In an epic crossover to end all crossovers, TV personalities (and podcast hosts) Andrew Zimmern and Alton Brown made back-to-back appearances on one another's podcasts. As they explain in the intro to each podcast, both episodes were recorded in Brown's trailer on the set of Cutthroat Kitchen. At the beginning of the latest episode of Go Fork Yourself, Zimmern introduces Brown as someone he'd wanted to have on the show for a long time and declares him "one of the truly great personalities in the food world and on television." During the conversation, which lasts about half an hour, Zimmern and Brown discuss at length the past, present and future of Brown's television career (including why he doesn't eat the food on Iron Chef America), the personal struggles he encountered toward the end of Good Eats' run, and the recent launch of his new webseries, Cook Smart.
Below, the best lines from Alton Brown's appearance on Andrew Zimmern's podcast, Go Fork Yourself. And stay tuned for the best lines from Zimmern on the Alton Browncast later today.
1) On why he never eats the food on Iron Chef America: "One of the chefs ... made something that had oyster broth in it and I didn't know it. I ate it and I got really, really, really, really really sick and ended up throwing up so much over the night that my heart went into arrhythmia from dehydration and after I shot the show the next day, I ended up in a cardiac ward at St. Joseph's here in L.A. for almost 24 hours. And that's when I decided I will never eat Iron Chef food again."
2) On the goal of Good Eats: "The mission was always why. My feeling was that if you can answer why, you empower people. But then the overarching mission .... was if I can entertain you, I can infect you. I want you to watch a half hour of TV and even if you don't like food, even if you dont give a rat's ass about food, you will actually learn something whether you knew it or not."
3) On why Good Eats ended: "I used to have a rule, that each day ... we had to do shots we'd never done before and I became obsessed with that to the point of madness. It was like Apocalypse Now in a way, I went up the river and I went insane ... It came very close to pushing me over the edge. Towards the end I became suicidal."
4) On his personal issues while doing Good Eats: "Around the 200th episode of Good Eats, food simply became... It wasn't what it was about anymore. It was about making the show and making things people had never seen before. And that drove wedges between me and every human relationship I had until I was alone."
5) On the decision to not monetize the CookSmart webseries: "I don't know how to sell a YouTube channel, I don't know how to get sponsorship and I'm scared of sponsorship. And the second that there's money, there are agents and lawyers and this and that. So eventually, just a few weeks ago quite honestly, I decided you know what, I'm going to give it away. I'm just going to put it on YouTube for free."
6) On sponsorships: "Sponsorship and endorsements that I've done in the past, you think you can control the relationship but you can't. Once you put your name on the line and you become a commodity, you are compromised."
7) On why he enjoys doing more hands-off projects like Cutthroat Kitchen: "There have been times, and I'll be honest I'm in one now, where I feel I've kind of lost my way in life. But I can show up to work everyday and do the job 110 percent and I never phone it in. And there are times that's all I've got."
8) On living in Atlanta: "I've always shied away from places that I thought would suck me in. I never lived in New York because I'm not a member of the club, I'm not a restaurateur. Bobby Flay and I don't play golf or go to the races together."
9) When asked if he might consider going into documentary making: "The desire to make films, I've put a kibosh on for the moment because I'm at a point where I'm not sure what I believe anymore. Like you, I do believe that those of us who have the attention of a audience have responsibility. But if we don't know exactly what to do with that responsibility, park it in the pit for a minute."
10) On why he launched his podcast, The Alton Browncast: "In this day and age, so many people that come on my podcast at least, they expect this list of questions, that we're gonna have an interview ... the whole reason that I started doing it is I just wanted to have adult conversation."
11) On the problem with food media today: "If I feel an indictment towards food media, it's that we have made such a big deal of the food. We're all so busy taking Facebook pictures of our food, we never take pictures of the people sitting across from us ... So we've shifted away from the things that actually matter in human interaction."