TV personality Adam Richman will host the World Food Championships Nov. 1-4 at Bally’s, with chefs competing to make the best barbecue, chili, burgers, sandwiches and side dishes. CityLife spoke to him about the event and Las Vegas dining.
Why hold the World Food Championships in Las Vegas?
It’s a place that’s synonymous with competition, from gaming to boxing. And you factor in the culinary profile of this town — it seems to be a right of passage that once a chef reaches a certain modicum of respect or culinary craft, they have to have a restaurant in Las Vegas. [So] you can’t do it anywhere else. I don’t think you can call anything the “World” anything — certainly of a culinary nature and competitive nature — and not think of this as an immediate choice.
But this isn’t the type of haute cuisine Las Vegas is known for.
I think the food in this competition speaks to more people, and I love that. I love that this is a festival that will respect the culinary skill that goes into a great rack of ribs as much into a great terrine or something like that.
Where do you eat when you’re in town?
This trip I’ve been really blessed to eat at two restaurants that have blown me away. I became friends with Hubert Keller at the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival. And he’s just such a really cool dude, so I went to Fleur. And then I went to American Fish.
What’s more challenging, the giant burgers and things you used to eat on Man vs Food, or the marathon 10- or 15-course tasting menus offered at Las Vegas’ high-end restaurants?
I’m going to go with the burger being more difficult. Because in those multi-course feasts — and I agree they’re very difficult, it is an undertaking at the very least — you get variety in that situation. And flavor fatigue and texture fatigue is a very real thing.
For more information on the World Food Championships, visit www.worldfoodchampionships.com.