Alton Brown Talks BBQ Potato Chips, Duck Confit, Biscuits With Sawmill Gravy and More

Chris LaPointe
Alton Brown

The mentor and judge on "Food Network Star," which returns June 1 for a 10th season, takes THR's Taste Test.

Alton Brown, the ubiquitous Food Network presence -- from Iron Chef America and Good Eats to Cutthroat Kitchen -- is back again mentoring and judging on the 10th season of Food Network Star, the show that gave Guy Fieri his career.

The Georgia resident shoots in L.A. but doesn't dine out much when in town. "I cook a lot at home, although I do make sure I eat one meal a week at Musso & Frank," he notes.

He's mainly focused on fine-tuning the recipe of Star's competition to best turn up the heat. "The game is so much different than it was even five years ago in terms of what it takes to be a star," he says. "You have social [media] to consider and live shows and short form. It's not just about cooking and talking anymore. It's a very dynamic kind of job. So the competition has to echo that change, that metamorphosis."

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Amid the frenetic TV schedule, Brown, widely known for his fancy duds, has made time for a fitting passion project: his burgeoning limited-edition line of bow ties and pocket squares with boutique accessories brand Hook + Albert, which will go on sale June 3 solely through the company's website. (The first Brown collection sold out last year in just a few days.) "There's a lot of emphasis on color and fabric," he says. "The only through-line to it all is me."


Current Fixation
"Egg cream."

Known For Cooking
"Biscuits with sawmill gravy."

Destination Dinner
"Paris -- the entire city."

Go-To Take-Out
"Shake Shack."

Adventurous Bite
"Beef fat wrapped in lamb intestine."

Simply Won't Eat
"Beef fat wrapped in lamb intestine."

Favorite Snack

Dietary Regimen
"When you can't see your shoes, stop eating."

Preferred Company
"People who compulsively pick up the check."

Big Wish
"Wish my town [Marietta, Georgia] had a decent Italian restaurant."

Embarrassing Experience
"I laughed so hard once I spit a beverage out of my nose. That's a hard one to bounce back from."

Guilty Pleasure
"BBQ potato chips."

Last Meal
"Duck confit. Because it takes three days to make."