Cooking up adventure
Paddling a 250-kilogram pumpkin, eating poisonous blowfish, shot putting sheep organs, braiding garlic, watermelon seed spitting, husking corn, cooking in extreme heat and chasing a wheel of cheese down a hill...
Name: Bob Blumer
Occupation: TV Host, writer and gourmet chef
Paddling a 250-kilogram pumpkin, eating poisonous blowfish, shot putting sheep organs, braiding garlic, watermelon seed spitting, husking corn, cooking in extreme heat and chasing a wheel of cheese down a hill — it’s all in a day’s work for Bob Blumer, host and creator of the TV show, Glutton For Punishment.
“I tried to create a show that combined my passions for food and spirits, and my competitive nature,” explains Blumer, formerly known to viewers as The Surreal Gourmet. “It happened over a few glasses of Scotch with my good friend. We scribbled the concept, a title and 13 episode ideas on a napkin.”
Blumer, a Canuck who now resides in the Hollywood Hills, pitched the show to Paperny Films, a Vancouver production company. The series took two years to develop and eventually hit the airwaves on Food Network Canada, Food Network US, FINE LIVING and FOOD TV, UK.
“I’m secretly a little disappointed every time we embark on a challenge that is more mental than physical,” admits the epicurean adventurer, who is an extreme sports fanatic by nature. Marathons and long distance cycling are right up there alongside his spatula and pots and pans. Oh, and let’s not forget the First Aid kit.
Take the cheese rolling challenge in Gloucester, England, for example. Participants (many of whom had clearly been dipping into the cider) came in droves risking life and limb in mad pursuit of a 5-kilogram wheel of cheese that sped down an insanely steep slope. The fastest lunatic down the hill that fetches the fromage wins.
Despite enlisting a parkour artist and karate instructor to help combat the downward tumbles, Blumer got banged up. “Two days after injuring my knee, my director and I cycled 600 kilometres to our next location in Scotland.”
After participating in the next food competition, Blumer flew home and found out he had to undergo knee surgery.
But the self-taught food guru was back on his feet in three weeks to embark on the next challenge, which, of course, always comes with a hearty culinary lesson.
TV aside, Blumer writes for Men’s Journal and has authored five cookbooks. His book, Pizza On The Grill, is due out in May.
“As Neil Young sings, Rust Never Sleeps,” says Blumer.