Adam Richman: ‘I’m Not A Chef’

If you’ve ever wanted to get inside the mind – and taste buds – of Adam Richman, you’re in luck. America’s favorite foodie dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Friday to discuss his new cookbook, “Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels.”

While many cookbooks are written for people who know their way around the kitchen, Richman wanted to connect with the everyman, from the cooking novice to someone with more experience who’s looking to spice things up a bit.

“The thing is, again, I’m not a chef,” Richman said on Gio and Jones. “I don’t have a restaurant. I don’t have a line of knives at Williams-Sonoma an Target. I’ve been working in the industry since I’m 13. I grew up in New York, which, as you know, makes you a little bit Asian, a little bit Polish, a little bit Hungarian, a little bit Greek. But you know what the thing is? I wanted to do something. The subtitle of my book is ‘Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels.’ I know we’re coming up on a big grilling weekend, a big BBQ weekend. And for me, I wanted to do stuff that was flavor-forward, to do stuff that was inspired by dishes I’ve had. I really believe in being honest with anyone who supports me, that’s a fan of me or anything I do.”

For some of his recipes, Richman took great dishes from different cities and different cuisines and married them into a unique blend of awesomeness. Thanks to Richman’s cookbook, you can enjoy brisket fried rice and his own personal take on chocolate cake.

“I wanted it to be fun,” Richman said. “I write in the very beginning of the book, if you think that cooking is deadly serious and not to be approached by the uninitiated, this is not the book for you. If you want something that’s really mad chef, this is not the book for you. But if you want to have fun, if you want to show off a little bit – I got recipes for how to make really impressive-looking and -tasting dishes that are crazy easy. I have a two-ingredient recipe in there, a three-ingredient recipe in there. Is it going to win a James Beard Award? I don’t know, probably not. But I don’t care about that. I’d rather rake something that people really dig.”

Indeed, Richman wants to get people out of the habit of relying on chicken breasts and a baked potato.

“I want to do something that’s dope and has a lot of flavor,” he said.

In the book, Richman lists the bets burger places he’s been to, chronicles the entire history of chocolate in a rhyming poem and describes cooking methodologies in haiku form – just to keep things fun and interesting.

There’s great variety in the book – and in more ways than one.

If you want to cook something a little involved – like pasta with macadamia nuts, sausage and shrimp – Richman has got you covered. If you want to make something simple, like spinach pie, Richman has you covered there, too.

“I wanted some stuff that would be flavor-forward, but not really heavy on the prep,” he said. “I don’t think it should be.”

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