Man v Food Nation – Adam Richman’s top three eating challenges

The Incinerator, Davy Jones's Locker, the Hot Weiner challenge - the gastronomic athlete shares some of the toughest tests from his new series

Adam Richman has made his name taking on some of the toughest food challenges America has to offer in gastronomic travelogue Man v Food. But after three series of gorging himself on giant burgers, colossal steaks and huge stacks of pancakes, Adam’s decided it’s time to share.


Man v Food Nation sees him turn coach – “I’m getting my own Sir Alex out there” – supporting those keen to follow in his foosteps and “test their own gustatory mettle” in local restaurants across the US.

Adam talked us through three of the series’ most testing challenges. It may not be a coincidence that all of them involve copious amounts of fiery chilis…

(Photo of Adam Richman by Nicky Johnston)

The Incinerator Challenge

Restaurant: Joe Momma’s, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The challenge: large, deep-pan pizza covered in hot chilis

Time allowed: 1 hour

Adam says: “Firefighter Joel Younger is an amazing guy, a true hero in what he does day to day. He had to eat an entire large pizza coated with the spiciest peppers on planet earth – ghost chillis, srirachas, habaneros, jalapeños – and wasabi. Seeing a big firefighter taking on a big spicy challenge is pretty awesome.”

Joel says: “I don’t care how much heart you have, your body is telling you you’re not supposed to be doing this, and it wants to come out of your body… The next day was really where the challenge was…”

Result: Completed!

The Davy Jones’s Locker Challenge

Restaurant: Rapscallions pirate-themed restaurant, Tampa, Florida

The challenge: ten chicken wings covered in habanero-capsaicin extract

Time allowed: 30 minutes (plus five minutes enforced “afterburn” following the challenge, during which no liquid can be consumed)

Adam says: “Professional wrestler Jerry ‘Nasty’ Sags takes on these ridiculous hot wings. Seeing this man – who, for a living, gets hit over the head by folding chairs – reduced to tears by wings is pretty great.”

Result: Completed!

The Hot Wiener Challenge 

Restaurant: Olneyville New York System, Providence, Rhode Island

The challenge: 15 hot dogs loaded with mustard, onions and meat sauce

Time allowed: 45 minutes

Adam says: “We’ve got Connor McQuade, a rugby player from Providence, Road Island, who takes on a massive, massive chili-dog challenge. The energy in the room is palpable.”

Result: Failed: one-and-a-half hotdogs left…

Watch Adam Richman in Man v Food Nation during November at 5:30pm, 11pm and 11:30pm – and see The Feast Special on Thursday 22 November at 5pm and 9pm – on Food Network UK (Freeview 48; Sky 262/263).


Visit for more information.