Adam Richman Reveals His Favorite And Least Favorite Challenges From Man V. Food - Exclusive

If there is a food challenge out there, there's a good chance Adam Richman has taken it on. During his four years filming Man v. Food, the host-with-a-huge-appetite took on 59 food challenges by himself; that total jumps to 86 challenges if you include the team events in season four. And while it was a close and fierce battle between the man and the food, Richman managed to eek out a few more wins than losses along the way. 

Adam Richman took on any and every kind of food challenge put before him — from gigantic hamburgers, to planet-sized pizzas, to some of the spiciest wings you can imagine (via IMDb). And while there are all kinds of rankings out there of the best and worst Man v. Food challenges from fans and critics alike, we decided to ask the man himself. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Richman shared which challenges were his most and least favorite to actually consume.

For Richman, quality is important

Adam Richman says, if he's being honest, he didn't totally love guzzling down extreme amounts of tacos, chicken, ice cream, and more for the cameras and the fans. "None of it felt awesome," the star admitted — and none of it was easy for him, either. Richman told Mashed, "I think the quantity ones were harder to do, the hot ones were harder to recover from."

But not every challenge left a bad taste in Richman's mouth (pun intended), and he does have some food feats that he looks back on fondly. "I would say one of my favorite ones... was called the Kodiak Arrest," Richman shared. According to IMDb, he took on this challenge at Humpy's Great Alaskan Alehouse in Anchorage, Alaska during season two. For the challenge, Richman had to eat seven crab nuggets, 14 inches of reindeer sausage, and four pounds of Alaskan king crab, plus sides and dessert (via Humpy's Alaska). Richman says the variety of smaller portions that made up the massive meal are what made it easier and more enjoyable to take on, explaining "because it was a variety, we never got a flavor fatigue." Richman also mentioned it helped that everything on the plate was "fresh... really delicious food," adding "you have an appreciation of the bounty of that area. So that was pretty good."

The one challenge Richman will never forget

Richman put his mind and his body through a lot for the glory of victory and the sake of good TV, and there are a lot of challenges along the way he's happy to never have to revisit; but of course, there is one Man v. Food challenge that was far and away worse for Richman than all the others. 

If you're a big fan of the show, you probably already know about the "Fire In Your Hole" chicken wing drama. The incident took place at Munchies 420 Cafe in Sarasota, Florida. Richman geared up to eat 10 ridiculously hot chicken wings in 20 minutes in order to make it on to the Wall of Pain, but Richman says things got way out of hand. "They put so much ghost chili extract in it. It was dangerous. So that one, that one definitely is not one of my favorites... that was one I was like, 'Yeah, I might die here,'" Richman told Mashed.

Richman was upset about more than just the loss

So how did this near-emergency situation happen? We're happy Richman survived to tell the tale. Turns out, the show's production team overheard the owner of Munchies 420 Cafe on a hot microphone telling the chef to add an entire bottle of their ghost chili hot sauce — made from one of the hottest chilis in the world, according to Pepperhead, mind you — rather than the small amount that is usually added to these wings for the challenge. Richman not only lost the challenge, but he almost needed medical attention. The host was, for obvious reasons, put out by the whole thing, and says he doesn't really understand why they would do that to him. Richman put it this way, "If I won the challenge at a restaurant, more people tried it. If I lost it, fewer people tried it. It's in your best interest that I win. I'm not saying make it easy. And I'm not saying cheat. But don't try to kill me." 

It's also worth mentioning a runner up for Richman's least favorite challenge. He told us, "the Shut Up Juice challenge in Little Rock at Mean Pig Barbecue was pretty damn painful." This was another battle involving ultra spicy food, but we're happy to say Richman reigned victorious on that one (via YouTube).

You can find Adam Richman on Modern Marvels and The Food That Built America, both airing on the History Channel and streaming now on