This glutton wants to be punished
SPOT.ph talks to cookbook author Bob Blumer and discovers how he turns his love for food and competitive streak into culinary adventures.
In his show, cookbook author and culinary adventurer, Bob Blumer chases a wheel of cheese down an English hill, flips a world record number of pancakes and lives only on pints of Guinness for a whole week. Find out how goat farts can kill, what stinky cheese is worth dying for and ultimately, why Bob is such a Glutton for Punishment.
Why do you make it so hard for yourself? Why are you such a glutton for punishment?
Because it's way more exciting. Every time we do an episode, the crew and I meet interesting people and we're thrown into an environment that is really exciting and stimulating. We all have a great time. We work really hard but it is an amazing way to see the world.
What was the episode that had you wondering what the heck you were doing?
There are certain episodes were the possibility of dying actually exists like the Fugu episode [where Bob had to learn how to properly slice a poisonous blowfish and then eat its raw flesh]. I wasn't expecting the possibility of dying in the scuba diving episode [where Bob had to harvest the most number of sea urchins on a single tank of air] until it happened. It never really occurred to me. And here is goat flatulence [during a Pennsylvania goat milking competition]-that can be dangerous too.
You have become jack of all culinary trades. What do you consider yourself: an author, a cook or a TV personality?
Ultimately, I've ended up in the entertainment business. My mother was teacher-she taught English. I always thought that the last thing I would be is a teacher. It didn't interest me. This show [Glutton for Punishment] is not so much about teaching. But certainly, the Surreal Gourmet [Bob's other show] and all the books are really about trying to empower people to embrace the notion that you can elevate your quality of life by being comfortable in the kitchen. So, I guess [I am] somewhere between an entertainer and a teacher.
What is your favorite junk food?
Good French fries. I subscribe to philosophy: eat it only if it's worth the calories, but if it's worth the calories, I'll eat anything.
Are there any travel experiences that have changed or heightened your perspective on food and the world?
Definitely my trip to India. When I travel, I usually do the down and dirty. It wasn't so much about seeing beggars and stuff like that, but about seeing the hardship of people's day-to-day lives. So you go home and people wince about this and that-and all of a sudden, [you realize] these are such a first-world problems. That [realization] has not faded away since I came back.
Traveling through Italy. Seeing how simple everything is but how delicious it is. You really realize that it only takes two or three ingredients [to make] your food incredible. It doesn't take that much work to make it good.
What has been you biggest 'I fucked up' moment in the kitchen?
Once I went to Italy to make a dinner. I decided that one of the things I would make would be dessert wontons. I thought maybe it might be hard to get powdered sugar so I brought some. I was also making coconut shrimp lollipops and it needed baking soda-so I brought that. Maybe it was the jet lag or maybe it was the alcohol but it came time to sprinkle the powdered sugar on the wontons and I did. I was watching people eat them and they were making little faces. I tasted it and it was so bitter. I had sprinkled them [the wontons] with baking soda. It does not get much worse than that.
You're on death row. The warden has asked you to order your last meal. What is it? And why?
I would start with a green papaya salad that I had in this hut in Thailand. My second course would be some prosciutto I had in Portugal. It is the most melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto I have ever had in my life. Then I would have a bowl of fava beans soup from Fez in Morocco. I was in India recently. In a little village, I bought these prawns right out of the water. Someone cooked my shrimps and [they] were so amazing. That would be my main course. Lastly, I would have a wheel of Epiosse, which is a really stinky French cheese. Then I'll roll over and die with a big smile on my face.
Glutton for Punishment Season 3 airs every Thursday at 10:30pm on Discovery Travel and Living.