Alton Brown’s 19 Year College Journey

Chef Alton Brown

Chef Alton Brown

Alton Brown was named the “Cooking Teacher of the Year” by Bon Appétit magazine and has a series of successful cooking shows and cookbooks. But he didn’t start with a typical culinary education.

Brown attended the University of Georgia in the early 80’s, where he spent five years without earning his bachelor’s degree. When he dropped out, he had only one credit to earn, fourth-quarter French. The University of Georgia did eventually grant him a diploma, but not until 2004, when the curriculum changed, re-distributing credits and dropping the fourth-quarter language requirement. “I outlasted the high standards of the university,” Brown said.

Brown worked as a cinematographer and director of TV commercials. He enjoyed watching food TV shows, but was annoyed by recurring problems. The shows either felt like recitations of recipes or used obscure ingredients. Challenged by his wife to create a better cooking show, Brown set out to learn all he could about food. He enrolled at the New England Culinary Institute at the age of 34. After finishing the program and working in the restaurant for a time, he combined his former career with his new passion and filmed the pilot episode of Good Eats.

Via Mental Floss.

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3 Responses to “Alton Brown’s 19 Year College Journey”

  1. Blanche says:

    I have a college student who is dawdling over taking a single class left to complete their degree. I hope he doesn’t read this article. More cases than not, looking like you couldn’t muster the energy or wit to finish makes you look lame.

  2. PCB says:

    Better late than never? Would U of G granted him a diploma if had not been so successful?


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