Adam Richman quite possibly has the coolest job ever — exploring this great big planet one bite at a time. Known for food-focused shows like “Man v. Food,” Richman has a new series premiering on the Travel Channel tonight — “Secret Eats with Adam Richman,” where he searches for underground culinary gems from Rome to Bangkok to Mexico City. Richman tells us what it's like to eat ant larvae and why he wants to grab dinner with “Hamilton” creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.
I read that you got your start in acting. What led to your passion for food?
I have been working in the food industry since I was about 13 years old so it was always there. I got my graduate degree from Yale in acting. My undergrad was pretty different, as well. I had an international studies and French background so I always kept pretty varied interests. I had found out about the opportunity for “Man v. Food” through the agents I signed on with out of Yale. I wouldn’t have found out about the opportunity if it wasn’t for them.
I also read you are a trained sushi chef.
My dad and I were going to get certification together, but my dad unfortunately passed away before we got to. So as a gift for getting into Yale my step-mom paid for me to get my training.
Well I’m sure he’d be proud with everything you’ve accomplished. With the new show, what’s the craziest thing you ate?
Oh my gosh. I don’t want to give too much away, but one thing I definitely mentioned on Instagram was escamoles which is ant larvae. [I had it] just outside Mexico City and people love them and go crazy for them, but it didn’t sit so well.
Oh no! So you weren't a fan?
Flavor wise it doesn’t really get you. It was the same day I had grasshoppers. So I think it probably was the combination of the two, definitely.
So filming this new show, was there a particularly memorable moment for you?
I don’t know where to start. We just shot a special in Greenland and Iceland. I try to do something for my crew every trip. In Greenland I treated everyone to a cruise. We went among the glaciers and we actually saw a glacier calving — a huge chunk of ice fall into the sea. It’s something so humbling about being around nature that’s so massive and impressive that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.
If you could share a meal with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Lin-Manuel Miranda — the guy who created “Hamilton.” He is a profoundly well read, literate individual. I admire him using his fame to lobby for the Puerto Rican debt crisis. You have to understand for a guy who literally wrote two plays and is making a legacy out of the second one — literally a million dollars a week — is absolutely mental and that it’s theater. Theater stars have become stars again which is so cool.
“Secret Eats with Adam Richman” premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on The Travel Channel.