The Real Reason Cutthroat Kitchen Was Canceled

Cutthroat Kitchen had its fans, but Alton Brown, the show's host, probably wasn't one of them. If the Food Network did officially cancel its wacky competition where chefs bid on creative ways to sabotage their competitors' cooking, it was only because Brown quit. After nearly 200 episodes over 15 seasons, from 2013 to 2017, he had had enough.

Brown dropped the news in July 2018 via Twitter. A fan on the platform asked if new episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen were coming. In his trademark way, Brown responded with a Post-it Note stuck to a computer monitor displaying the fan's tweet: "Cutthroat Kitchen got cancelled. Sorry. #ProbablyMyFault." Brown actually explained much earlier why he was done with Cutthroat Kitchen, during a Facebook Live video. "I've had enough, guys," he told fans in late 2016. "I need to get back to what I do."

What Brown does was best displayed in his previous Food Network series, Good Eats, the award-winning show that revolutionized cooking shows, adding science, history, and humorous skits during its 13-year run. In Cutthroat, Brown appeared out of his element, according to a critic at Entertainment Weekly. "It is NOT a show about cooking," the EW critic wrote. Brown wanted to get back to cooking. "I think I've game-show hosted about all I can take, and life is short," he said on Facebook Live.

Alton Brown returned to his roots with a Good Eats sequel

At that time, late 2016, Brown planned to go independent and make his own internet-only show, on his own terms, As he explained on Facebook Live, "I want freedom to do what I want, and say what I want, and work with the food that I want, without being concerned about what a larger corporate entity might or might not want from that." For Brown, that meant cooking with rabbit, liver, or chicken gizzards — some of the items that were forbidden on the Food Network, he said.

Brown's internet series never materialized — although he did create a small online hit with Quarantine Quitchen on YouTube, co-hosted by his wife, Elizabeth Ingram (via Salon). The original internet show was to be called, simply, "A Cooking Show," and Brown envisioned hundreds of episodes that would basically amount to a Good Eats sequel. But the lure of a network's audience reach may have been too much for Brown to resist. Good Eats: The Return, the long-anticipated sequel, debuted on the Food Network in August 2019 (via Eater). Brown added new wrinkles to the old show, working with recipes and kitchen equipment that were less available or too expensive even seven years ago. He also brought in a real food scientist, admitting his own science background was limited. However, rabbit and liver have yet to appear among the show's published recipes.