Adam Richman's first trip to Las Vegas was so tame it barely registered on the excitement scale. But then, he was just entering his teens and traveling with a group of schoolkids. Big whoop.
"It was cool to be here, and I remember singing 'Runaway,' but all I could do is play video games," Richman recalled.
He didn't get fully immersed in the Vegas experience until he came back a couple of years ago to shoot his hit show "Man v. Food" on the Travel Channel.
"That's when I got hooked. That's went I got it," Richman said by telephone on Thursday. "People mistakenly think it (Vegas) is all about debauchery.
"In Vegas everything is larger than life," he said, from the star chef-driven restaurants and clubs to the supersized breakfasts, bars and ballrooms.
"That was my 'Rat Pack' moment, my 'Rainman' moment, and, yes, my 'Hangover' moment."
The host of the Travel Channel's "Best Sandwich in America" is in town this week promoting the World Food Championships Nov. 1-4 at Bally's Las Vegas.
You don't have to be a high-falutin' foodie for this one. It's sort of a Super Bowl of comfort food.
The categories include barbecue, chili, sandwich, side dish, a recipe championship and a chef's competition. Each category winner advances to the final table, with $75,000 going to the winner.
About 400 competitors qualified over the summer.
Several events are open to the public. Information is at www.worldfoodchampionships.com. 0;
BOYLE'S VEGAS MOMENT
The highlight of Susan Boyle's Las Vegas debut? It might have been a risqué post-show line from Donny Osmond.
The U.K. singing sensation blushed like a new bride after Osmond teased her for giving him a blanket with her image.
"The only problem," said Osmond, "is my wife is going to say I'm sleeping with Susan."
The shy 50-something Scottish singer has made no secret that she used to sleep with a Donny Osmond blanket.
It was one of many sweet moments during her debut at Donny and Marie Osmond's show at the Flamingo. She started with a "This is the Moment" duet with Donny from their collaboration for her new album.
Osmond held her hand and gave her a hug after she fought through a case of nerves.
"I was really nervous," she told me after the show. "I didn't want to forget the words."
The 2009 "Britain's Got Talent" phenom got another standing ovation after performing "Who I Was Born to Be."
After the show, Osmond told the media Boyle will help kick off the Donny & Marie tour Jan. 20 at the O2 Arena in London.
Boxing greats Mike Tyson and George Foreman and 92-year-old film legend Mickey Rooney are among the guests expected at the 50th birthday of former world heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield today in Beverly Hills. Caesars Palace headliner Matt Goss, singing "Happy Birthday" to Marie Osmond after the "Donny & Marie" show Saturday.
THE PUNCH LINE
"The whole (debate) was very tense, sometimes passive aggressive. Just like being with your family at Thanksgiving. In fact, I think they officially kicked off the holiday season." - Jimmy Kimmel