Bob Blumer already has two successful shows on the Food Network, broken six Guinness World Records, eats poisonous Japanese Fugu and illustrates his own cookbooks. Is there anything this guy can't do? In anticipation for his third Food Network show, the Surreal Gourmet extraordinaire sits down with us to talk weird food + last meals.
Drake: How did your interest in food start? It seems like a very unusual career to enter into after attending Ivey business school and managing Jane Siberry.
Bob Blumer: Yeah, it was. It was an organic progression, where I just started to cook more at home and develop a passion for it while living beyond my means!
D: What was it like writing your first cookbook? How did you decide on the final list of recipes to include? Did you do the illustrations?
BB: It's called "The Surreal Gourmet" because I did all the illustrations. The process was intense, I locked myself in my small apartment for a month and a half and turned my phone off. The recipes included are everything that I knew how to make!
D: As the launch date of your third Food Network show, World's Weirdest Restaurants is quickly approaching, what are you most excited or nervous about?
BB: Each of my previous shows were drastically different than the other, so I’m hoping that my audience will come with me for the ride on this one. For the World's Weirdest Restaurants, I’m the participent, rather than the chef so it was for sure an interesting experience for me!
D: What was the inspiration for the World’s Weirdest Restaurants?
BB: It’s a really weird world out there! I think that a lot of people are into food and curious about world cuisine and so I wanted to bring it home.
D: You’re famous for breaking six Guinness World Records- congrats! Are you planning on breaking any other Guinness World Records with your new show?
BB: Well, since I'm the participant it would be a little hard! I guess I could have a record for eating at the most weird restaurants!
D: What is the “weirdest” meal that you’ve ever consumed?
BB: I'd say Fugu. I had to detoxify the Japanese Fugu myself while I was in Japan. I could die with every bite, it was really intense!
D: What would be your last meal and why?
BB: Haha, why am I on death row? For having too much fun?! I think that would be the only explanation. I would want something from everywhere around the world... like Thai salads from small huts... stinky French cheese and of course, lots of good wine!
For more foodie fun with Bob Blumer, join us on March 26th for a special dinner event at The Drake; World's Weirdest Restaurants! The menu will feature a carefully curated selection including Japanese fried chicken with Sapporo, a a Beef Short Rib and Fenugreek Cream Curry-Turmeric in a toilet bowl serving dish + more!
Please note that this interview has been condensed and edited.