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Man v. Food
Man v Food logo square.png
Genre Food Reality
Presented by Adam Richman
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 38
Executive producer(s) Matt Sharp
Producer(s) Dan Adler (series)
Colin Gilroy (story)
Bonnie Biggs (story)
Dave "Paco" Abraham (story)
Claudia Castillo (story)
Aaron Schoonhoven (story)
Joshua C. Diaz (story)
Jillian Horgan (field)
Josh Abraham (coordinating producer)
Emily Graham (ap)
Andria Ortega (production coordinator)
Dan Kornfeld (field)
Alvin Chan (pa)
Editor(s) Scott Besselle
Bobby Munster
Josh Baron
Caton Clarke
Liam Lawyer
Keith Krimbel
Max Heller
Cinematography Peter Fackler
Scott Sans
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 21:30 minutes (without commercials)
Original channel Travel Channel
Original run December 3, 2008 (2008-12-03) – present
External links
Official website

Man v. Food is an American food reality television series. It premiered on December 3, 2008 on the Travel Channel. The program is hosted by actor and food enthusiast Adam Richman.[1] In each episode, Richman explores the "big food" of a different American city before facing off against a pre-existing eating challenge at a local restaurant. The program currently airs two back-to-back episodes every Wednesday at 10:00PM and 10:30PM U.S. Eastern Time. Season 2 began airing on August 5, 2009 at 10:00PM EST.


The host

Series host Adam Richman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, completed his undergraduate degree in International Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and earned a master's degree from the Yale School of Drama.[2] A self-educated food expert, since 1995 he has kept a travel journal including each of the restaurants he visited and what he learned from the trip.[1] Although described as "a bit on the husky side", to maintain his health while indulging for the show, Richman exercises twice a day while he's on the road.[2][3] When the schedule permits, he does not eat the day before a challenge and he tries to stay "crazy hydrated" by drinking lots of water or club soda and forgoing coffee or soft drinks.[4] After taping for a challenge is complete, Richman spends an hour or so on a treadmill, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Being sedentary is incredibly uncomfortable. [...] [D]espite the fact that the first 10 minutes or 15 minutes on the treadmill might suck, it actually does alleviate a lot of pressure, and you feel better."[5]

The premise

In Man v. Food, Adam Richman travels across the United States to explore the culture and unique "big food" of one city in each episode. He finds places in each city to indulge his appetite and visits local landmarks.[6] Richman interacts with local restaurateurs as they demonstrate the making of a house specialty or element of local cuisine. He gives a brief insight to the local community by talking to patrons at the establishments and asking about the most-talked about orders. The show emphasizes quality as well as quantity—a number of the locations in season one are Zagat-rated, while others have received honors from Esquire magazine as home of "The Best Sandwiches in America".[7] So far, his record is 24-14 in his food challenges.

Episodes sometimes include a brief fantasy sequence where Richman pretends to be a character to psych himself up for the episode's big food challenge. The half-hour show culminates in Richman facing off against an established local food challenge. Each show wraps with a fake press conference where Richman fields questions about the challenge as if it were a just-concluded sporting event or as if he had just won, or in some cases lost, a big award. [6][8]

So far, with all of this "big-eating", Adam has only made one attempt at a Guinness World Record with the 190 lb burger, in which case food won the epic battle with about 40 lbs left of the burger.

Critical reaction

The Los Angeles Times noted that the Travel Channel received its highest-ever ratings for a new debut with Man v. Food. They highlighted the show as an example of other networks moving in on the traditional turf of the Food Network.[9]

In the Star-Ledger, television critic Alan Sepinwall wrote, "It ain't deep, and it certainly ain't healthy (I could feel my arteries clog just from watching), but it's fun."[10]

Features reporters Thomas Rozwadowski of the Green Bay Press-Gazette said that "playfully eager host Adam Richman has won me over" and that "it's all in good fun."[6]

CityPages Minneapolis/St. Paul describes the show, " the food version of Jackass, with host Adam Richman as its very own Steve-O."[11]

Christopher Lawrence of the Las Vegas Review-Journal describes Richman as "impressive" and "likable" saying "think a beefier Fred Savage, although one who somehow weighs less than he did last season."[5]

Jonathan Bernstein of British newspaper The Guardian described "mixed feelings" about the series saying he likes "the concept" and "the guy" but that the challenges make him "a little uneasy".[12]

Charlie Brooker of British newspaper The Guardian was largely critical of the show's celebration of excess, stating "if food is the new porn, this is an all-out orgy between wobbling gutsos and farmyard animals – a snuff orgy, no less, since the latter end up sawn in half and smothered in BBQ sauce."[13]



Season 1: 2008-2009

The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo

The weekly series premiered on December 3, 2008, with back to back new episodes airing for the first two weeks then settling down to a pattern of one new episode followed by one repeat episode. First-run episodes of the series aired in the United States on the Travel Channel on Wednesdays at 10:00 PM Eastern time. The first season of Man v. Food was initially picked up for 10 episodes and then, after initial ratings success, an additional 8 episodes were ordered.[4] The show travelled to Amarillo, Memphis, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Austin, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, New York City, New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Jose, St. Louis, Denver, North Carolina, and Minneapolis. Over the course of the first season, the final record wound up at 11 wins for "Man" and 7 wins for "Food". Season 1 was released on DVD in the United States on October 6, 2009.[14]

Season 2: Mid-Late 2009

The second season of Man v. Food premiered on August 5, 2009. First-run episodes of the series aired in the United States on the Travel Channel on Wednesdays at 10:00 PM Eastern time. The 20 scheduled episodes included visits to San Antonio; Las Vegas; San Francisco; Durham, North Carolina; Honolulu; Sarasota, Florida; Philadelphia; Springfield, Illinois; Boise, Idaho; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Detroit; Brooklyn; Anchorage; Little Rock; Tucson; New Brunswick and Hartford, plus a "Baseball Special" episode that aired on September 30, 2009.[15]

The final second season tally stood at 13 wins for "Man" and 7 wins for "Food". It is not known when the season 2 DVD will be released.

Man v. Food Live

During the season 2 finale in Hartford, Adam announced a "live" episode of Man v. Food which would take place in Miami on February 3, 2010, just days before Super Bowl XLIV. The episode was set at the Alexander Hotel in Miami Beach, which featured a huge tailgate party with fans, as well as live announcers. During the episode, Richman's visits to various Miami-area restaurants are chronicled; first, he was seen at Sarussi trying the Sarussi Original, a 16-inch-long, 4-inch-high Cuban sandwich which featured baked ham, roast pork, melted cheese and pickles topped with a "secret" sauce (altogether, the sandwich ultimately weighed in at 2 and a half pounds). His second visit was to Joe's Stone Crabs, where he sampled their famed stone crab claws and their family-recipe key lime pie. Third, Richman had visited La Moon, a Colombian restaurant that is famous for the Super Moon Perro, a large hot dog topped with 11 ingredients (including Colombian chorizo, tocineta (a type of bacon), steamed Mozzarella cheese, french-fried potato sticks, five different sauces - notably including pineapple sauce - and even a quail egg), a dish Richman enjoyed. At the hotel, there were also some Fan v. Fan competitions; the first involved two 2-person teams (one dubbed "Team Indianapolis" and the other "Team New Orleans") each taking on The Burger & Beer Joint's "Mother Burger" (which weighs in at over 10 pounds) to see who could eat more in 15 minutes, and the challenge was won by Team Indianapolis, who received free "Man v. Food" t-shirts. The second competition involved two teams of three NFL stars (on one team, Miami's own Jake Grove and Jake Long, and Washington's Clinton Portis, and on the other, Cincinnati's Dhani Jones (also the host of the Travel Channel's Dhani Tackles the Globe) and Keith Rivers and the New York Giants' Danny Clark) going head-to-head in a spicy wings challenge from the Sports Grill; each team member had 3 wings (for a total of 9 per team) and the first team to finish all their wings without drinking any milk would be declared the winner; the team of Jones, Rivers and Clark won the competition. For the live challenge itself, Richman took on Don Shula's 48 oz. Steak Challenge, where he had to eat a 48-ounce porterhouse steak from Shula's Steak House in order to join Don Shula's "48 oz. Club". While normal challengers have no time limit, Richman - because he was doing this on live television - had to finish this steak in under 20 minutes. Before Richman's attempt, over 80,000 people have tried this challenge with roughly half of them failing it. Richman managed to finish the entire steak with 3 minutes and 23 seconds left on the clock and won the challenge.

Carnivore Edition

On March 3, 2010, Man v. Food: Carnivore Edition aired. The episode was mainly a compilation of clips from Adam's more "carnivorous" food stops. Some clips included Barbecue in Amarillo, Texas, and the Thurman Burger in Columbus, Ohio[16]

See also


  1. ^ a b Wiser, Paige (December 3, 2008). "Job is easy to stomach for TV show host". Chicago Sun-Times.,FOO-News-manvfood03.article. 
  2. ^ a b Friedlander, Whitney (January 27, 2009). "Travel Channel’s Adam Richman digs into ‘Man v. Food’". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Aromin, Joshua (February 5, 2009). "Travel Channel's 'Man vs. Food' a worthy contender". The Good 5-cent Cigar (The University of Rhode Island). 
  4. ^ a b Norton, Al (February 11, 2009). "411mania Interviews Man v. Food's Adam Richman". 411mania.\\s-Adam-Richman.htm. 
  5. ^ a b Lawrence (August 9, 2009). "Host battles giant burrito as 'Man v. Food' visits Las Vegas". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c Rozwadowski, Thomas (January 8, 2009). "Viewers win battle of "Man v. Food"". Green Bay Press-Gazette. 
  7. ^ "The Best Sandwiches in America". Esquire. February 16, 2008. 
  8. ^ Kerry, Emley (September 2, 2009). "Chow down on Travel Channel's 'Man v. Food'". Tiger Weekly. Retrieved September 3, 2009. 
  9. ^ Lynch, Rene (January 14, 2008). "'Chopped': Food Network stirs the pot with entertainment format". Los Angeles Times.,0,3717194.story. 
  10. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (December 31, 2008). "Me want food!". The Star-Ledger. 
  11. ^ Chapman, Jessica (January 20, 2009). "Man v. Food show coming to Minneapolis". CityPages Minneapolis/St. Paul. 
  12. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (August 29, 2009). "Jonathan Bernstein's aerial view of America". The Guardian. Retrieved September 2, 2009. 
  13. ^ Brooker, Charlie (March 13, 2010). "Charlie Brooker's Screen burn: Man v Food". The Guardian. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Man v. Food - Season 1". Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Man v. Food Episode Guide". Travel Channel. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  16. ^

External links


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