Season 5 - March 25, 2013We've watched as Bob tackled these feats with dogged (some say pig-headed) determination. But what happens behind the scenes? How does he prepare mentally? What really terrifies him? We find out these answers – and many more – as Bob and his faithful crew take us behind-the-scenes and show their favorite clips, never-before-seen footage, and hilarious bloopers.
Season 5 - March 22, 2013Bob travels to Taiwan where he attempts to break a Guinness World record for the Most Rice Grains Eaten One by One with Chopsticks in Three Minutes.
Season 5 - March 21, 2013Bob has been making Caesar salad for over 30 years, but his salads are built for comfort, not for speed. Can he establish a new Guinness World Record by making more than 100 table-side Caesars in only one hour?
Season 5 - March 20, 2013In 1980, a diner employee named Alan St. Jean broke the Guinness World Record for the Fastest Time to Peel 50 Pounds of Onions – which he completed in an incredible 3 minutes and 18 seconds. Since then, many have attempted to break this record, but no one has succeeded – yet.
Season 5 - March 19, 2013In 2008 in Gulfport, Mississippi, Domino's Pizza general manager Donnie Rush set a Guinness World Record for Most 12-inch Pizzas stretched, sauced, cheesed and fired in one hour by making 142 – beating the previous record by 49. That is one pizza every 25 seconds. To aid in his quest, Bob assembles a dream team of Toronto pizza maestros. But when it comes time to go for the record in front of a live audience at Toronto’s Corso Italia Festival, he is all on his own. Will Bob succeed or will he be stretched to the max?
Season 5 - March 18, 2013Bob is determined to break existing records and also establish some of his own! To establish a new record for The Most Eggs Cracked with One Hand in One Hour, he attempts to crack the 2,000 egg barrier—with one hand behind his back!
Season 5 - March 15, 2013Pollo Tropical Restaurant set a record for the World's Largest Bowl of Salsa by making 1,170 pounds of fresh salsa during a 2010 Super Bowl tailgate event. Bob attempts to break the record at the Annual Tomato Festival in Jacksonville, Texas. When it comes time to dice 80 cases of tomatoes, 500 onions, 150 heads of garlic and mounds other ingredients, then mix it all together in a 500-gallon bowl, will it be Bob or Murphy’s law that rules the day?
Season 4 - March 14, 2013There was a time when chocolate was for kids, but, in these days of gourmet, vintage, fair trade, rare bean bars, chocolate has become a distinctly grown-up affair. In this episode Bob must master the tempering and blending of his own unique chocolate creation under the watchful eye of his mentor, a master chocolatier. Bob learns the ins-and-outs of the world’s favourite confection and then enter his unique wearable chocolate creation into a Chocholate Hat Fashion shown in the Salon Passion Chocolat & de la Gourmandise in Montreal. Along the way, Bob submerges himself into a complex world of chocolate and millinery! Think Willie Wonka meets Project Runway.
Season 4 - March 13, 2013Bob loves cars and food but he has never combined them together. This changes when he is pitted against elite engineering students in the Edible Car Competition at Brown University, an Ivey league school in Rhode Island. Students build and race vehicles made entirely out of food – ranging from loaves of bread, to butternut squash. Bob sees how the food is repurposed back into the land through compost and sustainability plans while touring local farms, and working at Brown University’s own cafeteria. Can Bob outwit some of the brightest students to create the ultimate speed racer, or will he be left in the dust by a vehicle made out of rice cakes and zucchini?
Season 4 - March 12, 2013Gumbo, a stew containing poultry, shellfish, and smoked pork served over rice, is a staple in many homes across Louisiana. Bob is put to the test to see if he has what it takes to win the Gumbo cook-off in New Iberia, Louisiana – The Gumbo Capital of the World. They mean business in New Iberia and they want to show this hot shot from Hollywood that he might as well quit before he even begins. Bob’s training for the competition includes learning what makes a tasty gumbo from local champs. He also ventures into the muddy swamps of Louisiana to catch the ingredients for his creation. Does he have what it takes to beat these local competitors, or will Bob’s perception of “The Big Easy” change when the competition starts?
Season 4 - March 11, 2013Bob is strong, but does he have the strength to husk the bark off a bundle of coconuts in seconds - with his bare hands? He had better to compete in the 13th Annual Coconut Festival. Bob trains by learning the proper technique of removing the husk from his Polynesian teacher, a master at all things coconut. With his freshly cracked coconuts, he will travel to the island of Kauai to discover the many uses of this delicious nut, from making coconut milk to creating haupia, a traditional Hawaiian coconut pudding used in luau. Will his love of coconuts help him endure this challenging competition?
Season 4 - March 8, 2013Bob loves bagels, but mastering the art of the hand-rolled Montreal bagel takes time that he does not have. In five short days, Bob has to learn how to make this legendary Montreal staple from start to finish, and then tackle the toughest skill of the process, hand-rolling perfect bagels, before he goes before the entire team of bakers at the famous St Viateur Bakery, in a challenge to roll 44 bagels in just five short minutes. Bob’s arms will ache, he’ll be wiping sweat from his brow, and his reputation will be at stake. Can he rise to the challenge, or will he get toasted?
Season 4 - March 7, 2013Bob heads to a popular Chinese dumpling restaurant in Vancouver, where he’ll have five days to learn how to make dumplings in a fast-paced kitchen where screaming chefs slam out thousands of dumplings a day. Bob's task is to learn the most difficult one –xialongbao (soup dumpling) – a dumpling with a complex filling and twenty-four intricate folds. Later Bob goes head-to-head against Dim Sum Pros in a Dumpling Making Competition at the Night Market in Richmond, BC. Here Bob and his competitors have five minutes to roll and fold the dumplings, steam them and serve them to the judging panel. Does Bob have what it takes or will he end up crying in his soup (dumpling)?
Season 4 - March 6, 2013Bloody fingers, cuts, scrapes, and sore hands await Bob as he takes to the stage, grabs a peeler and strives to be the fastest at the annual Potato Days Peeling Contest in tiny Barnesville Minnesota. The inhabitants of Barnesville, one of the best potato producing areas in the US, pride themselves on their spuds. Bob finds himself against some stiff competition. Will Bob be able to beat his nimble-fingered competition?
Season 4 - March 5, 2013In smoking hot Austin, Texas, ice cream is not just a treat, it is a lifesaver! At the Austin Ice Cream Festival, competitors make ice cream the old-fashioned way – by hand-cranking freezing cream until it sets. It takes a strong arm and considerable stamina, but true ice cream purists know it is worth it. In his quest to take home the prize for best new flavour, Bob uses his nouvelle cuisine perspective to re-invent a classic. In true Bob style, he devises his own foot-crank bicycle ice-cream maker. But will it play in Texas?
Season 4 - March 4, 2013Bob, a self-trained chef, has never had his culinary skills tested at a culinary institution. In this challenge, he will find out if his knife skills are sharp enough to compete against culinary professionals in a Knife Skills Competition at Kendall Culinary College in Chicago. He will take on the professionals in a triathlon knife skills challenge that includes culinary cuts, vegetable carving and the longest daikon radish roll. Whichever competitor is the fastest and executes with the most precision in the competition is the winner. Will Bob be able to slice and dice himself to victory, or have a dull execution?
Season 4 - March 1, 2013Bob has faced a lot of competitors in his day, but he is about to meet his match – a mean-tempered 150lb nanny goat. Bob must take on this milking dairy goat at the Goat Milking Competition in Pennsylvania - America’s mecca for goat and sheep. To train for the big event, Bob works on a Paradise Gardens and Farm in Reynoldsville, PA, where he learns the proper technique of milking a goat. With his freshly pumped spoils, he’ll learn how to make products made with goat’s milk such as unpasteurized milk and goat cheese. Then it’s time for the contest where Bob must chase down his chosen goat, roll up his sleeves and get the most milk in a bucket in a timed event. Will Bob succeed? Or be udderly defeated?
Season 4 - February 28, 2013Sushi has been a treasured part of Japanese culture for hundreds of years. And these days, virtually every North American neighborhood seems to have a sushi joint. In this episode, Bob has five days to learn the intricacies of cutting raw fish, assembling a traditional sushi plate and creating his signature roll. Then he’ll go head-to-head against a seasoned group of sushi chefs in the Sushi Masters Competition – a live competition that showcases a mastery of sushi art and style. Bob’s mentor has his work cut out for him since Bob has never made sushi in his life! But by week’s end, Bob will have to prove that he’s ready to embrace the Zen of sushi. Will he come out of the competition with his knife held high?
Season 4 - February 27, 2013Stinging nettles are the British equivalent of poison ivey. Just brush up against them and they cause a painful rash. When cooked, nettles quickly lose their sting and taste like spinach. But in the Nettle Eating Competition in Dorset, England, the nettles are eaten raw – with natural accompaniments such as caterpillars, slugs and other nettle loving bugs. Bob must train himself to endure intense pain while attempting to swallow 40 liniar feet of raw nettles. Has Bob finally bitten off more than his (swollen) lips can chew?
Season 4 - February 26, 2013The Kung-fu tea (Kungfu cha) ceremony remains an important part of social etiquette in Hangzhou, China. This is no timid tea party though. Combining piping hot tea with martial art moves, it’s more like the flair bartending of caffeinated drinks. The server must pour the tea from great height and from behind his back with great flair and precision. Bob’s challenge is to master the tea ceremony and then perform it for a tough panel of judges. His skills will be critiqued at the Tai Ji Tea House where the tea master expects one thing – precision.
Season 3 - February 25, 2013Kona Coffee is considered by many to be the best coffee in the world, and in beauti¬ful Hawaii, picking the perfect kona coffee cherry is an art! In this episode, Bob will compete in the Kona Coffee Festival Coffee Picking Contest. He’ll have only three minutes to pick the most perfectly ripe cherry coffee beans that he can grab. He’ll be on rugged, sloped terrain and up against 20 eagle-eyed Kona coffee pickers who know all the tricks to finding only the choicest cherries. For his training, Bob must do some back-breaking harvesting, roasting and milling on a Kona coffee farm. He will also learn about the complicated roasting process and explore some regional recipes that call for only the best coffee brew
Season 3 - February 22, 2013A consummate individualist, Bob has always chafed under anyone else’s authority. But this week it’s ‘yes sir, no sir’ as Bob enlists in the Navy. Bob is challenged to work in the galley of a Navy frigate – a moving kitchen where half the battle is just staying on your feet. His ultimate mission? To get good grub on deck for a ship-full of hungry crew, an elite cadre of officers, and one tough Captain. Seasickness is nothing compared with a military mob that’s armed and ravenous!
Season 3 - February 21, 2013Friday night in Chicago’s busiest Italian restaurant is a steaming dish of insanity! In Mia Francesca’s tiny kitchen, a line of cooks stand shoulder to shoulder – screaming out orders, grinding out hundreds of plates of pasta, trying not to get burned on red-hot sauce pans. Bob’s challenge is to survive on the line on a busy Friday night. He’ll have to be a master of coordination as he works closely with the other chefs – some of whom have been on the line for decades. When Friday night hits, will Bob be able to conquer vats of boiling pasta, or will the other chefs serve him up on a plate?
Season 3 - February 20, 2013At the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, locals gather to enjoy local wine, visit with old friends, and stomp out the competition in the World Grape Stomp. Teams of stompers (who squish the juices with their feet) and swabbies (who push the juice through the wine barrel spigot with their hands) have five furious minutes to fill up their jugs. Bob’s challenge is to stomp and squish his way to glory! First he’ll have to find a champion swabbie to be his partner and then master his stomping technique. Of course his training wouldn’t be complete without a tour of Sonoma’s world-class vineyards. Will Bob be able to crush the competition, or will he have to eat his sour grapes?
Season 3 - February 19, 2013Bob loves eating baked goods, but despite his love of the culinary arts, he has never had the patience to tackle cooking’s more finicky cousin. In fact, he has never baked a pie in his life. This week, he must raise his rolling pin high to perfect the art of baking homemade apple pie. He competes against veteran grannies in the Orchard’s Annual Apple Pie Baking contest in Vermont. Bob joins the apple harvest for a couple of backbreaking days – all the better to become one with his material. His reward? Fresh air, all the crisp, organic Vermont apples he can eat and no more store bought pie.
Season 3 - February 18, 2013Concessionaires at the Los Angeles County Fair have gotten creative with their deep fried foods – serving everything from deep-fried cupcakes to deep-fried frog legs. Bob checks his calorie counter at the gate to enter in the Fair’s Deep Fry Contest – a contest where fairgoers judge each ven¬dor’s entry on originality, taste and appearance. Bob learns that deep frying is no easy feat – finding the right batter, the right combination of salty and sweet, and the right oil temperature to avoid a melted mess takes hours of trial and error. He hops in his vegetable oil fueled car to test out his deep-fried experiments on his neighbors in L.A., making a pit-stop to explore the art of tempura at a Japanese restaurant on the way. Will Bob’s fried creation hold up on contest day, or will he be up to his elbows in grease?
Season 3 - February 15, 2013In one of Glutton for Punishment’s most talked about episodes, Bob survived the Hatch chili pepper-eating competition while coming in second. In search of a bigger chili-pepper high, Bob trains to be an official judge at the famed Austin Hot Sauce Festival. His ultimate task? To taste over 400 different hot sauce entries in just a couple of hours. To hold his own amongst the judges and save face in front of over 15,000 attendees, Bob needs to develop his tasting palate to detect subtle differ¬ences in aroma, heat and flavor. Will he survive this fiery challenge or go up in flames?
Season 3 - February 14, 2013Bob is about to meet his match in the form of sea urchins, little red invertebrates that are covered in sharp spikes! The sea urchin may look like an underwater porcupine, but inside is a treasure of delicious roe that is a delicacy in seafood restaurants around the world. Bob’s challenge is to win a race against the salty dog crew of Vancouver Island’s Kuroshio Urchin Harvesting Boat who are determined to beat the city slicker in a frenzied urchin harvesting race. Bob’s rigorous training includes a crash course in scuba diving and learning the dangerous art of harvesting sea urchins off the ocean floor. Can Bob rake in enough of this spiky delicacy to join the Kuroshio’s elite crew, or will he walk the plank?
Season 3 - February 13, 2013Dirty, sweaty and bug-ridden, Bob hikes into a remote swath of burnt forest in northern British Columbia in search of morels – one of the most valuable and sought after mush¬rooms in the world. Morel pickers are a wild and rugged breed. They live in the bush – cov¬ered in soot from head to toe – and fiercely guarding their picking spots. It’s an intense competi¬tion to see who can make it out of the woods with the heaviest load, which will yield the highest cash return. Can Bob, our city slicker, take on some of BC’s fastest, strongest pickers while surviving in the wilderness amongst black bears and burrowing ticks?
Season 3 - February 12, 2013Who can resist a stack of flapjacks dripping with gooey syrup and melted butter? At the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada – one of the biggest rodeo events in North America – they serve o¬¬ver 200,000 pancakes to legions of hungry partiers in cowboy hats. Bob’s challenge is to break the Guinness World Record for the most pancakes made in an hour. Each pancake must be equal in diameter and thickness and those with burnt edges do not count. If Bob can pull it off, he will earn a Guinness World Record title, plus the honor of being the fastest breakfast cook in the Wild West.
Season 3 - February 11, 2013In the picturesque seaside town of Pictou, Nova Scotia, lobster is king. Every year, locals cel¬ebrate the end of the lobster season at the Pictou County Lobster Carnival. Bob’s challenge is to win the Lobster Banding Contest, a race to stretch elastic bands around the pinching claws of irate, live lobsters without losing a finger. It is the daily grind for Bob’s competitors who are seasoned lobster fishermen who band crustaceans by the crate. They are willing to take Bob to sea learn about lobster catching, banding and even cracking, but they will not give up all their tricks – watch your fingers, Bob!
Season 3 - February 8, 2013Bob has one week to train with Daniel Rose, the chef and owner of a unique one-man, 16-seat restaurant in Paris. In a typical French restaurant, a “brigade de cuisine” is classically headed by the executive chef with a number of support staff under him. Daniel defies convention by operating a one-man brigade, running his restaurant solo. He shops for all the ingredients, preps, cooks, serves customers and cleans by himself. At the end of the week Bob will take over, running the kitchen and restaurant solo for one day. Will he uphold the restaurant’s reputation on a night when all the top restaurant critics in Paris sit down to dine?
Season 3 - February 7, 2013Naples, the spiritual home of pizza, hosts the annual World Pizza Cup, the largest celebration of pizza in the world. At this saucy event, pizza making and pizza dough tossing become competitive sports. Bob enters an acrobatic show of dough tossing bravado when he competes against several international Pizzaiolos (a.k.a pizzamakers) for the World Best Pizza-Tosser title. Bob has less than one week to learn all the dough-handling moves and come up with his own routine to wow a panel of Neopolitan judges who are determined to keep the winning title in their hometown.
Season 2 - February 6, 2013Sushi is a type of food where art meets the gut: delicate slices of raw fish are served up by Samurai swordsmen for urban sophisticates and foodie wannabees. But there’s one type of sushi that brings out the true character in everyone: Fugu, also known as blowfish, is a deadly Japanese delicacy that carries enough poison to wipe out an entire restaurant of diners. Quite simply, either you have what it takes to risk eating Fugu, or you don’t. Fugu chefs spend over three years in training to remove the fish’s toxins. Can Bob pull it off in just five days? In his most dangerous challenge to date, Bob travels to Osaka, Japan to prepare and eat his own Fugu. Will he survive the ultimate Glutton for Punishment challenge?
Season 2 - February 5, 2013Grilling the perfect steak is every backyard chef’s ultimate challenge. Too much time on the grill can turn even the finest fillet into leather, and too little time can turn your guests green. Bob’s challenge is to learn how to cook the perfect steak in only 4 days, then become the head grill master at Bohanan's Prime Steaks & Seafood, a classic steakhouse in San Antonio, Texas. When customers pay over $150 dollars for a 34-ounce Kobe-style steak, they want it done perfectly. An order of medium-rare served without the exactly correct shade of pink will cost Bob his job.
Season 2 - February 4, 2013Corn on the cob is an American tradition, a succulent food that evokes family and the warm afterglow of late-summer evenings. Bob heads to South Dakota to compete against America’s best cornhuskers at the National Cornhusking Competition in Dell Rapids. Most of the competitors are in their “golden years,” but they are able to shuck at a rate of almost one ear per second for 30 minutes straight. Bob will have just four days to master the hand movements and speed needed to compete against these old timers. Can this city slicker teach an old farmer new tricks?
Season 2 - February 1, 2013There’s nothing unusual about pumpkin at Thanksgiving. You’ve got pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, and pumpkin pudding. But in Windsor, Nova Scotia, they take their love of the orange legume to another level – paddling hollowed-out, giant pumpkins across a lake. Bob’s challenge is to transform a 500-pound pumpkin into a sea-worthy vessel, then whip himself into shape so that he can paddle with the best. Along the way, Bob learns to cook with his pumpkin cuttings. The race is also a costume regatta, so Bob must dress for the occasion. It’s a real Cinderella story!
Season 2 - January 31, 2013Wild salmon are to the people of the Pacific Northwest, what cattle are to Texans, they’re not just good eating, they’re a way of life. The fishmongers at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle don't just sell salmon, they toss it across the market, creating a spectacle of flying-fish that draws hundreds of customers each day. To get familiar with what he is tossing, Bob picks up some salmon recipes from renowned chef Tom Douglas. Then he gets catching tips from Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson. But will any of this save him from humiliation (and/or serious injury) when a 25-pound sockeye flies toward his head at 40 miles an hour?
Season 2 - January 30, 2013Street food – it’s not just hot dogs anymore. These days, you can get everything from middle-eastern kebabs to Asian curries, but the business of street vending is still brutal, hemmed in by spiraling food costs and intense competition. Every day in New York, more than 3,000 street food vendors set up shop, desperately flogging their wares to the city’s eight million demanding denizens. Running these food carts is like being a maitre d’, chef, server and dishwasher—all at once. Bob has just five days to master these duties before taking over a food cart business at the intersection of 40th Street and 8th Avenue for a grueling 12-hour shift. Will Bob be a hit on the street, or road kill?
Season 2 - January 29, 2013Garlic is the ancient cure-all, renowned for its ability to ward off everything from colds to vampires. It also makes an excellent steak rub, and is indispensable in any serious kitchen. Always on the hunt for new recipes using garlic, Bob is off to Arleux, France, garlic capital of the world, to enter in a garlic-braiding contest. Arleux is famous for its smoked garlic and still uses a centuries-old tradition to prepare it: Garlic bulbs are tied into bouquets with raffia and woven into long braids which are hung up to be smoked with peat. Bob has just one and a half minutes to weave 90 heads of garlic into a perfect traditional braid, and all the best local braiders are out to make sure they don’t lose to a foreigner.
Season 2 - January 28, 2013Hope, Arkansas is a small town with a big tradition. Each year, this small community of self-confessed “melon heads” hosts the Hope Watermelon Festival and Watermelon Seed Spitting contest. The competition is fierce, attracting seed-spitting champions from all over the state. In between bouts of hard labor on a watermelon farm – where the world’s heaviest melons are grown – Bob will perfect his seed spitting technique under the tutelage of ten year-old champion Emily Rowe.
Season 2 - January 25, 2013Eggs are the breakfast of champions. With all that protein, they’re also the lunch of champions and the dinner of champions. (Heck, Rocky even ate `em raw.) So when our Glutton for Punishment heard about a solar-powered egg-frying competition in Arizona, he was off down Route 66 faster than a Road Runner. Every year on the 4th of July, the ghost town of Oatman, on the edge of the Mohave Desert, hosts a sidewalk egg-fry that challenges all comers to cook an egg in 15 minutes or less using only the power of the sun. Bob’s up against hardened solar-cooking desperados who have come to Oatman itching for a showdown with a TV host.
Season 2 - January 24, 2013Catfish tastes so delicious and light that most people who are eating it for the first time swear they’re eating chicken or shrimp. That is until they catch site of one of these prehistoric monsters. The species dates back to the dinosaurs (more than 60 million years) and they’re pure predators, preying solely on other fish for food. Despite this intimidating pedigree, fishermen from all over Oklahoma come to Paul’s Valley every summer to compete in the Okie Noodlin’ Tournament — a bizarre derby in which anglers are allowed to use only their hands as bait! Bob must dive underwater, place his hand inside a catfish hole, and keep it there until a catfish bites him. Is he insane? You be the judge.
Season 2 - January 23, 2013Honey: bears go crazy for the stuff, and so does our Glutton for Punishment. Whether he’s spreading it on toast, swirling it in ice cream, or slathering it on Peking Duck, honey is Bob’s favorite all-natural food. Beekeepers bring this sweet treat to our tables every day, but how do they do it? Bob has just four days to learn all about the secretive art of beekeeping before he enters the Beekeepers Games, a series of bee-themed events that will force him to confront one of his deepest phobias: Bees! Will Bob freak out as tries to “grow” a bee beard, with 40,000 bees crawling all over his throat?
Season 2 - January 22, 2013Bob travels to Scotland to take part in one of the weirdest food competitions in the world…haggis hurling! Imagine a two-pound shot-put made of sheep’s organs, oatmeal and spices and you start to get the idea. The Scots have been hurling haggis for centuries, but Bob’s only got five days to master the technique and take on the champions at the Highland Games – while wearing a kilt, no less. Watch Bob take on the reigning champions and brave the eccentricities of medieval cuisine, accompanied by a wee dram of single malt scotch…or two.
Season 2 - January 21, 2013The French love their brie, the Dutch revere their Gouda, and Canadians swear by their cheddar. But when it comes to cheese, no nation has as much pride as Jolly Old England. Bob travels to Gloucester, England for the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling competition. This 200 year-old tradition involves a mad group of cheese-lovers who catapult head-overheels down an insanely steep hill in hot pursuit of a speeding ten-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese. First lunatic down the hill gets the cheese…or a free ride in an ambulance.
Season 1 - January 18, 2013
Breakfast line cooks are like the marathon runners of the kitchen; the toughest and fittest who put in an intense and sustained effort throughout each shift. Up since before the roosters, line cooks prep for hours – their shift half-done by the time the door sign is turned from closed to open. They cook for patrons who are perhaps the most ravenous and demanding of any they will face. Bob’s challenge will be to first of all be accepted into the tight ranks of the breakfast line and then just to keep up with their finely honed skills. Can Bob can handle the heat, or will he get kicked out of the kitchen? If he makes it through a busy shift, cooking for hundreds of patrons, his reward will be the relief of knowing that he can hold his own in such a demanding position, for the hungriest of diners.
Season 1 - January 17, 2013
This week, Bob faces his toughest challenge yet: mastering the lost art of making hand-pulled noodles. This labour intensive technique involves folding, twisting and stretching dough until it separates, as if by magic, into perfectly equal noodle strands. It’s so difficult that only a handful of chefs still do it. Bob will have just one week to learn this complex technique, which most chefs take years to master. At the end of the week, Bob will fly to Hong Kong where he will step into the shoes of the noodle chef at the Lanzhou hand-pulled Noodle King restaurant.
Season 1 - January 16, 2013
Urban legend has it that ’s famous dark brew, Guinness beer, has all the nutrients and vitamins one needs to survive, so culinary kamikaze Bob Blumer decides to go to
Season 1 - January 15, 2013
Bob is passionate about wine. He has toured many of the world’s renowned wine regions, tasted countless bottles, and earned the right to be considered a wine aficionado among his friends. But what happens when he is put to test by assisting in the harvest of 17 acres of precious grapes, for the maker of Germany's finest Rieslings? Intense periods of backbreaking work will test Bob’s patience and skill, as well as his body. Prüm’s grapes are harvested late in the season, when the air has already turned crisp. While the physical efforts help warm the bodies of pickers, so does the glühwein – heated, spiced wine, that they are sent as a reward (or a bribe?) during their long shifts. This and the gourmet food prepared as an incentive to the workers will help get Bob through the severe labour. His reward? Delicious insights into the intimidating world of wine and the knowledge to back up his strong opinions.
Season 1 - January 14, 2013Good old-fashioned, high fat, cholesterol-laden barbecue is all the rage. Drawn by hugely popular barbecue cook-offs from New York City to the wilds of Texas, hundreds of teams travel the continent hauling trailers loaded down with massive cookers and hundreds of pounds of pork butt, pork shoulder, beef brisket and chicken hoping to win big. With their own secret rubs and sauces at the ready, they set up camp and nurse their meats through 18 hours of sleepless ‘low and slow’ cooking. It takes a team of devoted meat maniacs headed by a fearless Pit Master to pull off the array of juicy meats required at competition. Bob’s challenge is to apprentice with Pit Master Fast Eddy and then to lead his own team in the Open Competition. His reward? Barbecue boot camp at the side of a master – and a chance to see the sun rise over Kansas City through a coal-fire haze…two days in a row.
Season 1 - January 11, 2013
Cycling is Bob’s second favorite activity after eating. And the two actually go very well together - a high energy bike ride can burn up to 1000 calories an hour, making an intense bike trip a perfect complement to the excesses of a gourmet traveler. Inspired by the greatest cycling event in the world, the Tour de France, we’ve designed a bike trip/food adventure that will test Bob’s stamina and indulge his love of rich sauces and stinky French cheese. His challenge is to train with a veteran of the Tour de France and attempt to conquer one of the most mythical and challenging sections of the Tour – the high altitude ‘cols’ of the Alps culminating in the arduous and legendary pinnacle of Alpe d’Huez: eight vertiginous miles climbing 5839 feet through 21 painful hairpin turns. His reward? A nonstop, guilt-free gourmet feast of artisan breads, cheeses, sausages, raclettes and fondues from the Alpine region.
Season 1 - January 10, 2013Making it to the finish line of a 26-mile marathon is a grueling test of stamina that few people are capable of completing. But what about a full-fledged marathon that includes runners in costume, 22 wine tasting stations and an oyster bar along the route? The Médoc Marathon, a raucous, wine-soaked run that takes place every fall in the heart of ’s legendary Bordeaux region, is just such an event. Bob will need to get himself in top shape not just for an intense physical test – but for a psychological one too. How will he keep himself focused on the finish line when there are so many mouthwatering and potentially impairing temptations threatening his progress? His challenge is to remember that even though it may seem like a party (that’s what the other 8000 runners seem to think), it’s still a race – and a long one at that. His reward? A whirlwind tour through some of the finest wineries in the world – and the chance to win his weight in first-growth Bordeaux.
Season 1 - January 9, 2013
Bob Blumer loves spicy foods. The hotter the better (at least that’s what he thinks.) Like a vigilante gunslinger in a western movie he’ll journey to the hot, dusty heart of the hot chile empire: Hatch, New Mexico. Located in the plains of the Rio Grande, Hatch is a chile-head’s Mecca. Bob will work in the fertile fields of the surrounding Hatch Valley picking chile peppers in a 40°C heat discovering enough new varieties and various tastes to satisfy a steady throng of new converts. And then he’ll go further. Bob’s challenge is to prove that he really can take the heat by entering the hot chile-eating contest. He’ll be going head-to-head with some extremely big guys who see their ability to eat insanely hot chiles as proof of manhood. His reward? Survival, and everything he needs to know to make his very own hot sauce.
Season 1 - January 8, 2013
You see them plying their trade every day as they provide the weary and red-eyed masses with their drug of choice – caffeine. Their job doesn’t appear to be remarkably difficult, and it seems surprising that there could possibly be a coffee subculture complete with its own latte art competitions and barista championships. Bob will enter into this world when he enters into the Canadian National Barista Championships. He’ll and compete by making four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four signature beverages in fifteen minutes, in front of technical and sensory judges and a large audience. Bob will train with Canadian Champion Barista Sammy Piccolo, who warns that it is not as easy as it looks but that with hard training, Bob might be able to compete after four weeks. Bob’s challenge is to pack the training into just five short days. His reward? Entry into a unique and close circle of people who are passionate about the bean and live for the art of caffeine.
Season 1 - January 7, 2013
Benihana is a chain of classic Japanese restaurants that elevates tableside preparation to performance art. Benihana chefs serve up a colorful variety of dishes directly in front of diners using a combination of razor sharp knives, a red-hot grill, sleight of hand and witty banter. Most trainee chefs spend four months in the shadows of the kitchen just learning to chop – Bob’s challenge is to master all the skills necessary to become a Benihana chef in a mere week. He will be inducted into the Benihana experience by a seasoned chef, Michael Tan, but in the end he’ll be on his own in front of a 600°C grill and a hungry audience. His challenge is to master fancy knife work, clever patter, juggling and the all important onion volcano. His reward? Knife skills worthy of a samurai warrior and fresh ideas for bringing drama to the dinner table.
Season 1 - January 4, 2013
Popularized in the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail, flair bartending is the practice of entertaining an audience with the throwing/juggling of bar tools (eg; shaker tins) and liquor bottles in tricky, dazzling ways. Once Bob is trained in this form of showmanship, he will enter an International Flair Competition in the 'mecca of flair bartending', Las Vegas. It is a dangerous task, and the action requires skill due to the dangers of possible glass breakage and even burning. Bob’s challenge is to woo the judges with the technique, flow and creative flair of his routine while making actual drinks, and all in three minutes! His reward? To learn from the world’s best flair bartenders, and of course, sampling all the drinks!
Season 1 - January 3, 2013
In the world of food and wine, waiters are the true unsung heroes. Working the front lines between picky diners and prima donna chefs, they are the foot soldiers of fine dining. This week Bob will be embedded, embattled and run off his feet at a busy brasserie in New York City. Once he’s trained in the classic French style Bob will compete against the city’s finest in the annual New York City Waiter’s race held, appropriately, on French national holiday Bastille Day. His challenge is to run three blocks and back carrying two wine glasses and a carafe of water on a tippy tray, without spilling a drop. His reward is to prove that he can take the heat, in and out of the kitchen.
Season 1 - January 2, 2013
Oysters are loved throughout the world, but before you enjoy them, you have to get past that shell. Oyster shucking can be hazardous, and it requires practice to do it just right without mangling the prized oyster or losing a finger. In this episode, Bob will learn the technique of oyster shucking before traveling to the Oyster Festival in Urbanna, Virginia, and entering the Oyster Shucking Competition. Speed is only one element of the competition. Presentation is the other. Bob’s challenge is to crash the world of elite shuckers and become a contender in just one week. His reward? To walk away triumphant, and with all ten digits intact.