Actor and "Man v. Food" TV host Adam Richman will tell you he's an out-and-out foodie. That, coupled with an innate wanderlust, fuels the native New Yorker's desire to discover different cultures, different dishes, different everything.
Richman will appear at noon Sunday at the L.A. Times Travel Show to talk about sampling foods while on the road, such as pinxtos (little sandwiches) in Spain's Basque region of San Sebastian, and other culinary obsessions.
For his latest TV venture, he's on a quest to find hidden gems, restaurants that make amazing off-menu items or secret dishes.
"Domestically, I think more in terms of food," he said in a recent interview. "I've traveled a lot of the country and sketched the broad strokes. Now a cool candy bar is enough to give me the 'wow' factor."
For Richman, even personal time provides an opportunity to eat. "If I'm going to a wedding in Maine....I'm going to eat every lobster roll in sight," he says. "No lobster roll will evade my grasp."
So how does he reconcile the noshing with the 60 pounds he shed since he was downing greasy 5-pound burgers on Travel Channel's "Man v. Food"? Richman says he's careful about sampling versus eating everything, and how he spends his calories -- even when he's at the airport.
If he has a meal, it's likely going to be something protein-rich such as a grilled chicken sandwich, usually without the bun. For flights that serve meals, Richman takes the entree's protein portion (chicken, fish, whatever), eats it with the accompanying small salad and then makes sure the attendant takes the rest away.
Before he gets on a plane, Richman makes sure he always has:
--A huge bottle of water;
--Some raw almonds (not too many, 24 are about 160 calories, he says);
--Nonfat Greek yogurt.
He advises travelers to be prepared before they go by seeking places that sell healthier fare to avoid impulsive fast-food stops. "I know, in each airport, where the store that has coconut water is," he says.
The Travel Show this weekend also will feature keynote speakers Arthur Frommer and Alyssa Milano on Saturday and Richman and Henry Rollins on Sunday. Check the event's website for a schedule and ticket information.