A lot of well known chefs have their own cooking shows, lines of kitchenware, newspaper columns and cook books, some of them well renowned in the restaurant scene. One guy, who calls himself just a student amongst them, is my personal hero of the kitchen: Alton Brown. The geek among the chefs explains the bare essentials, his approach to breaking down cooking (=food+heat) to physics and knowledge is unique and delivers a great foundation, something that a lot of hobby cooks lack. Of course he has a show on Food TV, and his book »I'm just here for the food« replaced 10 other cook books for me. Forget your Jamie Oliver, Emeril Lagasse or Alfons Schubeck, for me Alton Brown did it and brought me to the next level.

»I am very much at home with charcoal. I love charcoal. I can reach a Zen-like oneness with the coals. A couple of summers ago I constructed a 4-by-8-foot fire pit in my backyard and had special grates made to fit it. I cooked whole pigs over hickory fires, then harvested the leftover charcoal to use in my three grills. I am a freak, but I can live with that.«

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