WINNER: ADAM RICHMAN, MAN V. FOOD, TRAVEL CHANNEL
Talk about taking one for the team (or eating as much as an entire team). Adam Richman routinely sacrifices his stomach so you don’t have to. Whether it’s downing multiple 24 milk shakes, 10 pounds of steak or a 12-egg omelet, Richman’s cast-iron constitution is a source of weekly entertainment. While Travel’s other culinary cohorts, Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern, are chefs, Richman’s passion is much simpler, he just likes to eat a lot. It’s a challenge. Mix that with a warm personality and there’s your Man v. Food host. Richman doesn’t only deserve our award, he merits some antacid.
Guy Fieri, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Food Network: With the departure of Emeril, Fieri arguably has become the face of Food, and it’s quite a face. With his raspy voice, gold-spiked hair and sunglasses perched behind his head, the winner of The Next Food Network Star is definitely a star, but never puts himself above the local eating establishments featured on his series. In fact, his ability to connect with the owners, cooks, servers and customers at these places is the root of his star quality.
Pat and Gina Neely, Road Tasted with the Neelys, Food Network: The secret to this couple’s popularity, besides the down-to-earth way they prepare barbecue and all the fixin’s, is how they seem to forget the camera. Pat and Gina invite us into their kitchen as guests, not as television viewers, and the warmth they radiate infuses everything they cook.