The TV presenter is back but this time, he's on a different mission as he searches for Britain's best barbecuers

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Image: Adam Richman

Photo: courtesy of the Travel Channel

Adam Richman, presenter of Man V Food and BBQ Champ

You may think that Adam Richman was born to eat. After all, he polished off vast quantities of steak and a 7lb breakfast burrito on Man V Food, a programme which also turned into something of a cultural phenomenon.

 

Then he travelled across the US in search of gastronomic delicacies – just without the crazy eating challenges bit – with Man Finds Food. Now the presenter is finally coming to prime-time TV in the UK with a new summer show for ITV, BBQ Champ. He told Homemade it's “a celebration of two things: the rise of an enthusiasm for the barbecue in the UK, and the skill and passion of the home barbecue chef."

 

He added: “This is our search to find the best home barbecue cook in the UK, along with a little exploration into all the various forms of barbecue available in the country.”

 

We’re imagining The Great British Bake Off but with burgers, tongs and fewer double entendres. 

 

We caught up with the presenter to play a round of quick fire questions. 

Tea or coffee?

“Coffee.”

 

Describe your kitchen at home

“Overstocked and underused.”

 

What do you eat on a typical day?

“There are no typical days as far as my eating goes.”

 

What childhood dish do you still crave?

“My mother's spinach pie or any of her soups.”

 

What’s the weirdest food you’ve eaten?

“Chawanmushi, which is a savoury custard in Japan. The one I had was made from cod sperm. Nightmarish.”

 

Favourite junk food?  

“Nachos.”


What do you eat when you’re hungover?

“Painkilling tablets, and bacon, egg and cheese on a Kaiser roll, well-done French fries with extra salt and Coca-Cola in a glass over ice.”

 

Favourite kitchen gadget?

“Either my immersion blender, or this little microwave egg poaching thing.”

 

What music do you listen to when you're cooking?  

“Classic soul.”

 

What restaurant dish would you ban?

“Meringue. Unless done extremely well, which it seldom is."

 

What are you useless at cooking?

“Any baked goods unless I have a recipe to follow.”

 

What would we always find in your fridge?

“Sriracha.”

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Spaghetti pie

Photo: PR

Straight up Tasty: Richman's spaghetti pie from his new cookbook

 

What would your death row dinner be?

“A massive buffet I could return to again and again until I got a stay of execution.”

 

Who is your favourite chef?

“That’s way too difficult a question. Some heroes are: Hubert Keller, John Besh, Alex Roberts, Andrew Le, Dale TaldeNobu Matsuhisa, Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, Lee Anne Wong, Alex Guarnaschelli, April Bloomfield, Tim Love, Brian Landry.”

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What’s your most used cookbook?

“I like to read them but I seldom cook from them.”

 

Are the recipes in your new cookbook, Straight Up Tasty, the sort of food you ate growing up?

“Some, like my grandmother's brisket or my mother's spinach pie but some were inspired by childhood recipes or childhood treats I used to enjoy, but then I've added my own touch or a regional spin to them.”

 

Where were your favourite finds on Man Finds Food?

"I think it would be hard to pick one favourite. Sometimes I loved the hidden locations, such as the restaurant in Austin, Texas, behind a bookcase in the youth hostel, or a lobster shack in a man's garage in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sometimes it was the drunken duck pizza in Hawaii at JJ Dolan's, or the secret ramen in Milwaukee."

 

Where do you like to eat out in London?

“The nice thing is. because I'm still relatively new to London despite the fact that I come here quite often, I am always finding new places.

 

“I admit I haven't been to the big names or the really fancy places, so those are still waiting to be checked off my list. I happen to love a great many of the restaurants in Chinatown, a lot of the pop-up stalls, and Borough Market might be one of the best places to eat anywhere.”

 

Who would play you in a film?

“Robert Downey Jr.”

Adam Richman's cookbook, Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories and Mouthfuls from my Travels (hardback, RRP £25, Clarkson Potter) is out 22 June. BBQ Champ will air on ITV this summer