Photo Credit: World’s Weirdest Restaurants Facebook Fan page
I recently had the opportunity to interview culinary adventurer, chef, artist, and seven time Guinness World record holder Bob Blumer. Bob Blumer is the creator and host of award winning shows “Glutton for Punishment” and “Surreal Gourmet”. In his new show the “World’s Weirdest Restaurants” Bob circles the globe in his quest to find the weird and wackiest off-the-wall eateries, crazy characters and extreme cuisine.
Bob was friendly, down-to earth, and passionate as he talked to me on the phone from his home in Hollywood Hills about his latest culinary experiences, including his new series “World’s Weirdest Restaurants” and upcoming “World’s Weirdest Pop-Up Restaurant” event at Vancouver’s Waldorf Hotel.
An Interview with Bob Blumer:
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: The shows’ premiere is coming up for World’s Weirdest Restaurants on April 4th, what can viewers expect?
Bob Blumer: Every episode is a collage of 4 different restaurants from different parts of the world so you get a taste of completely different styles of weird restaurants from all over the place in one episode, it’s pretty fast paced and rockem sockem.
to view a trailor of World’s Weirdest Restaurant, click here
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: Complete the following sentence……you know you’re at a weird restaurant when?
Bob Blumer: When you’re eating your curry out of a toilet bowl or when a monkey is bringing you a beer……a real monkey by the way
Photo Credit: World’s Weirdest Restaurants Facebook Fan page
images from right to left: Bob Blumer monkeys around with the staff at Kayabuki Tavern. & Bob Blumer looks flush with excitement as he samples the fare at Modern Toilet.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: Is there a particular weird restaurant that was most memorable and why?
Bob Blumer: We went to a pop up nudist restaurant in New York City where all the diners were naked so the reason why that was so memorable was because it’s so hard to erase from my mind (laughs)
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: Did you partake?
Bob Blumer: I did in the end
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: Was it outside your comfort zone?
Bob Blumer: It was, most definitely
Photo Credit: World’s Weirdest Restaurants Facebook Fan page Bob Blumer enjoys the food at a clothing optional venue, where the salad is the only thing with dressing.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: What is it about this show that you liked doing compared to the other shows you have hosted?
Bob Blumer: All three of my shows have been very different. ‘Surreal Gourmet’ was really a cooking show. ‘Glutton for Punishment’ was a reality show where I had to learn something very difficult in a short period of time and then I was thrown to the wolves and we never knew what was going to happen. In the ‘Worlds Weirdest Restaurant’ I play more of a role of a conventional host on this journey to discover these weird restaurants but really I’m just there to be the conduit for the audience to give them a peek at these restaurants.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: I have read previously that your mantra is ‘the first taste is with your eye’ was this true for the Worlds Weirdest Restaurant series?
Bob Blumer: Definitely because in a lot of these places it wasn’t so much about the food as it was about the environment they sort of create. These restaurants use the environment to stimulate your senses so definitely the first thing you take in, is what is surrounding you.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: Did you find that any of the weird concepts took away from the food experience?
Bob Blumer: Usually it was the opposite, in that the environment was adding to the food experience. Sometimes the food on its own was surprisingly delicious but often it was really the combination of the food with the environment. The food needed the environment to make the whole package work.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: What is your food philosophy?
Bob Blumer: I have lots of food philosophies. I live for food. I love food. I know you can take really common ingredients and make them delicious by just treating them in certain ways and cooking them in particular ways.
I am an “eatinest”, so I like everything I put in my mouth to taste delicious. When I am eating my breakfast, I’m thinking about my lunch, and when I’m eating my lunch, I’m usually thinking about my dinner.
I feel like I’m really lucky that I ended up creating an accidental career that revolves around food because truthfully if I’m not thinking about sex I’m thinking about food or wine.
If you did a pie chart of my brainwaves 90% would be taken by sex, food and wine and the other 10% would be cycling and that pretty well rounds it off.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: What are five words that best describe Bob Blumer?
Bob Blumer: Eatinestic, excitable, passionate, loyal and adventurous.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: I’m actually attending the World Weirdest Pop Up Restaurant at The Waldorf Hotel any hints of what will be on the menu?
Bob Blumer: The menu is going to comprise of highlights of four dishes from four of my favorite restaurants that we shot. Each one of these is going to be interpreted by the chef at the hotel. So we are taking the presentation format and then upping the anti on the food. Its going to be fun.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: Can you give us a hint of how one of the favorite dishes will be presented?
Bob Blumer: Sure, well you know that there are many of these ‘dining in the dark’ experiences, so we are going to do one course where everyone is going to be blindfolded and then they are going to have these different things to taste and we will see who can guess what the ingredients are.
Photo Credit: Foodnetwork Canada website
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: What can we expect from the pop-up restaurant event at the Waldorf Hotel?
Bob Blumer: So the way it will work is that I’ll show a segment that we shot for the dish, then the dish will come out, we will talk about the dish and everyone will eat it. All the dishes are very different and come from various parts of the world.
It’s exciting for me as its going to be spontaneous and needless to say its a smaller venue so its going to be a lot of everyone getting to hang out with each other kind of thing.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: What’s your next big culinary adventure?
Bob Blumer: After I finish these 2 pop-up restaurants I’m going to come home for like 12 hours and then I’m going cycling in Portugal for 10 days. The cool thing about my cycling trips is that I go with a group of my friends, where we ride about 100km a day and that allows us to eat and drink anything we want really. I’m really looking forward to some of the Portuguese food.
Terri-Lynne Macdonald: Final thoughts?
Bob Blumer: I’m so excited about the show but I’m also so grateful to have the opportunity to continue making television and I have that opportunity because people like your audience who support the shows that I do, so I’m so grateful for that.
Many thanks to Bob for taking the time to speak to me and sharing his upcoming culinary adventures. I had an opportunity to preview the first episode as well as read the episode descriptions so I’m looking forward to this new show. We are definitely in for quite the treat as “World’s Weirdest Restaurants” host Bob Blumer says, “I’ve definitely eaten at some crazy places in my life, but nothing compares to what viewers are going to see in this new series.”
World’s Weirdest Restaurants series premieres on Food Network Canada Wednesday April 4th at 9pm & 9:30pm ET/PT
TLMacdonald Photography will also be taking photos at the “World’s Weirdest Pop-Up Restaurant” event at The Waldorf on March 28th, so stay tunedThe pop-up restaurant showcases a four course dinner that coincides with the launch of the Bob Blumer’s new show “World’s Weirdest Restaurants” . Tickets for the first show sold out quickly but an early dinner show has been added for 6:00pm. Tickets available now at http://worlds-weirdest-restaurant.eventbrite.com/ but hurry as there are only a few left.
Bob will also be hosting a similar event in Toronto on March 26th at The Drake Hotel.
Get behind the scenes info on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WeirdRestos, or follow the action on Twitter at @WeirdRestos