Much a Twitter about Alton
October 24th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Alton Brown follows me on Twitter.

I know, I know, a few of you are probably pretty jealous right now. I like following Alton’s Twitter feed for a few reasons: he has a dry sense of humor, he retweets all the mean things people say about him and he’s interactive with it. People seem to have a love-hate relationship with Brown’s online escapades, and frankly so does he.

He initially joined Twitter to - as Brown puts it - "shut up" his agent, and there have been a few bumps in the road since then. Shortly after, a troll opened an account impersonating his wife, and Brown "had an aneurism."

“I don’t take that kinda crap off of anybody," says Brown - and left Twitter immediately.

Luckily for Food Network's "Good Eats" fans, Twitter was able to woo him back after their team promised to help avoid a repeat.

Since then Brown has used Twitter in all sorts of wonderful ways: He sometimes tweets longitudes, latitudes and a time for an impromptu "flash" book signing. One he had back in August in New York City's Madison Square Park drew in 150 people.

My personal favorite was when he went into the "Good Eats" prop room and had followers guess which episode props came from by posting their picture.

Alton Brown has a “keep your enemies closer” attitude towards those not-so-friendly followers. "I've gotta be able to take all of that in and give everyone an equal voice," he recognizes. He even helped @AltonBrownSucks pass 1,000 followers.

Brown is currently on a whirlwind cross-country book tour. You’d think with "Good Eats" production done the man would have some time on his hands, but between promoting his new book - Good Eats 3: The Later Years - and prepping for the new season of "The Next Iron Chef," Brown is beyond busy.

Before embarking on the tour, he put out what he called a "fanifesto" - a simple guide for fans who were planning on coming out to one of his book signings.

It includes requests like “Please don’t ask me to talk to someone on the phone”, or “please don’t talk to me in a public restroom” and “I try to keep physical contact to a minimum” (to avoid "being responsible for accelerating the spread of what could be a potentially deadly illness," of course).

He even has a disclaimer for social media followers: "If you are the kind of person who takes offense at being 'snubbed' on social media, please don’t follow or friend me as a disappointment is all but guaranteed."

Brown says that his fellow food professionals have been really positive about the social contract, and some have even asked to borrow and modify it for their own use. Only a small percentage of the public has been really angry, and to those he says "stay away."

Brown takes tours seriously. He signs from a high table so he can move quicker and pose for pictures. He also lets families with kids come to the front of the line and he stays until the end, always.

He’s had some fans do some crazy things at signings - some have asked to have kitchen tiles signed, and some have even slipped him their hotel room keys. But, he says it’s the other stuff that makes it all worth it.

Brown has a shrine to fans set up in his office to honor all the cool stuff people have brought him. He’s got pictures kids have drawn for him, and fans' favorite family recipes.

One of his most recent additions is a scrapbook a young boy made that chronicles his culinary adventure of becoming a foodie. Proof that sometimes the best followers are the ones right in front of you.

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Filed under: Alton Brown • Television • Think • Twitter

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Jables19

    Good Eats is a killer show. Wish more were available on Hulu.

    November 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  2. Bob in LG

    Nice Halloween costume that clown is wearing.

    October 24, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  3. ryan

    I love Good Eats. Alton is a great host and I always learn a lot from his shows. My wife finds him weird and creepy though. My daughter loves watching hm, but she's in to cooking shows anyway (she's 9) and takes after me. she has to go to the kitchen and try new recipes all the time. She loves her easy bake oven, and made cookies by herself (in the big stove) the other night.

    October 24, 2011 at 10:30 pm |

    Alton is Cool :-D !!! Love him !

    October 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Ben

      I love his show. I had no idea he was so popular and I had no idea he had book signings. That is super cool. I want a book or dozen signed now. Time to flip to the food channel and see if he is on.

      October 24, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  5. Hasai

    AB: The only guy in the world to ever figure out a way to get my wife to like broccoli.

    October 24, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  6. abc

    Alton left Food Network - he's been on Cooking Channel for several weeks now.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • me

      He hasn't left the Food Network. The Cooking Channel is owned by the same group that owns the Food Network. He's also hosting the Next Iron Chef which starts on Sunday.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Chris R

      He ended production on his show Good Eats. The reruns have moved to the Cooking Channel – which is owned by The Food Network. Alton still appears on The Food Network for Iron Chef and other shows.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  7. Laura

    We took our 12 yo daughter to see Alton at a book signing in Lexington, KY last year. She is a huge fan. He could not have been nicer. He talked to her for quite some time, autographed her book and her Good Eats t shirt ('s what's for dinner).

    She has become quite the expert in the kitchen due to his show. I'm sorry to see Good Eats ending.

    October 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  8. BlondeBomber

    Alton has some serious chops as a chef since he is a food scientist and all. I really respect him and his dry sense of humor. He definitely belongs on my list of 100 Things I am Thankful For . Thanks Alton, for being you!

    October 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Chris R

      While he's knowledgeable about the science behind food he's not a food scientist like Harold McGee. He has no formal training in food science – he's a bit of geek but everything he knows is self taught and/or the result of research for his shows. He started out as a cameraman and cinematographer. He actually made a video for REM. Anyway, he also has no restaurant experience – he went to a culinary school in order to be able to create a new type of cooking show.

      October 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
      • tffl

        While it is true that Alton Brown has no formal training in food science (just in culinary arts, as you note), neither does Harold McGee. McGee's academic background is English Literature (BS from Caltech, yes, but in English not science, PhD from Yale in Literature). I don't believe he even attended a culinary school. His knowledge of food science, like Brown's is self-taught and by experimentation, not academic.

        October 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
      • Yoi just got burnt

        Chris R you just got burnt

        October 24, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  9. danny

    Chuck Hughes is the next Iron Chef! take that to the bank

    October 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • SHRIKE

      I nonconcur. Chef Robert Irvine will be the next Iron Chef.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
      • 2bnfl

        If he can quit lying about his credentials.

        October 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Argonautt

      ... who is so tough he can crack walnuts with his ta!nt – or your head, tough guy.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Padma Smellme

      I 'm voting for Flava Flav.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Truth@danny

      Chuck Hughes is a liberal stooge. Until he gets his head straight on taxes and Afghanistan, he's not winning anything.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  10. die die

    alton, i loooove you!!! food genius.

    October 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  11. nora

    I love Food Network! *:)))

    October 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  12. Brian

    He looks like David Letterman's son... get some new frames Alton, and lose the dorky suit and bow-tie...

    October 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • Brain

      And what do you look like? I'm sure you're the epitome of style. Lose the Cheetos-stained sweatpants and the "pwn'd" t-shirt and I'll bet you'd make the next cover of GQ.

      October 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
      • Pinky

        You look like deconstructed tofu bubbles in vegan broth.

        October 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • Brain

        Did you get the hysteresis lever working before you started wasting time posting on the internet? You need to get that done then I can take over the world!

        October 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  13. Leo in Kansas City

    Alton is going to be doing a talk and book signing tonight in Kansas City, and I've already purchased tickets and will be there. Glad they posted this article just now!

    And to all you haters... here's a really simple suggestion for you: if you don't like it, don't watch it.

    October 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Truth@Justa

    I completely concur. But enough about you...

    October 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Win!

      Meh- – Hahaha!

      October 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • JBJingles@Truth


      October 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
    • GreatGooglyMoogly

      Truth wins!

      October 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Flicker booger picker

      Daaayum! Dat was da slam down!

      October 24, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Pinky

      truth hurts what an ugly troll.

      October 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  15. TwitterNut

    Awesome! Really? Tell us something that isn't AWESOME!

    October 24, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Aronn

      Projectile vomiting and diarrea?

      October 24, 2011 at 11:29 am |
      • Archibald

        Well played, Sir. Well played.

        October 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • MalaDee

      Something that isn't awesome? Posters with sh!tty att!tudes.

      October 24, 2011 at 11:58 am |
      • Bill Cosby's Ghost

        And you MalaDee

        October 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
      • MalaDee@BCGhost

        You seem to view me as a threat. Awesome!

        October 25, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Glenn


      October 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  16. RAWoD

    Alton: ditch the bow tie. The Tucker Carlson look died several years ago when it was pointed out that men who wear bow ties are not counted as "truth tellers".

    October 24, 2011 at 11:18 am |
  17. JainaJade@AleeD

    I follow Alton and shudder every time he tweets cuz I have a "slight" puppet problem

    October 24, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • AleeD@JJ

      Does he pull your strings? Does me make you all jumpy like Kermit? HA!

      October 24, 2011 at 9:53 am |
      • JainaJade@AleeD

        I blame my mom and being exposed to Labyrinth at a young age. There is just something about the vast majority of puppets that just freak me out, borderline panic attack style. There are a few that I can handle but...rather not

        October 24, 2011 at 11:47 am |
      • AleeD@JJ

        Alton that reminds you of puppets? kidding. :D
        Labyrinth? I never got into that. I'm a huge Dark Crystal fan. I love the muppets, too.

        October 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
      • JainaJade@AleeD

        haha, Alton's twitter handle is a picture of him as a puppet. sorry should have been clear about that!

        October 24, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  18. AleeD

    If I twittered, I'd follow him. He's awesome!

    October 24, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Bill Cosby's Ghost

      To say it correct. It would be, if I were a Twit I'd follow him.

      October 24, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
      • da bing da bang

        dat is sum ignernt sh it

        October 25, 2011 at 7:05 am |
    • AleeD@BCGhost

      That phrase should have been, "To say it correctly ... " then a comma, not a period, would have been the correct choice of punctuation. Ya don't have much of a leg to stand on if you're trying to beat someone down using poor sentence structure. Takes the beat-down RTF out of it. Wanna try again?

      October 25, 2011 at 7:06 am |
      • Jerv

        Yup, and sounds just like our new vapor, only under a new name.

        October 25, 2011 at 7:19 am |
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