Alton Brown Left His Southern Baptist Faith After the Church Tried to Prevent His Divorce

Alton Brown is one of the most popular celebrity chefs on TV thanks to his involvement with Good Eats and Iron Chef America. Viewers love his scientific approach to food as well as his sense of humor. While Brown’s career grew, his first marriage suffered in the background. His faith also took a hit when he filed for divorce.  

Alton Brown’s first marriage lasted over 20 years

TV personality Alton Brown visits SIRIUS XM Studio in 2010
Celebrity chef Alton Brown in 2010 | Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Brown was married to his first wife, Deanna Brown, for 21 years. They have one daughter together, Zoey Brown, who graduated from Georgetown University in the spring of 2022. Deanna was an executive producer for Good Eats for all 16 seasons of the show. In 2014, the pair separated and ultimately divorced.  

Alton has since remarried Elizabeth Ingram. Ingram is a restaurant and residential designer with 25 years of experience in the industry. Alton and Ingram met in 2016 when she attended his book signing. The chef needed an interior designer for his Marietta, Georgia, office and he asked for Ingram’s help. The project turned into a complete renovation of his apartment and a blossoming romance. Alton and Ingram wed in 2018.  

The couple created a YouTube cooking show on a whim called Quarantine Quitchen. Alton and Ingram live-streamed dinner every Tuesday night from inside their apartment — complete with sound cooking advice and plenty of laughs. Viewers commented during the live stream. One viewer described Ingram as “the quarantine celebrity we never knew we needed.”  

Alton Brown left his Southern Baptist Church after the divorce

In 2019, Alton spoke to People about his divorce from his ex-wife. The pair was very devoted to their faith and were part of the Southern Baptist denomination. They were committed members of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Sadly, their faith could not save their marriage. Alton said, “We really went separate ways in our lives. We changed, the world changed, and she went one way and I went the other way. I think we’re probably both a heck of a lot better off where we are.”  

The church tried to keep the couple together to no avail, according to the chef. Alton left the church. He explained, “There’s too much contradiction for my social beliefs. My social beliefs are far more liberal than what falls under most of the structures of organized religion, and I find that difficult to work with.”

Alton told Time that he can’t support the Southern Baptist Convention’s “indoctrination of children and its anti-gay stance.” He told People that he’s “taking a break” from religion. He said, “I don’t have any bad problems with God, but I have problems with religion … I’m on hiatus.”  

Brown also left The Food Network after two decades

In early May 2022, Alton surprised fans when he announced his exit from The Food Network after being the popular host of Good Eats. This move stunned many viewers because of his 20-year relationship with the popular cooking network.

Alton explained to Entertainment Weekly why he left The Food Network. The good news is he seems to be leaving his exit open-ended. “You know what? I don’t think goodbye. Goodbye is really final. Perhaps au revoir or adieu for now.” Alton elaborated, “I don’t really think of myself as having left a place as much as I simply crossed the street to join one of my first loves.”

The celebrity chef acknowledged that he had “20 pretty spectacular years” at the beloved Food Network. “I built a brand there. I became part of Iron Chef America there,” Alton said.  

As it turns out, Alton’s exit has everything to do with Iron Chef, which Netflix acquired. He explained, “To be honest if Netflix had taken a shot at Iron Chef without me, that would have broken my heart. So I had to follow that franchise, which has been such a big part of my life and a really big part of my career.”  

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