And despite my reportorial efforts, I still can't say where he might be tonight, tomorrow or this weekend. (The crew is in town until Sunday, according to the ad, now removed.)
But I did get to see Richman — whom I have since learned is an unlikely heartthrob in the food scene — Wednesday night, when his show was taping one of its trademark extreme eating challenges at Rooster's Texas-Style BBQ and Steakhouse at 123 12th Ave. N.
Though I knew the media wasn't officially welcome, I managed to stroll in and get a seat near the action (but out of camera range).
I'm no fan of competitive eating, but it was an entertaining night. And long, of course — I took off at the five-hour mark. (As we learned when Guy Fieri came to town to shoot Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the actual action is just a small part of the proceedings; there's hours of setup time, shooting of incidental elements, exhortations to the crowd, interviews with audience members, signing of release forms, etc.)
On this particular evening, Richman wasn't competing; he was coaching two country singers as they attempted to conquer The Roost, a platter replete with a 72-ounce sirloin, a large baked potato, two slices of Texas toast and a big salad.
They sat side by side, but each man competed separately, meaning two 72-ounce steaks sat on the groaning table. That's nine pounds of beef.
I won't reveal the outcome, and not just because of the producers' threats of "men in suits" knocking on doors if anybody spilled the ranch-style beans. And not because of their other argument, that anyone who spoiled the suspense would be "a very bad person." It's because I don't think it's really that relevant ... and also because of that other thing about me suddenly having a crush on Adam Richman.
Maybe it was the way he teared up when talking about how much he'll miss the director, who's leaving the show after shooting 45 episodes on the road. A sensitive man with a tough palate.
I can't explain it. It was way more emotion than those two plastic cups of Shiner draft I sipped could cause. The stomach may conquer challenges, but the heart doesn't yield its secrets.
You can read a longer account of my Man v. Food adventure in my Food Biz column in the Nashville Post section of The City Paper on Monday.
And meanwhile, if you see Adam Richman around town, let me know.