Reddit Caught Alton Brown Throwing Shade At Food Competition Shows

Ever since fans expressed concern about Alton Brown's Twitter behavior in 2020, the celebrity chef seems to have taken more care with what he says on social media. He also seems to have learned what kinds of comments might get him backlash from followers — so much so that he recently deleted a tweet that u/rbbass shared on a Food Network-related Reddit thread. In response to a Food Network U.K. tweet promoting the upcoming "Buddy vs. Christmas" competition baking show, Brown apparently tweeted, "Someone please explain to me why food has to fight everyone?" Presumably, he was questioning why today's food television often centers around contests rather than education.

Redditors were divided in their opinions about Brown's musing. "I disagree with Alton on a few things but it is a good take," one response reads. "I miss a simpler time when a show could be like... 'watch this guy teach 6 people how to make a cool cake and then appreciate their attempts.' ... You can still have all the beats of a modern food show without everything being some serious competition." Others questioned why Brown decided to delete the tweet. A common theory is that Brown may have realized that he himself has hosted cooking competition shows, such as "Cutthroat Kitchen" and "Iron Chef America," so he may not be in the position to judge. As one user put it, "C'mon Alton, LMAO."

Brown has plenty of experience with food competition shows

While some people on Reddit agree with Brown's critique of the pervasiveness of cooking competition shows, others may note that the topic is old news. In 2014, Quartz reported that since 2005, the number of competition shows on the Food Network had octupled from two to 16. The first of these shows was "Iron Chef," which aired in 1999. The explosion was fueled, of course, by the fact that the most-watched shows on the network were competitions. "Every element is designed to heighten the stress and lead to more exciting and suspenseful viewing," the article explains about the popularity of the television style.

What's more, shows like "Cutthroat Kitchen" and "Iron Chef" may have been more financially lucrative than Brown's non-competitive show, "Good Eats." Allen Salkin, author of "From Scratch: Inside the Food Network," told Mediaite, "Alton's show, Good Eats, was not a cheap show. They spent almost the entire budget that the Food Network gave them on producing that show. Alton makes far more money as a host of Iron Chef America than he ever did from Good Eats." So, why does food have "to fight everyone?" Perhaps pitting contestants against one another is more of a cash cow than other types of programming — but Brown probably knew that, hence his retraction.