Jethros’ BBQ was featured on “Man v. Food” last Wednesday. Host Adam Richman tried to eat the Adam Emmenecker sandwich in 15 minutes. Former Drake basketball player Adam Emmenecker was there to cheer him on in his namesake challenge.
When did you hear about Jethro’s being on Man v. Food?
They told me maybe in early August that they got a call from the producers of the show. It was pretty exciting and we certainly enjoyed the moment.
Did you ever think your sandwich would be on the show?
I was actually kind of a fan of the show when we created the sandwich. We were hopeful, but didn’t think it would actually happen.
One of the surprising things about the show is it seems very impromptu, but it’s actually very planned; not necessarily in a bad way, but you could tell that they know what they’re doing. That’s all very structured and very planned. They would call people up and say, ‘You go say something’ and ‘You go say something.’
Any time you’re saying something in front of a TV camera it’s a little bit awkward, and any time you’re saying something about yourself it gets a little awkward, too.
How did the Adam Emmenecker sandwich get started?
Jethro’s didn’t exist when I graduated. I actually ran into the owner in passing and he told me they were going to name a sandwich after me. They wanted to make something that was big and that was unique to the area and they asked me what I liked. All of it tastes really, really good together. All the flavors combined—there’s a lot going on there. Eating a quarter of it is like eating a hamburger somewhere else.
Have you ever eaten an Emmenecker in 15 minutes?
When we created the sandwich, right afterward I ate the sandwich in one sitting, closer to 25 minutes or half an hour. The 15-minute rule didn’t start until right before the show. We decided to turn it into more of a formal challenge, then not long afterward heard from “Man v. Food.”
Did you think the other Adam was going to beat the challenge?
Actually, yeah, I kind of thought he would just because every time you watch that show he almost always wins. I think the first person to do it finished in 7 1/2 minutes. I thought it would be a bit closer. While we were watching it, I couldn’t believe that he was so far away. I bet if he was just focused on the eating and not focused on the show, I bet he could get further.
Do you always eat an Emmenecker when you go to Jethro’s?
Not every time. Frequently, either me or someone with me would. It’d be too much food for lunch on a Friday.
How often do you go there?
I try to go there at least maybe once every 10 days. Enough so I’m there and around, but not so they get sick of me. Like three times a month.
Photos: Connor McCourtney