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‘I have cheeks like a chipmunk’

Adam Richman, has taken to helping the bravest of locals rise up to similar challenges in their own hometowns for his new show — Man V Food Nation — that premiered on TLC early this month. Richman is funny, whacky and brimming with energy as ever.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2012 00:40 IST
Shara Ashraf

You saw him gleefully demolish gargantuan burgers and meat platters like nut crackers, as he took up legendary food challenges, hunting local eateries across America as the host of Man V Food. And now, Adam Richman, has taken to helping the bravest of locals rise up to similar challenges in their own hometowns for his new show — Man V Food Nation — that premiered on TLC early this month. Richman is funny, whacky and brimming with energy as ever.

Excited about the show, he says, “I am enjoying coaching locals, and we’re still uncovering the best — there’s still a lot about great, local, delicious unique foods, but this is a chance for the locals to shine,” he says.

Richman, who is also a trained sushi chef, says that’s the only classroom training he has actually had. So, has he ever tried out making one of those hellfire variety at home that we have seen him devouring without breaking into sweat? “I do make sushi. I like to work with salmon and copious amounts of avocado,” he says.

On the weirdest of food

Adam, who has eaten the bizzarest of food, recalls eating alligator ribs on one of his shows. “It tasted a bit like pork. There was tremendous similarity texture-wise to a meat that I was familiar with. Quite frankly, the fact that it wasn’t really bone, that it was cartilage that was on, and psychologically to know you’re eating a giant lizard, was a little bit hard for a kid from Brooklyn,” he says.

Best moments on the show

He says the most memorable moment in the new series was spending time with the Harlem Globetrotter Basketball Team and having them make him a jersey. Richman also gushes about meeting singer Gladys Knight at the show. “Gosh, I met Gladys Knight. I can never forget,” he says. “Also, being able to bring my mom on a TV show that I’m in, was a great moment. Filming in Brooklyn, and being asked for autographs in the parking lot of the restaurant I grew up going to, that kind of coming-full-circle moment cannot be ignored,” he says.

On his eat-talk-eat skills

And what does it take to eat and talk at the same time? “You have to take a bite and then describe it. I found that the easiest way I can talk while eating is and not be disgusting is to make use of my cheeks — I have been blessed with gigantic Dizzy Gillespie (american jazz musician) cheeks like a chipmunk. I take a bite and hold it in my right cheek and I’m able to continue to talk … kind of like a squirrel storing up acorns,” he says in his funny style.

His love for food

Talking about his love for food, he says he’s always been extremely fond of food and cooking. “Growing up in New York, you get to try so many types of food that you have a much broader perspective,” he says. Richman was four when he made his first omellete. “I always cooked with my mum and help her as a little boy, but I remember my aunt showing me how to truly cook. I made the omellete all by myself, and it was an amazing thing to watch it come together,” he says.

His trick to digestion

And what’s his trick to keep the digestive system ticking after eating the weirdest of stuff? “It’s just about treating your system fairly. If you’re eating a heavy or spicy meal, you need to balance that with smaller, blander stuff that’s gentler on your system,” he says. When he is not filming, he sticks to a meagre vegetable and fish-based diet. “And copious amounts of water and exercise too help,” adds Richman.