Alton Brown's Humble Start In The Food Industry

Alton Brown is one of the biggest names in the food industry today. He has been on the Food Network more than 20 years, starting as the host, writer, and driving force behind the show, "Good Eats," which debuted in 1999 and aired for more than a dozen seasons. Brown has also been a host and commentator on other food and cooking shows such as "Iron Chef America" and "Cutthroat Kitchen" and has appeared in shows such as "The Next Food Network Star" and "Chopped." A winner of two James Beard awards and a Peabody award, Brown is also a best-selling author of several books on cooking and food, and has toured around the US, including on Broadway, with his live culinary variety shows.

And although Brown prefers to be called a 'foodist' rather than a chef, Brown did train at the New England Culinary Institute, after attending college at the University of Georgia. It was during his time at the University of Georgia that he had his humble first start in the food industry.

Alton Brown's first food industry job delivered

Everyone has to start somewhere, and being a celebrity chef or television food personality is no different, with many tales of humble and less than glamorous starts in the industry; Anthony Bourdain started off as a dishwasher in Cape Cod; Guy Fieri sold pretzels out of a bicycle cart; and Bobby Flay delivered pizzas after school, which turns out, is something he had in common with Brown.

While Brown was in college, he worked as a pizza delivery driver for Sons of Italy, a popular pizza place in Athens, Georgia. Brown would often work during football games on Saturdays, since pizza deliveries tended to increase during football games and, "I wanted the 35-cent tips....I needed the money," Brown explained in an interview with the Gwinnett Daily Post. His job also kept him fed during college, since there always seemed to be pizza left over, he explained to Spoon University. It was during college that Brown really got into cooking, as it would help him secure dates with women when he offered to cook for them. College was also when Brown started working as a cameraman, which led to a career as a cinematographer and video editor. That eventually prompted him to enter culinary school with the specific goal of producing good food shows, an area where Brown has found tremendous success.