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Adam Richman's guide to British Food

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Adam Richman has had more hot dinners than you've had... well, he's had more than you.

With his food-conquering exploits behind him, the gastro giant is back with a new show of equally epic proportions: Fandemonium sees Richman take in the culinary creations of vast fan events, from the Daytona 500 to the BBQ World Championship.

We caught up with Richman during his UK promo duties, still recovering from Borough Market's pancake race (his team came third, which disappointed the "super competitive" Richman). As well as sharing some tips on where to eat in the country's capital, the famed gastrophile shared his thoughts on British food.

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Favourite London Restaurants

Barshu

Location: 28 Firth Street, W1D 5LF

"I really enjoyed this place, great to try Sichuan food [a province in southwest China, known for its spicy, fiery palate base]. They really killed it, it was particularly excellent."

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The Rib Man

Location: King's Cross

"I really love the Rib Man at King's Cross. That guy knows his ribs." Mark (the Rib Man) has been a cook since 15, and only uses baby-back ribs from pigs reared on Norfolk and Suffolk farms. "They're really great."

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Hix

Location: 66-70 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP

"Nick Frost took me to a place called Hix - though he was also far more entertaining than any food I could possibly eat - I was like 'Oh my god, tell me more about Shaun of the Dead behind the scenes'. He's a phenomenally good guy. They do a Bannockburn rib steak on the bone that's pretty extraordinary. Their variance on treacle pudding is also quite excellent."

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The Sea Shell

Location: 49-51 Lisson Grove, London NW1 6UH

"They've got a really great variety of fish. I believe they don't use the beef for their suet so it tastes pretty incredible."

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Regional Specials

Although a major icon of the US food scene, Richman has roots in Yorkshire and family in Leeds:

"I grew up with my mother and grandmother making a lot of typical British regional specials. I'm a big fan of Shepherd's Pie, it's pretty much the ultimate comfort food. I'm also quite participial to Bubble and Squeak - I think it's actually really cool that you can get so many different interpretations of that one dish. Pie, mash and liquor is also pretty great. While I like a good black pudding, it really depends on how strong the offal is.

"I think the sausages of the UK are just great. I love the variety that's on offer. Sausage meat is a really an art form that takes a long time to develop. In the UK you can go to a bar or a restaurant and choose a sausage dish and know that it's going to be a special dish.

"My food compatriot Andy Bates - you can find him on twitter @eatmypies - makes a mean Scotch Egg. They're heavier than the fare than I usually go in for, but they're easily the absolute best executed Scotch Egg I've ever come across - the yolk is still beautifully runny."

But not all regional tastes are so special...

"Now I've tried Jellied Eel. I went to a football game with a friend who supports Crystal Palace - he urged me to try it, saying himself "I don't mind it". Well I mind it. I mind it a lot. It's not cool. It's an 'acquired' taste in the same way that water boarding is an acquired taste."

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American perception of British food

With British familiarising themselves with Richman over a plates/buckets of vast, sweaty and - importantly - non-typical American food, we asked him what whether the US perception of British food was better informed:

"It's not an accurate view - or at least, not entirely accurate. There's many an acquired taste: sticky toffee pudding, a great dish that the US don't have comparable plate for it. Same with Jellied Eel.

"I think British food is probably the most maligned food globally. In the US we have this cornucopia of not just great indigenous dishes but we have great ethnic dishes - in the same way, these ethnic foods are the real stars of the UK that the Americans need to embrace.

"Shepherd's pie is great, a Full English is fantastic - as Mike Skinner says "Plenty of baked beans and plenty of fried tomatoes" - but I think it's the ethnic cuisines of the people who have settled here that Americans need to taste.

"There are so many dishes right under your nose that Americans miss out on in order to have high tea at the Dorchester or finger sandwiches and scones and streaky bacon. Those are all well and good, but I think that just by digging a little deeper, people will find that there's a whole other side to British dining in the modern world that people need to really embrace - from the Tikka Masal to the Kebab, to the Roti."

Adam Richman's Fandemonium starts on Friday 7th March on the Food Network at 9pm

(Images: Rex)

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