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