Alton Brown is my hero.
Not only is Alton Brown hugely entertaining, but he actually helps me understand why cooking works the way it does. Understanding leads to long-term skill, which ultimately leads me to freedom from the bondage of recipes! The copy of "I'm Just Here For the Food" at the local Barnes & Noble has my fingerprints all over it. I've never envied a celebrity before, but this guy... plus he probably gets to hang out with Giada De Laurentiis. WHOA! :-)