Adam Richman Enters The Podcast Scene With ‘The Meals That Made Me’ – Forbes

Discover the meals that mean the most to culinary power players
You may know him best as the OG Man vs. Food, but Adam Richman has been keeping busy since his competitive eating days came to an end in 2012. These days you can find him on History Channel as the host of The Food That Built America, Modern Marvels, and the face of Adam Eats the 80s—where he digs into nostalgic foods of the epic decade.
Most recently, he’s entered the realm of podcasts as the host of First We Feast’s new flagship podcast series, The Meals That Made Me. In each episode, Richman chats with guests about the meals that have resonated with them throughout the years. He diving into the meals of their childhood, the meals that are tied to their career success, and the meals that continue to inspire them reminding them of why they do what they do. Upcoming guests include Andrew Zimmern, Anita Lo, and Nina Compton—just to name a few.
I got the chance to do some chatting of my own with Richman about the podcast and what he’s been excited about lately. From the meal that made him to upcoming projects, here’s what he had to say.
Adam Richman: Great question. It’s funny I’ve actually never been asked that! In many respects I would have to say some incarnation of Katz’s pastrami, fries & a Dr. Brown’s soda. I grew up going to the Lower East Side, went to that iconic deli throughout my life, and my final, most important screen test for “Man vs. Food” was there. That show gave me my career, and that’s kind of where it all began.
AR: Honestly, and it’s such an interviewer thing to say, but I love the emotional moments that derive from something as simple as food. Watching Evan Funke tear up when recounting a moment of true connection and beautiful humanity he shared with a Nonna in Italy, seeing someone so well known as Andrew Zimmern be transported and totally vulnerable and open while recounting the memory of his father‘s last meal with his partner at their favorite restaurant together before his passing, seeing Kwame Onwuachi seemingly transform into his teenage self in Nigeria, recounting the punishments he would get at the strict school he went to.
These people all have culinary chops, all have achieved great things and made loads of money and so on, but it’s those moments where you access their raw humanity that are absolute gold.
AR: Well, it’s the first one I’ve ever done, so it’s all new ground and uncharted territory for me. I do like that you can just sort of riff extemporaneously with people, but I love the fact that I work with a great production team to create an awesome framework so that it has shape and structure. Personally, I wish that the episodes could even be a bit longer since there is so much good stuff that has to be cut in order to make it 30 minutes!
In terms of doing the show itself, I love people’s reactions when my research has yielded a fact they thought no one really knew about, and seeing these titans of the culinary world pleasantly surprised or playfully embarrassed is kind of awesome. There definitely is a bit of a proud moment I feel when the guests say, “How did you know that?” or “Wow, you really did your research!”
AR: Well, I was blessed to have one of my mentors, Andrew Zimmern, on the show. Sadly, my other key mentor, Anthony Bourdain, is gone, but he would have absolutely killed it—probably killed me in the process as well! Haha!
There are so many people I would love to showcase. Especially because we don’t just interview chefs—our episode with legendary rapper E-40 is an absolute dream, and not only will people enjoy it as a listen but they will learn a lot about the man himself.
So, I guess I would love to interview José Andrés, not just because I admire what he’s done for the planet, but because he has always been so incredibly kind to me, personally. I would love to talk to Warren G, who happens to be an incredible BBQ aficionado, as is Dave Grohl, another dream guest. Roy Choi and Eddie Huang have been true game changers in the culinary world and are incredibly cool guys who are definitely part of “the culture.” And I also think it would be cool to speak to one of the Food Network megastars who is a household name, but peel back the glossy veneer to show the humanity beneath, someone like Bobby, Rachel or Giada. My gosh, can you imagine being so famous you are only known by your first name? Legendary.
AR: Thank you so much. A friend once told me, “better busy than the alternative!“ And that is very true. I was living in London and filming a show there when the pandemic really hit the world at large, and naturally the project got scrapped. Even though that show is no more, I still have a great relationship with that terrific production company, and, as an avowed Anglophile, I would love to go back and make some special television for the United Kingdom. The wheels are also in motion to reboot the show I did about soccer and food all over the world for a different platform – and I hope that comes to be because food culture and football culture are growing faster than ever.
And personally, I’ve been working on some sauces and some frozen food concepts that I can’t wait for people to try.
Ultimately, whether it’s the food I make or the TV shows I’m part of, fundamentally I just really hope I can make people happy, enlighten them a little bit, and appreciate this amazing world we’ve been given just a little bit more.
Check out The Meals That Made Me dropping new episodes every Wednesday, available on all podcast outlets.


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