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Exclusive: 'Man v. Food' star Adam Richman on his favourite New York restaurants and his vegan lifestyle

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Though Adam Richman was often obscured by towering plates of foot-long burrito, record-breaking pizzas and some of the world’s spiciest tuna on Man Versus Food, host charmed viewers at every turn. With two shows currently on the small screen – Man Finds Food and Food Fighters – Adam chatted with Hello! Online about following in the footsteps of Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez with his newfound veganism and the best places to eat in New York.

Man Versus Food

With the help of his nutritionist and doctor, Adam has lost more than four stone. We ask about his new healthy lifestyle that has him looking and feeling great.

“I’m actually 100% vegan right now,” he says. “I’ve been vegan for the past three months, I do that periodically,” he adds, explaining that he is currently “trying to get my speed up” for Soccer Aid 2016, a UNICEF celebrity event which has raised upwards of £15million, approximately $27,850,000 CAD, for the children’s charity.

“Maintaining the weight loss is the real kicker of it,” says the 40-year-old. But he makes it clear that his new attitude to food doesn’t mean cutting out the dishes he loves. Instead, he is: “more calorie-focussed, more aware. If I’m going to have a hot dog at a game, I just make sure I get in 10,000 steps a day or three twenty-minute walks or runs.”

His advice to others wanting to shed some pounds, put simply? “Keep your calories low, eat good meals and be active.”

There are few more passionate and more savvy about great good and restaurants Stateside, so we ask Brooklyn-born Adam – who’s worked as everything from a dish washer, bus boy, waiter and chef before coming the presenter of a series of hugely popular foodie shows – for his top eats in the Big Apple. Here’s where he sends us…

For a New York deli experience: Katz’s Delicatessen, 205 E Houston StreetWhere a scene from When Harry Met Sally was famously filmed. “It’s quintessential New York, right where East Village meets Soho. The pastrami is one of the best foods on planet earth. It’s pricey for a sandwich and French fry place, but the whole experience makes every penny worth it. Get a big order of fries and combo of corned beef and pastrami, slaw, cream soda – and that’s New York.” Some insider advice: “You get a ticket when you walk in, don’t lose your ticket, you’ll need it to exit.”

For Chinese dumplings: Prosperity Dumpling, 46 Eldridge Street, New York“In Manhattan, push the boundaries and leave central Times Square. Go downtown to China Town to a place called Prosperity Dumpling and try the sesame pancakes or the dumplings.”

When Harry Met Sally

For authentic Puerto Rican food: La Fonda Boricua, 169 E 106th Street, New York“Uptown, head to a place called La Fonda Boricua in Spanish Harlem for authentic Puerto Rican food. Make sure you go where the locals go and don’t be put off by the neighbourhood,” warns Adam, adding that the area “El Barrio is a beautiful cultural neighbourhood”.

For something sweet: Doughnut Plant, 379 Grand Street“For dessert, go to Doughnut Plant on Grant Street, they’re remarkable.”

About his new shows, Andy tells us: “Food Fighters is about real home cooks and unsung heroes of the kitchen, while Man Finds Food is an exploration of hidden gems across America.” Food Fighters is on at 8pm and Man Finds Food is on at 10pm, weeknights on Food Network – Freeview 41, freesat 149, Sky 248, Virgin 287.