Food Network Star Adam Gertler Takes THR’s Taste Test

Adam Gertler Publicity 2012

The "Kid in a Candy Store" host talks protein shakes, handmade sausages, Malaysian ramen with corned beef and more.

Adam Gertler, the Food Network personality who first appeared as a contestant on the fourth season of The Next Food Network Star and then went on to host Will Work for Food — in which he explored little-known gastro-sphere gigs like ice-sculpting and truffle-foraging — as well as its sweets-centered offshoot, Kid in a Candy Store, is setting up shop today and tomorrow with his pop-up Gertler’s Kitchen at TRiP in Santa Monica. His homespun menu of house-cured and smoked meats, available from 7pm to 1am each evening, will serve as a prelude to a permanent address for the concept, which he’s currently looking to secure somewhere in the greater L.A. area.

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Current Fixation
“Every cheeseburger L.A. has to offer. After last night, The Stout Burger at Stout has me.”

Known For Cooking
“Handmade sausages are my current obsession. It’s the evolution of my love of barbecue. I need to be watching a smoker.”

Destination Dinner
“I had an incredible meal at Osteria Mozza.  I could propose there.  I’d need a girlfriend first but then I will propose there.  Actually, the reason I love it so much is because the sommelier asked me what my favorite movie was in a cheeky attempt to surmise my taste.  I responded Robocop, because it is.  He then said, “Oh, I believe he’s here tonight” I said, “What?  Peter Weller is here?  You just keep Peter Weller in the back in the event you might need to sell a rare Super Tuscan?” Before the end of the next course I was having a real conversation about food with Peter fucking Weller.  I love Osteria Mozza for this and next time my favorite movie will be Taxi Driver.”

Go-To Take-Out
Simpang Asia near my house in Palms. Wonderful Malaysian food. Fun flavors. They have a ramen with corned beef and a fried egg in it. So weird. They have these banana leaves with four different dishes wrapped inside. Nasi Bunkus rocks there.”

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Adventurous Bite
“The still-squirming octopus I had in Koreatown for a show I did was weird for sure but didn’t taste like much of anything.  I tried a McRib once.  That was more adventurous, I think.”

Simply Won’t Eat
“Chain fast food.  I’m not morally opposed or anything, it just tastes pretty gross to me.  And yes, In-N-Out Burger is the definitely the rare exception. I go 3x4 Animal Style. Three patties, four cheeses; sloppy-delicious.”

Favorite Snack
“Protein shakes.  I make awesome ones. Almost as good as a milk shake. Protein powder, skim or soy milk, low-fat yogurt, frozen bananas, strawberries and a little peanut butter.”

Dietary Regimen
“I eat well and exercise regularly. Mostly just to keep eating. Running, yoga, P90X, whatever I can do to still be able to enjoy those cheeseburgers and not hate myself.  I was in Weight Watchers as a kid so I’ll always be a little hung up about this.

Preferred Company
“My brother Keith and my buddy Mike D. These guys are as passionate about food as I am and it’s a pleasure to eat with eaters.”

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Pet Peeve
“I want to feel it in my mouth-place, not so much my brainpan. I like big flavor—that’s what excites me about food. I appreciate the ingenuity of molecular gastronomy, but it’s not always where the best flavors are on display. That being said, Ink in West Hollywood does a great job of marrying crazy science projects with great flavor.”

Embarrassing Experience
“Probably one of the many times while dining with my mother when she’ll ask the server, hostess, bus boy or parking attendant if they watch Food Network and if they’ve heard of her son Adam to which they usually reply oh yes I love Man v. Food.”

Guilty Pleasure
“Yamadaya pork tonkatsu ramen with extra noodles. The broth is so rich you could eat it like Jell-O when it’s cold.”

Last Meal
“Barbecue is one of my all-time favorite things to eat, so I have to go with the sampler extreme at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in New York. It’s a half rack of spare ribs, a half chicken, half a pound of brisket with sides. All delightfully hickory smoked. Wrap that in a New York pizza pie and I’m ready for that electric chair.”