Adam Richman is an American actor and television personality. He has hosted various dining and eating-challenge programs on the Travel Channel.
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Hey, it's Adam Richman. Host of Man Vs. Food, Man Finds Food on TRAVEL, and host of NBC's Food Fighters, and author of the new cookbook Straight Up Tasty. In search of the greatest morsels, the greatest people, and here for your inquiring pleasure. Victoria's helping me on the phone today. AMAA.
Update: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to come ask me your questions. Hope my answers at least sucked minimally. And I apologize to anyone whose questions I did not get to. Please follow me on social media, because I try my hardest to respond to everyone there. And you can pretty much find me @AdamRichman on every form of social media. And hopefully I will get a chance to do another one of these in the near future to answer the questions I might have missed today, and any new ones that might arise.
You guys are awesome.
And you will never know how grateful I am for your enthusiasm and support.
Thanks for doing this!
I'm a huge fan, and love Man Vs Food. You actually inspired me to try a few of the places featured on your shows (Hoss and Mary's, Randy's Wooster St Pizza, and Eagle's Deli just to name a few).
So as far as questions go,
1-what have been your favorite/least favorite challenges?
2-Are you planning on featuring any Boston based restaurants on Man Finds Food?
1.) Favorite challenge was the Kodiak Arrest at Humpy's Alaskan Alehouse in Anchorage, Alaska. And least is probably the only place I lost, because the owner cheated, at Munchies in Sarasota, FL.
2.) We did an entire episode of Man Finds Food in Boston! They tend to show repeats after the new episodes, so if you watch every Wednesday night at 9 eastern, they will probably re-run it.
are there any things you regret eating on the show?
Probably most of the spicy challenges, of course, just because of how painful they were.
And, at one point, my sound guy Eric - who has an almost romantic love affair with peanut butter - encouraged me to try some once on a hot dog.
It is an abomination.
Obligatory reddit question. What is your favourite pizza topping?
Probably really good tomatoes, and really good mozzarella.
You're working with Mylene Klass now, how often does she break into an uncontrollable rage when she realises she has to pay tax?
I think Mylene is incredibly lovely, incredibly professional and intelligent, and she is fun to be around and a great mom. I don't know about anything else that you're referencing, and quite frankly, it's none of my affair. All I know is I'm excited to work with her, and she is a lovely and dynamic person. And I intend upon making the best television show in the United Kingdom with her.
Huge fan :)
McDonalds or Burger King?
The answer is Taco Bell.
What's the nastiest food you've ever tasted?
Probably in recent memory, it was jellied eels in London.
I'm not insulting the dish or those who really love it, it was just not my bag. Fishy, boney eels in a gelatinous substitute somewhere between mucus and Vaseline. There were crunchy bones in it.
Hi Adam. Thank you for doing this AMA and thank you for showing love to the south on your show. anyway, on one episode of man vs. food you mentioned that "finishing the challenge is only half the battle, the other half is when it comes back out." That being said, what was the worst challenge as far as the second half?
Unless you are my physician, this is information you don't need or truly want.
What are the best and worst meals you've ever had?
Best meal is probably too hard to come up with, so I'm inclined to say it might be something from Brasa in Minneapolis.
Sadly, far too many to pick just one, but I would hate to put them on blast here and ruin their business.
What food challenge at the end had you asking for more?
What constitutes the perfect burger for you?
Definitely on a softer bun.
A little bit of a seared crust on the exterior, but not burnt.
And not an overload of toppings.
But just enough to enhance the burger.
I don't think they necessarily need to be traditional condiments. But whatever they are - it's about using JUST enough, without going overboard.
And avocado or a fried egg on top never hurt.
Loved Man Vs Food. Any plans for another series? Or something similar? Love Man Finds Food too!
Right now I think there's probably a better chance of more Man Finds Food happening than anything else. I'm personally done with challenges.
Thanks for doing this AMA, I’m a big fan! I have a few questions:
I’m sure you’re sick of this question but on your travels around the world for your various shows, which is the best thing you’ve ever eaten? To narrow it down – maybe best burger, best sandwich and best meat dish?
Do you miss being a competitive eater?
Finally, are you a fan of the HBO series Game of Thrones and if so who’s your favorite character?
Best burger is a hard one. But currently, my favorite is probably Father's Office in Santa Monica. My favorite sandwich is from DiNic's in Philadelphia - roast pork with broccoli rabe - and best meat dish, probably a steak from either Bern's in Tampa, or from Peter Luger in Brooklyn.
I was never a competitive eater.
I am die-hard Game of Thrones fan - I really like Bronn, and am such a big fan of Jon Snow that I dressed as him for Halloween 2 years ago.
Hey Adam! Loving Man Finds Food and hope it comes back for a second season.
Curious if there are any popular cuisines that aren't quite your cup tea. I noticed that throughout the entire Man vs. Food run, there wasn't really any ethnic food - Chinese, Indian, etc. Was it just harder to find challenges around that kind of cuisine, or are you just not as big of a fan of those varieties?
Actually, we showed both Chinese and Indian, as well as Japanese. I wanted to show more "ethnic" dishes, but the network felt they would rather focus on more traditionally American dishes, which I feel was a little unfortunate. But I personally am a fan of virtually every global cuisine. Of the modern trends, I'm not super into the hipsterrific stuff that is so overly artisinal, or unhealthy for unhealthy's sake. I also think some of the "foraged" types of restaurants are a little pretentious for my taste.
Hey Adam long time fan here. One question that I have for you is, how do you stay in as good of shape that you are in while doing all of these serious eating challenges?
This is a popular misconception.
I have not done a challenge, nor shot an episode of Man Vs. Food, since 2010. My weight loss has nothing to do with Man Vs. Food ending AT ALL. I did not start my current period of weight loss until the pilot episode of Fandemonium.
Was always curious, regardless of the challenge or how hot the food is, you never take your jacket off while eating. Is that superstitious or does the ice in your veins keep you fairly ventilated?
For me, it's a matter of comfort, covering my microphone, and I always felt I looked better in the jacket, and so it just sort of was a comfort thing I guess?
With all the massive quantities of food you were eating regularly during Man Vs. Food, which typically amounted to two 'normal' restaurant visits in addition to some insane food challenge, how did you manage to stay relatively fit? Did you have a regular exercise regime, or did you compensate by minimizing your diet while not filming for the show?
Believe it or not, being on the road filming actually helped me on my diet tremendously. The long days and extreme structure of the days allowed me to really budget calorically, and make sure I fit in a workout every day. But generally speaking, I made sure I had something calorically small every 2-2.5 hours and drank a lot of water and did about 10,000 steps a day.
Hey Adam long time fan,
I live in the DC MD VA area. What are some restaurants that I definitely have to try out here?
I am also going to NYC tomorrow, any restaurant suggestions in that area as well? I'll be right by Time Square.
In DC, I love Ben's Chili Bowl, Old Ebbitt Grill, Ceiba.
And in Maryland, I love Faidley's, and Pierrepont, and Chap's Pit Beef.
And in Richmond, VA, I like The Black Sheep.
Not so much in the Times Square area, but if you are in that vicinity, it's worth checking out Little Brazil, which is a strip of 46th Street (if I'm not mistaken) and Hell's Kitchen, which is just due west.
Why did you choose BBQ as the core of your new itv series? Are you looking forward to seeing what the UK has to offer?
Good question. BBQ is the fastest-growing cuisine in the United Kingdom right now, with people spending upwards of $50 million dollars every year on BBQs, grills, and equipment / tools for it. Because it is a culinary art form that is synonymous with my country, it is really quite beautiful to see how my friends across the pond have come to adopt it and make it their own, as well as create some of the most successful and lucrative restaurants in the UK right now. But, nearly every culture on earth has some variety of open-fire or open-pit cooking. So it is something that speaks to people of ALL backgrounds.
Hey Adam - thanks for inspiring many "if you could competitively eat anything, what would it be?" conversations with my wife. Quick couple o' questions - has everything died down from the whole social media "incident", and who do you have winning the french open? Cheers mate.
I wish I honestly followed tennis a little bit better. But I always find Djokovic incredibly entertaining to watch. And thankfully, I have to say I'm very happy with the way things have been going.
Adam! First off, you are awesome. Truly truly awesome. I loved America the Edible, and I look forward to grabbing Straight Up Tasty.
I was wondering, what is your favorite book (apart from your own)?
Thank you for everything you do!
I love pretty much anything Ernest Hemingway wrote, especially A FAREWELL TO ARMS and THE SUN ALSO RISES. I also have a lot of love for Henry Miller's TROPIC OF CANCER, Charles Bukowski's LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL, and a book I read as a kid called NO COINS, PLEASE.
Hey, I was recently in Mexico and faced with some... interesting food choices. What's your advice for getting through truly challenging meals?
Here's my advice: if you are in another country, try anything at least once, provided you are not allergic, especially if you are a guest in someone's home, or someone is taking you out. Just because it's foreign doesn't mean it's immediately bad. You need to give everything a chance. But if you really can't find anything palatable, nearly any hotel in the world worth its salt has a club sandwich on the room service menu.
Hi man ! Big fan of your shows ... Where was your most enjoyable place to go that you've filmed in ?
Well, my favorite food cities in the United States are probably my hometown of New York (obviously), New Orleans, Austin Texas, Chicago Illinois, and San Francisco, California! That said, my favorite place on the planet is probably Hawaii. And Boise, Idaho may have some of the most attractive people I've ever met.
If you were given total creative freedom/control, what would your dream show or project look like? If that is too much to chew on, my wonderful gf would like to know which food challenge had you spend the most time in bathroom post completion?
To be honest, Man Finds Food is certainly one of them. It's one of the reasons I really and truly hope to make more of them. But I have a few other passion projects I have yet to make, so I hope I get a chance to in the future!
As a British fan of the NFL, I was very happy to see you were at the NFL UK games. Will you be back again this year for the Dolphins vs Jets game?
Yes, I absolutely plan on coming back for the Wembley Games. It is such an honor to see the games so celebrated in a nation that I've come to consider a second home.
Adam! I'm still stuck on that Cosmo centerfold you shot a while back. You looked incredibly fit and sexy. What was that photo shoot like for you?
It was cold!
Naturally, it was a little nerve-wracking. But the photographer and his staff were absolute professionals. The funniest moment was when the photographer was on the ladder above me, and I had the soccer ball covering my power source, and he told me "this is an awkward thing to say to another guy, and this is a good problem to have, but the ball isn't really covering everything - I'm going to need you to tuck."
So I spent the rest of the afternoon doing my best SILENCE OF THE LAMBS impression.
Thanks for doing this AMA
A couple questions
1) Do you find it hard to carry on a normal life in public? You have such an "everyman" personality on TV that I'd imagine that people feel comfortable approaching you all the time.
2) If you could have only one type of meat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
1.) I'm still the same person, as much as I suppose I can be? In fact, I still live in the exact same place when I was on unemployment. I literally just moved up a floor. But yes, sometimes approachability is a blessing and a curse, and it gets very uncomfortable when people get a little too comfortable, or take liberties that they shouldn't when they first meet me. I pride myself on being a pretty approachable guy, but some people are out-and-out disrespectful and feel they have a degree of familiarity with me because they've seen me on TV, but they don't actually have that comfortability with me in real life, and it can get awkward sometimes.
2.) If calories and cholesterol were not an issue, I would be eating burnt ends from Salt Lick BBQ every day.
Hi Adam! I love watching Man vs food.
What food challenge was the most difficult while you were doing the show?
They were all pretty difficult. The breakfast burrito in Denver was pretty gross, mostly because of the fact that it was about 2.5 pounds heavier than they told me it was going to be, and it had 2 things I really disliked - green pepper and little chunks of ham.
Hi Adam! Are you planning on coming to Singapore in the near future? We have pretty awesome food over here :)
I would love to return to Singapore to film.
Before last summer, we were supposed to go and tape Man Finds Food internationally. Hopefully, people will continue to watch it, Wednesdays at 9 PM eastern, so that we can shoot these amazing episodes we have created. I love the chili crab there, and staying at Raffle's Hotel was one of the most memorable experiences I have had as a traveler.
Hey Adam! Always enjoy your shows.
Asking for my son who's a little gearhead: If you could own any car, past or present, what would it be?
I've always loved the Shelby Mustang from the mid-60's. But I also love the Valiant Barracuda. And the Barracuda with the teardrop window. The Porsche and Mercedes roadsters, as well as the Jaguar S-Type, from the first half of the 20th Century, are also incredibly beautiful.
A couple questions for you...
I like American Football, college basketball, Yankee MLB (but pretty much every minor league team gets a lot of love from me). I also enjoy watching Formula 1, and the iconic Triple Crown horse races. Plus, I am an absolute junkie for the Olympic Games. I actually worked for the Games in 1996 in Atlanta.
Are you a fan of Moroccan food?
I do love Moroccan food, but I must confess, I am still kind of a newbie as far as it goes.
Big fan and love the new show Man Finds Food!
As someone from Minnesota, I'd like to finally clear the air, if you can remember, which was the better Jucy (Juicy) Lucy Burger? 5-8 Club or Matt's Bar?
I'll be honest - we staged that "whole man interrupting me" thing because I never ever wanted to reveal my preference.
I never wanted my opinion to negatively impact an independent eatery, especially after they had been such gracious hosts to both me and my crew.
I, of course, have my preference. But I tend to only tell those nearest & dearest to me so it doesn't prevent either location from getting business.
Hey, saw you in Size? in Covent garden few weeks back, glad you got good shoe taste! What's your fav food place to hit up when you're in London?
Thank you! I have to say my kicks game is pretty fire. I'd like to think I have a pretty damn good collection of kicks.
I don't know if I have one favorite place, but I never miss the opportunity to get some great Szechuan down in Chinatown.
Love the new show. As a Boston resident I was a big fan of that episode. It's great that these smaller places are getting publicity.
When you visit a city to film, how much free time do you have to explore without having the camera crew around you?
Oh and feel free to visit Boston for another episode, there are still tons of hidden gems in this city!
I don't get a whole lot of "free time" with the exception of a few hours in the evening, or occasionally I get a single solitary day off. Generally, though, I don't really go out all that much in the evening, because I don't want to be tempted to eat too late or too much, and I know I have a full 12 hour shoot day the very following day. Unless it is something or someplace pretty extraordinary, I tend to head back to my hotel room after the shoot, and only leave to get in a run or quick workout.
You're probably well aware of the impact your profession has on your health and life span. What, if anything, do you to negate those effects?
Obviously, watching what I eat when I'm not filming, keeping my calories very low, making sure I stay active and keeping up with my supplements and water intake.
Hi Adam, what is your all time favourite spurs player?
Well, Gareth Bale is the biggest reason I am a Spurs fan. Though I too am broken-hearted by his departure. From watching older films, Glenn Hoddle, David Ginola, or Osvaldo Ardiles (Ossie).
Hey Adam! When I was in high school, I watched Travel Channel way too much for my age, and Man vs Food was by far the most entertaining show for me. My question, who would win in an eat off, you or Guy Fieri?
During my heyday...he would not stand a chance.
But since I have been following such a rigid fitness protocol, and he's still a bit bigger than me, he might be able to take me down. Considering my portion size has decreased so much.
No disrespect meant. I just don't think I could eat like he does (or I did) anymore!
Hey Adam! I remember you mentioning once a few years ago that you were a big Jason Aaron fan. What did you think of the end of Scalped? Got any other comics you're currently reading?
I am still a massive fan of Jason Aaron, and in fact, he mentioned Man Vs. Food by name in Punisher Max #6! AND I invited him out to set in his hometown of Kansas City, where he joined me for fried chicken and cinnamon roles at Stroud's. I sadly have not yet finished Scalped, but I am currently working hard to do so, as well as finish DMZ.
Thank you for coming here. I love all of your shows. I have two questions:
What BBQ place you have eaten at is your favorite, and why is it Dinosaur BBQ?
How was your experience meeting Jim Boeheim?
I don't know if I could pick a favorite, because comparing Texas BBQ to Carolina BBQ is virtually impossible. I love Dinosaur, but I don't know if I would say it is my favorite. It was an honor to meet Coach Boeheim, and it was rather intimidating.
Adam, what moves do Spurs need to make to reach the Champions League next year? COYS
In my opinion, they need a second striker. I don't think we are a team that can exist with a single striker as a target man. My favorite spot is when there are really beautiful relationships between strike partners. For example, Shevchenko and Rebrov, or Del Piero and Trezeguet. I also think a great central midfielder who could dictate plays and really control the tempo of the game would be amazing. I also think a couple of fast wingbacks who could control would be helpful, especially on the left side.
Yo Adam, I've watched your shows forever. Do you follow any soccer teams?
Obviously! My first team is undoubtedly Tottenham Hotspur F.C., but I also like FC Bayern Munich, and Barcelona, as well as Ajax FC, and in Japan I support Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
What is your favorite place to visit?
Probably Hawaii. I hope to have a home there one day.
After one of your "Man vs Food" episodes where you scarf 4lbs of pancakes or 20 hot dogs or a 96oz steak (or whatever) have you ever had a reversal and painted your shoes?
Honestly, I never wanted to fixate on that. Because first of all, unless I'm speaking to my family or my doctor, it's really nobody else's business, but even more importantly, focusing on that would take away from all the amazing food that we showed in that episode, and that would be an absolute travesty.
Have you ever been to Red Dog Saloon in Shoreditch, London? Just wondering if you have ever done the Devastator or Hot Wing challenge in there? Also who are you hoping for Spurs to sign this summer? COYS.
I've only recently gotten to explore the very hip and trendy East Side of London. The only place that i've been to is the Hoxton Grill at the Hoxton Hotel. I personally always wanted them to sign Loïc Rémy. Or Leroy Fer from QPR. I feel we could use a significant mid-field presence, like Honda from Milan - basically someone to fill the void left by Modrić. Fortunately, we have many great players who are coming back from very successful loan spells, like Pritchard and Ali Dalli (?) from MK Dons.
Massive fan! How do you think Tottenham did this year??
I have a lot of hope for the future. Not just because of the incredible play of Kane, Erikson, Chadli, and Mason. But also because I really believe in Pochettino. And what he is capable of doing with such a young team.
Hi Adam! Me and my girlfriend are big fans from Italy and watch your shows whenever they are on TV.
What would your last meal include?
A magic pill that gave me eternal life...and avocado. And probably Sriracha...and maybe a fried egg.
Adam, I've been a huge fan of MVF for years, but I had NO idea you were also on one of my other favorite shows back in 2004--All My Children! What was your experience like on the set? Was La Lucci as sweet in real life as she seems? Thanks! :)
For me, it was a very big deal, since this was one of the first television gigs I got after coming out of Yale School of Drama. It was hard enough going for an acting degree in a family full of doctors and lawyers, because when you come out of law school or med school, you're going to be interning at a hospital or law firm, but for actors there's no direct matriculation, so there's nothing for your parents to point to unless you're doing a show. So for me to do such a well-respected and recognized television show close to graduation was incredibly validating for me in the eyes of my family and friends. The closest I came for Miss Lucci was holding the door for her as I was coming into the television studio and she was leaving. She is approximately 5.5 tall, of which the top 9 inches must be her incredibly fabulous and ornate hairdo. She had FULL -and I mean FULL - makeup, even leaving the studio in pouring rain.
Adam, been a fan for years, thanks for the great telly! Planned a cross country US trip based on some of your recommendations and had a fantastic time.
Are you a fan of any craft breweries? What's your favourite beer?
I love Great Lakes Brewery out of Cleveland, especially their Christmas Ale. I actually bonded with Mike "The Miz" from Real World and WWE over this very fact. I also love Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic. I like Ninkasi IPA, their Total Domination IPA. And I love Burnside Brewing. The "fancy pants" guy in me likes Maredsous Red. And Guinness. And that's it!
I wanna say thank you for man vs food. It was nearly the only thing i watched while cutting weight for wrestling and mma. Eating vicariously through you made it easier.
My question is you said you had nearly every job in the restaurant biz, what are your favorite and least favorite jobs?
First off, thank you for that - glad I could be there for you - wish I had your discipline!
Favorite? Prob running the kitchen at my friend's place in Bklyn.
Least Favorite - Catering Busboy
Hi Adam! Love your shows, and it's great to see you getting on the road to better health. My question is, what's your opinion on Japanese and/or English food? Away from the stereotypical stuff like sushi, and fish and chips, if you've had any. Thanks! :)
I've had quite a bit of Japanese food and my travels there count among my absolute most fascinating and tastiest. Everything from O-den to Kazunoko blows me away, though I HATE Natto!
I can appreciate most English fare, though I'm quite done with Jellied Eels, thanks!