Webb takes the heat and comes back for more in Sea­son 4 of ‘Man v. Food’

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv -

Just like an ath­lete be­fore a big com­pe­ti­tion, Casey Webb of “Man v. Food” does his prep work.

While on the road, the host of the Cook­ing Chan­nel se­ries makes sure he eats well, gets plenty of rest and tries to get in his ex­er­cise. And if he happens to be tak­ing on a chal­lenge that en­tails down­ing uber­hot peppers, well, guess what gets added to his train­ing reg­i­men.

“I have an ar­se­nal of dried chilis in my apart­ment as we speak ...,” he ex­plains, “So it’s re­ally about prep­ping your sys­tem. I travel with ghost chilis and I in­cor­po­rate it into my diet just so it’s in my body so it’s not a shock to my sys­tem. But it doesn’t change how it af­fects your palate. It’s go­ing to burn. You know, it’s hot (but) these are lit­tle things that help.”

The new sea­son gets go­ing Tues­day, July 2, and finds Webb trav­el­ing to lo­ca­tions across the coun­try to check out the fare in places such as Wis­con­sin, Ohio, Alaska and Texas and take on epic chal­lenges such as a 30-pound bagel sand­wich, out­sized por­tions of bar­be­cue and a plate of ghost chili pep­per tacos.

In the sea­son opener, he goes to Sacra­mento, Calif., where he drops in on a fam­ily-run Chi­nese restau­rant, dines on sushi at a renowned Ja­panese con­cern and vis­its an eatery called the Waf­fle Ex­pe­ri­ence, where he got to try his hand at mak­ing the break­fast cakes.

“They do it in a French style,” Webb notes, “so it’s more like bread than it is an ac­tual waf­fle as we know it in Amer­ica, so it re­ally holds up well so they can make these re­ally hearty sand­wiches.”

Later in the sea­son, Webb and his as­bestos palate head to his home state of New Jersey to try the Seven Deadly Rings chal­lenge at a Hobo­ken pizze­ria known as Tony Boloney’s.

“(The chal­lenge) was a sin­gle slice of pizza and each bite of the pizza got hot­ter and hot­ter and hot­ter and hot­ter,” Webb ex­plains. “So it was a very small bite at the very be­gin­ning that was jalapeno that went all the way up to ghost chili, scor­pion and – yeah, it was pretty hot.”

And when you’re talk­ing Scov­ille unit heat in the mil­lions, no amount of liq­uid re­fresh­ment is go­ing to knock down that fire.

“You know, it’s like an oil fire,” Webb says. “You don’t want to throw wa­ter on an oil fire, it just spreads it out . ... I’ve taken to drink iced tea be­cause it helps very lit­tle but it’s some­how sat­is­fy­ing and it’s a lit­tle bet­ter than wa­ter. I mean, it’s 95 per­cent wa­ter but that lit­tle bit of tea cuts the heat just for a hot sec­ond. When you’re get­ting into in­creas­ingly hot stuff like 1.5, two mil­lion Scov­ille units ... any lit­tle bit helps.”

Casey Webb

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