Metro Weekly

Adam Richman: Secret Eats was an “amazing” experience

For his new series, Adam Richman seeks out dishes that are off-the-menu

Adam Richman and the off menu Matambrito a la Pizza at Lo de Freddy parrilla -- Photo courtesy of Travel Channel

Adam Richman and the off menu Matambrito a la Pizza at Lo de Freddy parrilla — Photo courtesy of Travel Channel

Word of advice. Don’t watch Adam Richman’s Travel Channel series Secret Eats if you’re hungry. You won’t be able to avoid the inevitable fridge raid.

In the show, which premiered last Monday, Richman ventures to different international locales in search of off-the-menu items and hush-hush dining establishments often so well-hidden, it would take a C.I.A. operative to unearth them. It’s a clever upgrade to a formula — host watches chef prepare food, host gluttonously samples food, host asks patrons what they think of said food, everyone agrees it’s the best food they’ve ever had anywhere, anytime — that’s grown a bit stale. Luckily, Richman, whose Man V. Food similarly toyed with the genre in an engaging way, is a witty, naturally appealing guide, with a vocabulary that goes beyond “grilled to perfection.”

“It’s fun when you’re exploring iconic cities like Rome, London, Mexico City, or Buenos Aires that, yes, there are amazing culinary experiences to be had that are known, that are celebrated, and that are lauded,” says Richman. “Then there are these other places that are every bit as culinarily sound, but the experience is so much more heightened because it takes a bit of digging and a bit of discovery.”

Richman and crew — who, in another break with tradition, frequently appear with him on camera as they search for establishments — ventured to 13 countries for a total of 14 episodes, two of which air every Monday starting at 10 p.m. In the pilot episode, which premiered last week, Richman wanders London, where he discovers a decadent Nutella Duffin Sundae that patrons literally have to dance for and a restaurant that you can only gain access to if you “hire” a private eye to solve a case. Richman calls the overall experience of shooting the series “amazing.”

“We filmed a very popular food blogger in Singapore and told her where we had shot the day before,” he recalls. “And she said, ‘Oh, my God! How did you find a place in Singapore that I haven’t found? How on earth is that possible? This is what I do for a living!’ She sent me an email a week or two later: ‘Loving the place.’ To be able to out-local a local — that’s groovy.”

Two new episodes of Secret Eats with Adam Richman premiere every Monday, at 10 p.m. EST, on The Travel Channel. Visit travelchannel.com.

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Randy Shulman is Metro Weekly's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. He can be reached at rshulman@metroweekly.com.