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Chef Talk: Culinary, culture, and creation

Adam Richman loves experimenting with food. This food star or chef turned author has travelled around the world, hosting shows like “Man v. Food” and “Food Fighters”. He signed the first copies of his cookbook Straight Up Tasty at Northeastern University and made one of his favourite sandwiches.

Richman may not have a line of sauces or a restaurant to him. He outrightly claims that he wouldn’t call himself a chef either. He loves food and can easily pick out the culinary merits in a dish. For him, cooking is about exploration and making a story for oneself. He encourages his audience to go beyond what is given in the recipe book to tweak it into a dish that is unique to them. If you follow the recipe word to word, there is hardly any individuality left in it.

Richman’s “Sloppy ‘Zo” is an example of this mixing and matching. The dish is a mixture of two recipes: one for sloppy joe, an all-American sandwich that goes back to his youth, and chori-pan, a sandwich he ate at Argentina. He played his way with the chorizo, bread, plum tomatoes and the many other ingredients to create this signature dish.

He offers tips to the audience for cooking hassle-free and this includes heating up the pan before pouring oil, how to grind garlic using a Richman special method, and how to save time in the kitchen when dealing with quantities for a given recipe. From offering alternatives to popcorn for a movie night to sharing stories about the cooking ideas that worked and those that did not, the session that was a part of Northeastern University’s Xhibition Kitchen was a fruitful culinary experience for not just food enthusiasts but anyone who liked to experiment and explore with the food they ate every day.

N Malavika Mohan