Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >
Dec 5, 2010 05:03 AM

Alton Brown is starting to really tick me off! Plus other Iron Chef beefs....

I watched the Iron Chef Battle Bell Pepper the other day, and was quite annoyed at how unnecessarily smart-ass AB has become. He would say quite sarcastic things about the challenger, and also some comments made me think he knew how the "Battle" would be finally judged. Is he prescient?

Plus, I was annoyed at the judging on that Bell Pepper show. Have they changed the protocol to one in which they now ask an overall assessment of the Iron Chef's "overall success" at the end of the judgment on his dishes alone? The Bakhoun "lady" is getting more ridiculous; I thought she was going to have some form of ecstatic experience, and I thought she might lick her plate clean at another moment. That was Adam Richmond? What has happened to him -- he looks, um, different. And Nigella. Gee guys, I'm sorry, but eye candy isn't enough to make her appearance there worthwhile; her commentary was inane.

Steingarten would've told Forgione his fish was overcooked, as you could plainly see on TV. Steingarten would tell them what's what.

In scoring originality, the judges ding RJ Cooper, when basically all Forgione did was mince peppers (other than the pasta and the sorbet). Bogus!

Is the fix in on this show now? Why can't they have judges who will talk about the food honestly, instead of oohing and aahing and pandering. Occasionally, they will say how this really doesn't highlight the theme ingredient.... I felt like there was a lot going on that WASN'T about the food (like maybe assuring the newest IC a WIN).

Finally, on a technical note, I have NEVER seen such rapid-fire cutaway editing on Iron Chef in my life. How can one follow it? Here Chef A is making a sauce, blending it, then Chef B's sauteeing something for 2 seconds, then Chef A is adding some ingredient into the sauce that he is still blending, then Chef B is tossing in something to the saute pan, then Sous Chef A is chopping something, then Sous Chef B is piping something, then..... You get the idea. -- all that in what seems to be about 10 seconds....via 2 second snippets without CONTINUITY.

(PS ALton, you've done gone too far with that dieting. You're looking wizened.).

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think Alton looks great. It's sad in America that we are so use to seeing "average", i.e. fat, people we think that someone at a healthy weight looks "wizened".

    18 Replies
    1. re: reatard

      No, I don't think he looks great. We've been fans and have been following him for years. We were just recently remarking how tired and drawn he looks. I don't think it's a fat vs healthy weight issue. I think it's a take a break and recharge issue.

      And I don't think Iron Chef is the same anymore. It does seem "fixed". Maybe it always was, it just shows more now. The atmosphere seems to have changed. Some of the more recent battles have seemed almost relaxed, with joking, back slapping, drinking, like a busy shift at work, not a contest.

      1. re: reatard

        Nope. I did not grow up in the US and am quite familiar with 'average' sized people. When I saw Alton come out of his diet, my thoughts were 'omg, the guy's dying.' He looks like crap.

        (And I do hope there is nothing seriously wrong with him. Some people just look unhealthy when they are skinny.)

          1. re: reatard

            Germany. Which is doing a great job fattening up these days, too.

            Regardless of that, living in a fairly athletic college town these days, I'm pretty confident about my ability of "judging" whether somebody looks (and we are only talking about looks here) healthy or not. Alton Brown looks as sick as a dog these days, and I find him hard to look at.

            The chairman is skinny, too (and athletic), but doesn't look like he is dying.

            1. re: linguafood

              "The chairman is skinny, too (and athletic), but doesn't look like he is dying."

              Mark Dacascos is a martial artist for his whole life and you have never seen him being fat, so... that is different.

              You are just not used to Alton's new look. If you can pretend that you have never seen him before and judge him as a new person, then you won't feel like he is dying. We human has a tendency to see any one who suddenly lose a lot of weigh as being sick. To some extends, this is true. Under normal circumstances, if a person loses a lot of weight for no reason, then the person is sick, so we have this mentality built in our head. The problem is that it does not apply for a person who is on an aggressive diet.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Yes, I am aware of the fact that the chairman dude is in serious shape b/c of his martial arts.

                That does not change the fact that Alton Brown looks, TO ME, like crap. I also frankly didn't think he was all that huge, watching older GE shows.

                Believe me, I've had plenty of time to "get used to" his new look, and it sucks. Glad he is healthy, but he LOOKS gaunt, old, and sickly. And judging from some of the replies by other people, I don't seem to be the only one.

                1. re: linguafood

                  I agree AB isn't looking good. Skeletal is the word that comes to mind.

                  1. re: irishnyc

                    I agree as well. We always remark about how ghoulish he is looking whenever we tune in these days. He doesn't look a well man.

                  2. re: linguafood

                    I think Alton looks sort of gaunt and unhealthy, too. But it could just be the natural way he aged was being masked by being heavier. Had a friend who lost 40+ lbs. While she had looked about ten years younger than she actually was before, after she got to her current weight (the skinniest she's been in her entire adult life), she realized she had "aged" appropriately. Seemed having chubby cheeks just fills in those wrinkle lines. She's in no way unhealthy and is still upset that she can't lose the last 15-20 lbs that she wanted to, but she's definitely in great health. Just that her face bears the mark of having lived an unhealthier life in the past.

                    Anyway, that's what I think Alton's case is. It's probably just wrinkles appropriate to his age + a bit of loose skin from losing some fat in the facial area/not taking great care of his skin.

                    1. re: yfunk3

                      I'd rather be wrinkle-free longer. And better looking. But that's just me.

                      1. re: yfunk3


                        Yep, I said in an earlier response: "problem is that when people loss a lot of weight, their skin look loosen and wrinkles deepen. In short, the person will look older."

                        Basically, when a person loses weight, he or she may look older, but isn't really older. Alton was overweight, now he is at the proper weight.


                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Yup, sorry. I failed to scroll down before I replied. Will be more patient next time and read through the rest of the thread. ::redface::

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I agree about not being used to the look. I think he looks wonderful. I've lost 60 pounds in the past year, and although I'm not really near an "ideal" weight yet, I get the "too thin, gaunt" all the time. People are so used to me fat that even halfway normal looks skinny. Not that I mind being called skinny!

                      And unfortunately, I do look somewhat older, because I don't have fat plumping out the wrinkles!

                      1. re: Parrotgal

                        Interesting comment. I just lost 50 pounds and a neighbor told Mrs. G I look younger. Go figure.

              2. re: reatard

                I read an interview with him the other day. he said he was watching his weight (they asked him what was for lunch) so he was having chicken and claw or something like that. I thought - has that adorable man looked in the mirror lately? He is so gaunt. I worry. His face is so drawn.

                Does being overweight exclude one from having the ability to recognize the diff between frightful and healthy?

                Yeah - fit as a fiddle:

                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                  I know, but he could be in risk of diabetes. For example, Mike Huckabee went through a huge weight loss after being told about his health. You can see he lost a lot of weight:


                  I also know people (personally) who went through massive weight loss due to diabetic risk. Who knows. Alton Brown may be doing this for a real health reason. The problem is that when people loss a lot of weight, their skin looks loosen and wrinkles deepen. In short, the person will look older. Here is a picture of Dick Cheney after losing weight and he looks much older. You may not even recogenize him:



                  Granted that he lost his weight for a completely different reason.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Gosh. I had not thought about someone having to be ultrathin. I hope he is doing OK.

                    You are right about the wrinkles. It reminds me of something Luisa Tetrazzini said (Opera Singer and the woman Chicken Tetrazzini is named for). She said she cared nothing for dieting because fat fills out the wrinkles... or something like that. Very true. Reason number 231 I have spent decades holding on to my freshman 15... er 20.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      One of my culinary school teachers has been trying to break into "The Next Food Network Star" for the past two years. This year, they told her that she needed to lose 60 pounds, then try again - because FN is encouraging all of its personalities to lose weight, and they want to start off any prospective new personalities on "the right food," weight-wise. Don't know if that's already been addressed, as I've only skimmed replies, but I found it interesting. My teacher isn't a porker by any means... a 60-pound loss would certainly put her in "gaunt" territory.

              3. I'm over Alton's not funny comments. Also it's a surprise when Iron Chef doesn't win so yeah I think the fix has been in for a long time.

                1. There is already a thread about this episode, with generally more positive comments.


                  1. im still a huge fan of alton. and the only smart ass comment i remember was when the challenger was smashing the hell out of his fish to get it to cook faster, alton said it was because he was in the weeds. which i agree with... why else would you do that to a poor innocent piece of fish??

                    i think alton is allowed to be biased towards the iron chef. its like the PA announcer at a sporting event. of course theyre gunna favor the home team, cuz theyre the home team!

                    i think what you noticed about adam was the fact that he wasnt trying to be over the top ridiculous like he is on man vs food. i actually kinda enjoyed this side of adam, it was much more refined and like he actually deserved to be judging on iron chef.

                    as for nigella, i actually totally agree with you on that one. besides the eye candy thing. cuz she is not IMO.

                    1. I love Alton, but I agree that he looks terrible...ill, almost. I comment on it every time I watch the show. He could use a good stylist, as well. He was so cute when was doing "Good Eats".

                      I'm not thrilled with the insipid judges they are using lately, either. I really miss Jeffrey. I wonder why he hasn't been on the show lately?