Men’s position as masters of the barbecue is under threat. Adam Richman, star of US eating challenge Man vs Food, says his new ITV show BBQ Champ proves the nation’s women are getting in touch with their primal sides too.
“These women love barbecue,” says Richman. “They do it regularly, they’re not there making tea cakes and Victoria sponge, they are throwing down the T-bone steaks and beer-can chicken… they are bringing the thunder!”
There may be just two women to the six men in the competition but there’s a hint that at least one of the female contestants could progress to the later stages and Richman is keen for them to inspire others to get involved.
“The women, in many cases, are really out-performing the men by huge amounts,” he says. “I hope that young women are watching this and saying ‘I can do that’.”
He admits, though, that there remain some deep-seated attractions for men in the most fundamental form of cooking.
“There is this notion of taming fire to roast your meat that speaks to something very primal to us as men, on a very real genetic, cellular level,” says Richman. “But there is also that element that, at the barbecue, the guy in charge of the grill is god. He determines the gustatory fate of everybody there and is the gatekeeper to all the food. There is a degree of social power that comes of being the grill master.”
BBQ Champ starts at 9pm on Friday 31st July on ITV