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Feasting on Asphalt

Food Network’s Alton Brown explores the history of eating on the move. Limited Series Premieres July 29 at 9 PM ET/PT on Food Network

What in the world is Feasting on Asphalt?

In a quest to find good eats across the country, Alton Brown embarks on a transient mission to find tasty edibles on the go in a 4-part series about the history of road food (premieres Sat, July 29 at 9 PM ET/PT on Food Network).

Where is Alton Brown going? (The physical route)

Alton begins his trip in Savannah Georgia, then winds his way through the western edge of the Great Smokey Mountains to the great blues and BBQ states of Missouri and Kansas, next crossing the great plains of Oklahoma to the hill country of Texas, then meandering southwest through New Mexico and on to the Rocky Mountains and the great pioneer state of Utah, then due west to Las Vegas and the California coast.

How is he going to get there?

On a motorcycle. “Why a motorcycle? As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to experience the road than from the back of a bike. Being exposed to the elements presents thrills and challenges alike, most of which can’t be captured in a ‘cage’ (that’s what motorcycle people call cars),” said Alton. “Although we’ll stay in the occasional motor lodge as needed, many nights will be spent under tent or stars. For vast majority of human history, hotels didn’t exist and eating meant lighting a fire. The social aspect of sitting around that fire is one of the things our culture lost by taking most of our meals locked inside our cars.”

What will Alton eat?

Every kind of road food available - from foraging in the forest (grubs are great protein) to camp cooking (think Lewis and Clark) to diner, truck stop and even the corporate fast food chain. Alton also intends to eat (and cook) in nifty regional joints, churches, community centers, VFW halls, RV parks, and the homes of folks nice enough to offer a weary traveler a meal.

What else will I glean from Feasting?

In classic Alton Brown style, he incorporates an entertaining history lesson about great road trips from the past - from the Odyssey to the Crusades, to Lewis and Clark, and Jack Kerouac. Archival photos, film footage depicting the history of the American highway and the evolution of the diners, cafes, and truck stops that once flourished will all make an appearance. The story will also be seasoned with interviews gathered from the road, various historians, anthropologists, and big thinkers who can address issues like what’s good to eat under a log, the broad social implications of the drive-through window and the automobile cup holder.

When can I tune in?

Episode I premieres on Food Network Saturday, July 29, 2006 at 9 PM ET/PT
Episode II - Aug 5
Episode III Aug 12
Episode IV Aug 19
All episodes air at 9 PM ET/PT

What else is Alton up to these days?

To commemorate its 5th anniversary, Stewart Tabori & Chang will release I’m Just Here for the Food: The Director’s Cut in October 2006. This special edition features brand new recipes, 20 pages of additional material, a jacket that folds out to a poster, and a removable refrigerator magnet — along with everything that made the original a classic instruction manual for the kitchen.

Alton Brown’s company, Be Square Productions (Atlanta, GA), recently opened its full-service production facility. The space houses the complete Good Eats set, fully functional test and on-set kitchens, editing suites, sound booth, and research library. In addition to filming Good Eats, Be Square Productions is the creative force behind film projects for General Electric and Whole Foods, among others.

Your favorite episodes of Good Eats are now available on DVD at www.foodnetwork.com and Target.

Alton Brown – A little background

Alton Brown’s interest in the kitchen developed early with guidance from his mother and grandmother, a budding culinary talent he skillfully used later “as a way to get dates” in college. Switching gears as an adult, Alton spent a decade working as a cinematographer and video director, but realized that he spent all his time between shoots watching cooking shows, which he found to be dull and uninformative. Convinced he could do better, Alton left the film business and moved to Vermont to train at the New England Culinary Institute. Soon after, Alton tapped all of his training to create Good Eats, food show that blends wit with wisdom, history with pop culture, and science with common cooking sense. Alton not only writes and produces the shows but also stars in each offbeat episode on Food Network. Alton also serves as commentator on the popular series Iron Chef America and has penned three successful cookbooks.

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