PORTLAND, OR (AP) – Adam Richman, star of the TV show Man v. Food, died after suffering a massive heart attack in his hotel room on Tuesday, his publicist said. He was 36.
In Richman’s Travel Channel show, he traveled around the US, profiling food establishments that specialize in large, traditional dishes. At the end of each episode, Richman would engage in an eating challenge, where he would attempt to eat a large or extremely spicy dish to win the restaurant’s contest. During the three seasons that the show aired, Richman successfully consumed six “Atomic” chicken wings in Pittsburgh, a 2 ½ pound deli sandwich with fries in Columbus, and two gallon sundae with whipped cream and toppings in San Francisco, among other challenges.
Richman was in Portland filming an episode of his show. While in Portland, Richman completed Buter’s Barbeque’s Texan Challenge. The challenge consisted of eating a whole barbequed chicken, a rack of pork ribs, a brisket sandwich, and a plate of fries. He completed the challenge in 39 minutes. Richman appeared well after the challenge, even slapping hands with other diners.
Richman prepared for each food challenge by exercising twice daily while on the road, fasting the day before the challenge, and ensuring that he was properly hydrated.
A New York native, Richman also worked as an actor, appearing in several daytime soap operas and an episode of Law and Order: Trial by Jury.
Dr. Norton Arnston, a nutritionist at Oregon Health Sciences University, said that he is not surprised by Richman’s early passing. “The human body is not designed to quickly consume large amounts of food. The stresses that he put his body through obviously caught up to him.”
According to his publicist, Richman’s funeral will feature an all-you-can-eat buffet.