14 May 2009

my weekend with the filming of Adam Richman & Man vs Food

Posted by Chris Paniagua

This weekend I had a fun experience!  I was filmed for an episode of Man vs Food!  Twice!

I am subscribed to the local events calendar to keep me up to date on all the current activities and events happening in my area.  This helps keep me busy shooting new content for this site and the Travel Channel.  Mainly the calendar is filled with tidbits about charity drives, and celebrity concerts, but little bits of gold do appear after sifting through all that sand.

Like yesterday, I saw a post that the Travel Channel show “Man vs Food” was going to be filming in my town, and not far from home!  Even though this is a new show, my whole family is pretty addicted to this show already.  The host, Adam Richman is a sweet likable guy and the premise of the show is entertaining.  Basically, if you have not seen it yet – each episode is about Adam finding unique and stuffing places to dine in the host city, and then embarking on a food “challenge” where he must consume some enormous meal like a competitive eater to earn his place in history at that establishment.  It is my daughters’ favorite show on the Travel Channel.

Today was not the challenge portion, but Adam and the crew were fired up and ready to take on the “Hash House a GoGo”.  It is a locals favorite for breakfast and lunch that serves “twisted farm-food”.  Crazy and enjoyable dishes with enormous portions.  I showed up early and reserved a table close to the action where I could watch the filming of the beginning bits, and Adam sat down to a meal with a couple guys. One of which was Bobby Slayton, the “pit-bull” of comedy.  They had a huge blueberry & white chocolate pancake, and a few other items.  While filming, the production assistant came over to me and said “You want to be on TV?”.  Heck Yah I want to be on Man vs Food!  The mohawk wins again!  1) it gets me on the Travel Channel.  my dream job!  2) it makes me a hero to my daughters!

So I ordered a “Meatloaf Hash” and waited…  He made a stop at a large birthday party talking about the eats, and then came to my table.  We talked about my dish, and Vegas, and what Vegas’ spin on comfort food was.  Adam is a really likable guy and was very friendly with both me, and my girlfriend and her daughter.  We should make the cut – right before he goes to the kitchen.  He was very accommodating to all the fans in attendance, making sure to sign everything, and take all the photos people wanted.  I was impressed.  I cant begin to tell you how many personalities are not what they seem when off camera.  Anyways, back to the story, turns out he is 34 just like me.  We got along like old friends from the get-go.  He even gave me a big hug after our scene.  He signed some stuff for my girls, we took a couple pics, and I told him I would bring my kids down to watch the challenge the next day.

The next day my daughters were not in school so I took them down to the challenge portion of the episode.  He was here to do the B3 Burrito at the NASCAR cafe in the Sahara Hotel & Casino.  B3 stands for BIG BADASS BURRITO, and weighs in at an impressive 6+ pounds and about 18″ long.  I waited to talk to the hostess (who barely spoke english) to explain that I was a travel writer and looking to sit front & center to the action.  After about 40 minutes of waiting, I talked to the supervisor, and the main waitress in the area to plead my case.  Problem was, the area directly behind where Adam was sitting was 21 & over because of the proximity to the bar and to a blackjack table.  But I was aggressive and worked with the staff to get what I wanted.  At first I took the closest currently available table, and ordered some food and some drinks like a good patron.  I explained to them that as soon as a specific couple gets up to leave from the closest “family” table, it was mine – which they were OK with, and eventually did.  Once that table opened up, we moved and sat there for another 30 mins or so, until I saw the table directly behind Adam front row & center open up.  Even though this table was technically in the 21 & over area – it was borderline, and by this time the staff was on my side, so I slid right in and got one of the best seats in the house for the Challenge.

When the Challenge portion was ready to shoot, Enter Adam Richman, and the B3 Burrito – and of course a couple of Vegas beauties flanking him on each side.  The executive chef comes in to explain the rules.  Eat every bite of the 6+ pound burrito in under 90 minutes and earn the 3rd spot on the wall of fame of successful burrito soldiers.  And if he fails, he is rewarded with his photo on the wall of shame, and a pink T-shirt that said “certified WEENIE”.  My daughters decided they wanted to make a wager.  They wanted to bet on Adam and win something if he was successful.  They decided they wanted to wager $3 and a massage each!  This meant a couple things.  1) I had to bet on food.  (Adam losing) 2) I could potentially be out of pocket $6 and (2) massages.  I was ok with this though, I had seen him fail a few challenges before, and giving my kids a couple bucks and a massage is OK with me especially when making the event a little more exciting.

Challenge time.  He dives into the burrito like my brother in law dives into cake.  Huge bites and lots of chewing and swallowing.  Adam is by no means a professional competitive eater, so it was interesting to see the strategy.  People in the crowd are yelling encouragement, or placing bets for & against his success.  At one point they get volunteers to come up and cheer him on.  Naturally I get up cheer him on for TV.  My daughters also – get up and cheer him on.  Solo shots with Adam while ripping through the B3 Burrito.  I hope their scene makes the cut just for bragging rights.  They love this show.

Adam was tearing through the burrito.  Bite after bite, he had made a lot of progress very quickly.  **** *** ***** ****** *** *** ****** ****** ************ *** ***** ******** *** *** ******** ** *** ********* ****** ***** ** ***** *** ************ ********* *** ***** ******** ***** ********* ******* ***** *** ** ******** ** *** ***** ****** ****** ****** ****** *** *** ****** ****** ************ *** ***** ******** *** *** ******** ** *** ********* ****** ***** ** ***** *** *********** ********* *** ***** ******** ***** ********* ******* ***** *** ** ******** ** *** ***** ****** ****** ****** ****** *** *** ****** ****** ************ *** ***** ******** *** *** ******** ** *** ********* ****** ***** ** ***** *** ************ ********* *** ***** ******** ***** ********* ******* ***** *** ** ******** ** *** ***** ****** ****** ******
(spoiler removed at request of Sharp Entertainment/Travel Channel – I will repost it after the show airs) Guess you will just have to wait! 🙂

In the end, we all had a good time.  Watching my daughters get filmed on TV, cheering on Adam, and enjoying the experience with friends and family.  We are all much bigger fans of Adam Richman, and the show Man vs Food than we were before.  Watch for this episode Season 2, Episode 2 on the Travel Channel.

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