black text on a white background.

Other texts like tidbits is like white font on very light colored background.
I have to hold the book just right ... light over my left shoulder with the
book on an angle AWAY from the light source. This helps to get rid of the glare.

Tomorow I will try some COLOR GLASS to look thru.
Hopefully there is a color combination out there that will increase the contrast.

The publisher must have been worried about people copying the pages.

The pages are probably larger than what a scanner would read and some of the fonts
appear to be less than size 6.

I took my bifocals off and replaced them with just reading glasses.

Book is great ... info is great ...Alton is great ... I would buy again even with the poorly designed fonts.

I will be getting the follow up book also and was hoping this review would help in getting others to also suggest
changing the font color in the next book. Could be the smaller font is there in order to fit in all the good info
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