john choi photo

 

The Food Jammers, from left, Micah Donovan, Nobu Adilman and Christopher Martin. Their new season begins this Monday.

 




They’re jamming. They wanna jam it with food.

 

OK, so maybe the Food Jammers didn’t get their name from a Bob Marley song, but they don’t mind the association with the term often attributed to the music-making process. After all, this hilarious trio brainstormed their entire first season of episodes for the Food Network in one session, over burgers and beer.

 

“We’re into hanging out, we’re into figuring out how things work, we’re into building stuff,” Micah Donovan says. “And eating.”


“I’m definitely a professional eater,” Nobu Adilman quips. “I went pro at eight.”


Add Christopher Martin and you have the stars of the youthful and ruggedly do-it-yourself Food Jammers — a show that mixes equal parts childlike curiosity, manly craftsmanship, and, well, food.


Craving a tall, cool glass of cider, they made their own apple cider press out of wood, stainless steel and a hemp bag. Instead of hitting up the drive-thru at Taco Bell, they constructed their own automated taco maker. They launched an edible art show at a gallery, which Adilman says had visitors “licking the walls.”


During the first season, most supplies came from Goodwill or the garbage, and would often be reused for the next contraption.


If it seems like an unlikely match — cooking meets construction — Martin explains the nuances in each actually form a lot of parallels.


“One of the ways I get into it is in terms of constructing a meal,” he says.


“Differing textures, how it looks, the colours, how the tastes combine. That, to me, is just fascinating. And that translates into building an object too — you focus on all the details.”


“It’s reverse engineering,” Donovan adds. “We just learn how to make things we like.”


Although they’re hesitant to classify any of their endeavours (or “self-imposed challenges,” as Martin puts it) as failures, the entire premise is ripe for amusing mishaps. For instance, using bottles of beer as weights in a pulley mechanism — you can probably guess how that one ended. Or launching a stream of apples into the air when their first attempt at a spinning grinder didn’t pan out as expected. And then there’s the turkey.


“Last year, we dehydrated a turkey, and it was like particleboard,” Adilman says. “We wanted to have a Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of the woods and when you want to take a centrepiece meal camping, you have to consider weight. We took 10 pounds of water out of this turkey. It looked like something we could donate to the Royal Ontario Museum.”


Well, sometimes that happens when you’re jamming. But they hope you like jamming too.




  • Food Jammers’ new season starts Monday at 9:30 p.m. on the Food Network.