My 5: ‘Man v. Food’ Host Casey Webb’s Favorite Food Personalities (Exclusive)
By Stacy Lambe
Getty Images / Travel Channel / Justin Wilson Holdings, Inc. / Ciao Italia
Man v. Food, the long-running Travel Channel series that saw Adam Richman taking on the country’s biggest food challenges, is back with new host Casey Webb, who explained to ET why he’s the best person to revitalize the series.
“I'm not allergic to anything. I do enjoy eating. I'm pretty competitive. So that makes me a triple threat in terms of being the man in Man v. Food,” he said, adding that nothing is more inspiring than “traveling to a city and meeting folks and trying their food for the first time.”
Now in his second season, which airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the self-taught chef and actor -- he's appeared on Part-Timers and Inside Amy Schumer -- is taking audiences around the country as he faces even more extreme eats. Well, really it’s all the food we love, he explained, “it just happens to be greater in proportions or spicier.”
A hit among Travel Channel viewers, Webb pulled in 3.5 million viewers in his first season. The returning host and budding food personality shares with ET his favorite TV chefs and authors who also inspired his own food journey.
A Chinese-American chef and food writer, Yan has hosted his award-winning PBS-TV cooking show, Yan Can Cook, since 1982.
My parents are both New Yorkers and growing up on the Jersey Shore, we’d make our way into the city from time to time. Dad worked downtown and loved Chinese food -- I mean loves Chinese food! So much so we had a wok at the house and a stack of Chinese cookbooks in the kitchen. What is a poor Irish guy from the Bronx doing with a wok in New Jersey? Daring to dream I imagine and I love him for it. As for Martin, he’s hilarious and so much fun to watch. Masterfully, he would maneuver through wok dishes and be playful and funny at the same time -- such vivid memories for me. Unknowingly, his and other shows would be the entry point for what has now become my career.
Justin E. Wilson
Wilson was a southern American chef and humorist known for his brand of Cajun cuisine-inspired cooking and humor and storytelling.
As a kid I found myself watching Justin’s show and getting inspired. He was hilarious and passionate about his recipes and made cooking fun. Being from Louisiana he had a particular way about him and you might remember him for his catchphrase, "I gar-on-tee!" (I guarantee). Martin and Justin showed me that work and play don’t have to be separate. If you can find the joy in what you’re doing, you’ll have fun no matter what, especially in the kitchen.
An American chef, author and TV personality, Bourdain is the host of the long-running CNN series Parts Unknown.
I first read Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential in my early 20s while waiting tables in New York City. That book was and still is the manifesto to the underbelly of restaurant life. In my opinion, he cracked the code and said what all of us knew and were thinking. He unhinged the doors to the naughty Narnia that awaited anybody willing to throw on an apron. Since then, I’ve followed him from show to show admiring his gunslinger swagger and his brutal yet Ayahuasca-like fueled honesty.
Call him what you will, but Anthony Bourdain’s punk rock, shock jock way gave a voice to thousands that couldn’t otherwise be heard. Rebel yell!
Mary Ann Esposito
The American chef and cookbook writer is the host of Ciao Italia With Mary Ann Esposito, which is the longest-running cooking program on TV in America.
Watching Ciao Italia With Mary Ann Esposito gave me a familial connection to my Italian roots. Though my genes may lean more towards my Irish three-fourths, my heart was taken by Italian foods and its customs. Mary Ann’s journey through dishes that span generations gave me permission to dream wildly about travel, food and tradition. Ciao Bella italia!
Huang is an American chef, restaurateur, author, food personality, producer, fashion designer, attorney and clearly ready for takeoff.
Eddie has taken the world by storm, creating and performing on many stages. He is a creative by nature and an entrepreneur with visions of global domination, culinarily speaking of course. A true wizard in the industry, he’s been an inspiration of mine for some time now.