‘Man v. Food’ host talks culinary history in Iowa City

Culinary rock star Adam Richman made a grand entrance into the Englert Theatre last night by dancing through the crowd and giving fist bumps and high-fives to his fans.

Known for his eating challenges on the Travel Channel’s top-rated show, “Man v. Food,” Richman showed his serious, intellectual side.

“Tonight is not about ‘Man v. Food’, it’s about you and me and our culinary history,” he said. “The language of food is what we all speak. This is what binds us.”

With a backdrop of pictures behind him, he spoke passionately about the history of food.

After the crowd jeered when a picture popped up of Richman wearing an Ohio State football uniform, he quipped, “I burned my Sports Illustrated too,” referring to the Iowa Hawkeyes’ loss to the Buckeyes last weekend.

The Brooklyn native gave a detailed history of meatloaf and bagels and explained how everybody has their own take of these basic foods.

“Every nationality has a version of meatloaf,” he said.

He urged the crowd to talk to their relatives and people from their region to find out about more of their culinary history.

“Go out and find what’s local,” he said. “Iowa is the breadbox and pantry of the nation.”

After the history lesson, he led another dance break, mingling with the crowd, before giving a cooking demonstration on stage.

The demonstration included basic appliances like a microwave, cooking pot and George Foreman grill.

He invited a man from the audience to cook with him so he could impress his girlfriend who was seated at a table on stage.

Richman engaged the crowd by asking them to shout out answers to questions and sitting on the edge of the stage during a question-and-answer session.

“It was really entertaining,” said Robert Mlejnek, 19, of Coralville, after the show. “He’s much more down to earth than other guys I watch.”

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