Few cooking shows have blended the deeply informative with the delightfully stupid as well as Alton Brown’s Good Eats, perhaps the only culinary show in history whose budget for fake mustaches, silly costumes, and giant foam appliances was even a fraction of what it spent on equipment or ingredients. Although the show last broadcast new episodes on Food Network back in 2012 (with a “Reloaded” season of reprised episodes running on The Cooking Channel last year), it’s finally set to come back to the airwaves with a new season of episodes, premiering this Sunday. You don’t have to wait quite that long to see Brown get back into the looking into refrigerators game, though, because Food Network put a full episode of Good Eats: The Return up on YouTube earlier tonight.
The episode in question, “American Classics X: Chicken Parmesan,” is, as the name implies, a continuation of the classic Good Eats series that attempts to breathe a little life back into tired staples of the U.S. diet. And yes, there’s plenty of silliness involved—including a cloak-and-dagger digression on San Marzano tomatoes, and a gear check-in from W herself, Vickie Eng. But the joy, as it always was with this show, is in the way it blends those sillier elements with Brown’s talent for conversationally delivered expertise, casually but cleverly guiding you through every step of both the history, and the making, of the Italian-American staple. Anyone worried Brown might have missed a beat (or any of his slightly irascible energy) over the last few years is likely to find themselves reassured—and excited for the rest of the season, including a sure-to-be-lawyer-infuriating episode about the dreaded steak tartare.
(Just don’t make the same mistake that we did and watch this episode before dinner, because you’re going to end up with a truly brutal hankering for a really good chick- or eggplant-parm.)