The Tampa Tribune’s food writer since 2005, Jeff Houck covers the way people live through their food. He also hosts the Table Conversations food podcast and believes that everything crunchy is good.
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Travel Channel Host Adam Richman Comes To Tampa Bearing Whiskey, Food [Table Conversations Podcast]
Posted Jun 15, 2012 by Jeff Houck
Updated Jun 15, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Travel Channel host Adam Richman is a fan of Tampa.
He’s made several stops to film segments at beloved local eateries in recent years at places such as Taco Bus and Rapscallion’s for his “Man v. Food” and “Man v. Food Nation” shows.
Last week, he featured the media noche at Aguila Sandwich Shop and the grouper Reuben at Skipper’s Smokehouse for his newest series, “Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America.”
This week, Richman was back in Tampa, this time as a spokesman for Jim Beam Red Stag bourbon. The company hired him to create a menu of whiskey-infused dishes to be served from its own food truck. The truck will be offering samples throughout Tampa and St. Pete Beach through Saturday.
Richman on Thursday sat down with me as a guest on my Table Conversations podcast. You can listen to it here.
Richman said Thursday he was excited when he found out Tampa was on the food truck’s tour. He has come through the area several times to visit a friend who works for the Tampa Bay Rays and tracked the growth of city’s food scene.
“This is a city that is going to be on the culinary vanguard,” Richman said. “For me to have my first big menu on a truck in a city in an emerging market is a big deal for me.”
Richman’s menu on the truck includes slow-cooked Asian duck pancakes, honey tea turkey sliders, twice-baked sweet potatoes with ricotta cheese, blue-cheese stuffed dates and bread pudding, all of which include elements of Red Stag in the ingredients and preparation.
Richman said he tried to create food that would be versatile enough to play in Tampa, Indianapolis and Chicago, as well as an unnamed destination that fans voted for online.
“The greatest thing about Tampa [is that] you have this amazing marine bounty in both bay and ocean,” he said. “And you have this incredible Cuban culture and you get the synthesis of both. It’s pretty awesome.”
Richman said he had wanted to do a food truck for a while, but didn’t want to do it in New York City, where his would get lost in the crowd. He also didn’t want to start one in food-truck crazy Austin, Texas.
“If I did a truck there they would be, like, ‘Who? The guy from basic cable? The guy who is on before the juicer commercials? Get out of here,’” he said.
The Red Stag truck will be serving Richman’s food from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today in Ybor City at East Seventh Avenue and Angel Olivia Senior Street. The truck will then serve from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the intersection of South Howard Avenue and West De Leon Street, in Tampa
From noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, the truck will be in St. Pete Beach at the Postcard Inn on the Beach on Gulf Boulevard between 64th Avenue and Gulf Winds Drive.