Many foodies – certainly regular readers of this site – will be familiar with Man v. Food, a show made by the USA’s Travel Channel and hosted by the great Adam Richman. In Australia, Man v. Food has its home on Foxtel channel TLC, however since the recent re-shuffle TLC’s food shows have taken a back seat – great for fans of Say Yes to the Dress and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, but not so good for fans of Adam, Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern.
Adam Richman is very near the top of my food-hero list, not just because he gets to eat huge amounts of amazing looking and ridiculously spicy food, but you can tell that he is passionate about the ingredients and effort that goes into each mouthful. He comes across as a very likable guy, unlike Guy Fieri who just comes across as a dick. I also admire him for losing a lot of weight the hard way, unlike some bloggers I could mention…Man v. Food ended in its original form when Adam retired from challenge eating, and since then he has hosted Man v. Food Nation (some other sucker takes on the challenges), Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America (more yummy things I’ll never get to try), Adam Richman’s Fandemonium (not enough food in this one to keep me interested) and Food Fighters (hit YouTube if you’re curious). He’s even written a book which is an entertaining read.
So what is Man Finds Food, and why haven’t you heard about it?
In this series, Adam travels around America “discovering” secret menu items in all manner of bizarre and out of the way places. Food doesn’t need to be served in a monstrous portion to appear on this show, it just has to be interesting and “off menu” – although of course the joke is now that everyone knows about it.
Unfortunately, the broadcast of Man Finds Food in the USA has been indefinitely postponed for reasons I’m not going to go into here, and those of us in Australia are lucky for a change because all twelve episodes are showing on 7 Mate.
Here’s some of the basic criteria for an appearance on the show.
Adam doesn’t shy away from the “big eats” in this series – you can see him here inhaling a massive surf’n’turf po’ boy sandwich named the “James Brown” in New Orleans.
Adam had to whisper a supposedly inappropriate phrase to a female server (which unfortunately wasn’t revealed) to order a frozen soda made with cola, peanut clusters and liquid nitrogen in Nashville.
This beast of a sandwich (if you can call it that) is found in Hawaii.
Some of the areas they visit look rather dodgy and there’s quite a lot of footage of the crew being lost, which can feel a little contrived. The food is always the star of the show, however.
A similar series has been tried before in the form of The Illegal Eater, which was also shown on TLC earlier this year. Hosted by Steven Page, ex-lead singer of Canadian band Barenaked Ladies, I found this series really uninteresting, and Steven to be very smug and irritating.
The theme of this show was America’s “thriving” underground dining scene, but it came across as a bit desperate – either there wasn’t much of an underground scene to report on, or his research team were just crap. Oh look, the band at this random popup “establishment” in someone’s back garden know how to play one of his songs. You get the idea.
At the time I write this, 8 episodes of Man Finds Food are still available to watch on 7 Plus – watch them here while you can because they’re only available for 30 days after broadcast. If you’re outside Australia, head for your nearest VPN…
So Adam, when are you coming to visit us Down Under?