JFM 12 | Connecting Through Food


The power of a conversation is amplified when you have it at the table. Food brings us together and connects us like nothing else, according to our next special guest, Todd Liebler. Todd was the man behind the camera traveling around the world and experiencing different cultures through food with his counterpart, Anthony Bourdain. Todd has raked in a total of eight Emmy nominations and won three Emmys for his cinematography work on Bourdain’s shows, “No Reservations” and “Parts Unknown.” Throughout this episode, Josh Martin and Todd share their love of travel, their love of food, and their love of trying new experiences. Todd talks about his tips as an avid traveler and the immense impact that Bourdain had on not only his life but his worldwide audience.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Power And Beauty Behind The Table With Todd Liebler

Thanks for being here. We have Todd Liebler, a seven-time Emmy nominee, three-time Emmy award winner. You won three times, two on No Reservations and one-time with Parts Unknown. Anthony Bourdain passed. Mental health is something important to talk about. That’s not necessarily what I prepare for the show. It’s worth mentioning. Maybe that’s something that we’ll do in the future. It’s worth the conversation. I’d like to keep it a little more positive. I’m a big fan of traveling. I’m a big fan of food. I’ve seen No Reservations but Parts Unknown and what that meant to me. It’s a discovery that I’ve had travel, traveling the world and seeing some cool things.

I can only imagine what you’ve seen on your travels, but I’m curious to touch on your unique perspective on your view through the lens and your unique take on why travel, why food and the combination of both may be important to a deeper understanding of humanity. Perhaps even a uniting force in the sense that we all have to eat in the sense of community, breaking bread and sharing a meal with those that you care and love about. How we all seem to have that in common, especially in such a divisive time in our country, specifically throughout the world. That’s loaded.

Looking into the state of our country now, the Democrats are flailing looking for some cohesion in their party. Maybe they should sit down and feed the country. We’ll see where it goes from there. Everyone on this planet sits down for a meal. Not everyone sits down, but everyone eats. Let’s start broadly like that and narrow it to Thanksgiving which is traditionally where family get-together and push each other’s buttons. Stressful as it can be, it’s something that we all look forward to. Tony Bourdain has such a strong following. He unified everyone. Everyone feels like they know him. There’s that connection with food and the curiosity into the unknown about that. I’m generalizing. Let’s hope that most of us can appreciate the love and warmth around the table. The beauty of that, exploring the world that way, that’s a perfect way in and people love to share their recipes or the experiences they’ve had around the table. Usually, you’re breaking bread with people that are important to you.

You might’ve touched on this a bit. I’ll add on to my comments. In terms of the significance of food and travel and having an appreciation for these people generally, how do you think that can more specifically aid in our unification? Not necessarily as a country, but as the human population and the differences that we shared if you could elaborate on that.

My wife and I started watching the Jack Ryan series that came out with the author of Patriot Games, Tom Clancy. It’s a fun show, but the bottom line is they have to vilify someone. In this time and age, it’s the Muslim population that gets vilification. There is one character or there are certain characters that you feel for and I’ll do this a lot.

We were talking about the broader global population and the importance of the work that you did on the shows, providing that insight into different cultures, how we share those similarities and how that might aid in the unification and understanding between people.

The answer is Anthony Bourdain in that regard because he pulled people together like no one I’ve known. My kids have known I’ve been working with him for several years and know him well. They’ve met him, but it wasn’t until he died that their friends, my children’s friends came out of the woodwork and was like, “How are you? How’s your dad?” They were floored with how many people were connected to him. It’s a great loss in regards to your question because I don’t know anyone or anything that could unify people like that. There were a lot of people that did not appreciate his style, which I get. I have no answers on how to heal the world. I wish I did, but certainly, I was in his company and the way he went through the world was comforting.

What did it feel like to play a role in that? A director of photography, we wouldn’t have known about what he was doing if there wasn’t someone there to record his every move and every step. In terms of the significance of what he accomplished and what he was able to do through the show. You’re a big part of that.

I held on for dear life. Tony challenges us a lot. He would say, “I love this film and we’re going to Hong Kong. Make sure you watch Chungking Express.” Wong Kar-wai is the director. We want to borrow from him. Every episode, we try to imbue with something unique. Tony wanted everything to keep ratcheting up, one after the next level in terms of style, the way he told the story. He would also challenge not just us, but his viewers too, his fans. We did a South Korea episode and he said, “Let’s cut it in reverse.” In the episode, he’s like, “The only way to know what we’re doing, let’s start at the end.”

He wanted to mess with people. That’s the bottom line. He did it artfully. It was not random. Back to the question is that we go to Japan. We look at old Ozu movies, which are old Japanese, black, and white and we would try to emulate those. Not everywhere, but where we could set a mood, a theme, color palettes. Everything is very much vérité. We would go into a location and that’s the location we have to use. Sometimes we have a choice, but rarely we’d say, “Let’s shoot out the window so we can see where he is.” I don’t know if you saw the crew’s special episode. He sits down with José Andrés and says, “What’s wrong with this picture?” You’re looking at the two of them from the front and behind them are beautiful Spanish Alps. He goes, “What’s wrong with this picture?” He goes, “We’re looking at the bathrooms.” It was a big wide shot and you see them looking at the pictures.

I was asking about what it felt for you to take part in the show and the work that has been extremely influential. You mentioned your kids’ friends that called to check-in. It speaks to the significance of what you do. It was more than the food or the conversation. It even was reflected in the style and the ways that you shot the different episodes. How that was informed by these cultural influences and the research that you did beforehand. That’s cool to know. I didn’t know that. Do you guys know that?

We’re trying to work on the subliminal level.

I think of my travels and what it means to me. For me, my belief is that our differences are valuable. It’s important to celebrate our differences and explore our differences because that’s what makes us. We share them.

We get to know someone and understand where they’re coming from. I read this article that instead of being good at one thing, it’s better to reel it in and have a variety of interests. First of all, it makes it easier to get a job if you have a lot of skillsets. It gives you more depth as a human. I’m talking specifically about skillsets, but in terms of what you’re talking about, the more we share our cultures. There’s something to be said for a culture that’s been not influenced by the West or something. It’s unfortunate but what’s happening is that we’re a global population and we’re going to influence each other. Especially now more than ever with things like podcasts.

Podcasts, iPhones, Instagram, and the like. You speak to something that I’ve been exploring. It’s the genesis of the theme of this show, Journey For More, and up to this point, my life was dominated by football. Every decision that I made was informed by football, living in the present, but not necessarily living in that present space. Not realizing that it was okay to explore other interests that I might’ve had before football became serious and becoming more diversified in the way that I spent my time. Not only that, but understanding that even giving my time to other things doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m taking away from my efforts with football. I found that it helped my efforts in football because I love playing football but I truly appreciate that time. When I come to record a podcast, I go to shoot a vlog, those other things I enjoy to do. This idea of Journey for More is not necessarily a material thing. It’s more in the sense of more life, self-discovery, and appreciation.

I don’t want the fact that I was Anthony Bourdain’s cinematographer for however long to define who I am. I want that to be certainly a part of who I am but not the definition.

Let’s talk about Todd Liebler beyond Anthony Bourdain, your role as a photographer. Let’s touch on how your work, your life as is or your work in travel, your personal experiences beyond the show, have impacted your life and maybe the way that you raised your kids or the way that you treat people in your life or the relationships that you have.

Prior to working on this show, I was a freelance director of photography. Like you were saying about football, the motivation was to get work. That was the main thrust. In the freelance world, you’re concerned about keeping the next gig or you’ve got to pay the bills. Even if you’re not working, you’re thinking about it. Getting the job with Zero Point Zero and working with Anthony was huge because suddenly I was learning a lot. I was being challenged constantly. Problem-solving is the name of the game.

I didn’t have to hustle for work because I would get a schedule of the season. I’m still a freelancer, but I would have anywhere from 10 to 13 episodes to shoot over eight months or something. A lot of times it’s away from home. My kids call me the best absentee father ever. The good thing about that is not that I was absent, but because of the lifestyle that’s afforded me. I was on the road a lot, maybe around 100 days but when I wasn’t on the road, I was home. When the kids were young, I would come off a job. I would beg for one day off depending on how far away I traveled back from.

Maybe the politicians should just sit down and feed the country. Click To Tweet

My wife would essentially pick up the kids and thrust them into my arms and say, “They’re yours.” It was great. I love that. They didn’t take me for granted because I was gone so much. I was cool because I worked with someone that some of their friends had heard of so that was hard. It got easier and my kids got older. Fortunately, my wife Betty is independent so she was fine. The transition for me either leaving or coming back was always tough for everyone like anyone else.

Were you on the road for 100 days at a time?

No, each episode would be anywhere from 8 to 14 days. With luck, I would have a week or so, but sometimes I’d have two days between shoots. It always changed mostly depending on Tony’s schedule.

Are you based in the New York area, in Brooklyn?

I grew up in Jersey. Where did you grow up?

I didn’t grow up in Jersey. I grew up outside of Denver, Colorado, one of the suburbs in Aurora.

I went to Colorado College in the Springs.

A lot of my buddies are still out there. My family moved to Texas, which is where I was born. I moved to Colorado Elementary School. There’s so much I want to talk about. I love to travel. I don’t want to be super corny and be like, “What’s your best travel tip? How do you pack your docket? How do you pack for two weeks on the road? This past couple of years, I’ve traveled for a month at a time, roughly 3 to 4 weeks. The past year was my first big international trip out of the Western hemisphere. I wanted to go to Asia. She wants to go to Europe. I was like, “Everyone goes to Europe. No one talks about going to Asia.”

After stopping over in Colorado saying hello to my parents and flew to LA to Tokyo. I can’t describe the feeling that I felt knowing that I was far away from home, the furthest I’d ever been in my life. It was her and me. We stayed in Roppongi. We had some nice digs and a nice hotel. We were staying at the Ritz. The dollar helps. We left the safety of the hotel the first night we went and walked through the streets of Tokyo, at least in that immediate area. We didn’t walk far for maybe 15, 20 minutes. I got these dumplings, gyoza. We had some of the local beer. That was my thing I was doing at the time. I ate the food and had the local beer.

How about fish? Do you like fish?

I love fish. From Tokyo, we spent a few days there. We did more museums in Tokyo. We hit up one of the national museums of art and different things.

Did you hook up with any local people?

This is the next level of our travel. My girlfriend is all about it. She would talk to anyone, strike up a conversation. Part of me is at a comfortability level. We went to Asia. We did Tokyo. We’re there for a few days. We bought a ticket to Shanghai, but we didn’t have a visa. That whole process of like, “We need a visa.” We got a visa in Tokyo. We’re able to get to Shanghai. It’s probably not a crazy experience for you, but for me, I had been using my debit card and taking out cash when I got into the country. I take it out in the local currency.

I try to take my debit card out to take out cash. We land in Shanghai. We’re at the airport. We get new SIM cards or whatever. My ATM card doesn’t work. We’re not staying in the comfort of the Ritz-Carlton. We decided to go, “We got our feet wet. Let’s stay at an Airbnb. Stay at someone’s home.” It was a professional Airbnb, but it was in the French concession. We get to the airport. We step out of the door. It’s the middle of the night. I caught the red-eye. I’m getting harassed by cabbies.

They’re coming up, “$300, we’ll take the two of you.” I was like, “I spent a lot of time in New York. I went to a school in New York. I’ve been here for a few years. I know how it works. I know nowhere in the world costs $300 to go 10 miles in a cab.” I don’t know what kind of cab you are driving. It’s the golden cabs with the massaging seats, the TVs in the back, and unicorns. We get in the cab line. It costs us $20 to get to the Airbnb. We get there. It’s the middle of the night. I have $50 cash. I converted it into yen and used that.

Tony called them gretzel. “I need some gretzels,” whatever the local currency is, the producer would have to do a little exchange.

I don’t want to make a long story out of it. We went to Asia for a month. We had a great time. Sierra, my girlfriend, was pickpocketed in Shanghai. It was a huge bummer. We laugh at it now. We went there a little before the Chinese New Year. Every place was swamped. We stuck out like sore thumbs. She was a huge target. At this point, we had been spending a lot of time isolated from one another. We didn’t know anyone else. We don’t speak the language. We couldn’t necessarily find people that would speak the language or that spoke English. Even if they did, they weren’t willing to speak to us. There were a lot of glares walking around in China. We felt this sense of otherness. I can’t say that I hadn’t felt it before in the US, but it was magnified. It was a bummer, but that’s why you travel to have those experiences.

When I travel, I’m incredibly fortunate that the producer and the director do all their homework. I’m doing my homework, but it’s not on the ground. It’s for the equipment, the look, lighting, or whatever. We think we’re going to need dolly moves or whatever is appropriate for that episode. The producer, the director, and our fixer, whoever is our person on the ground is doing all the homework. We essentially get dropped into a location. Usually, as you’ve seen, they’re extraordinary. We have to move a couple of things maybe, but for the most part, these people are in a sense, our art direction. They’re creating this atmosphere, the environment in which we shoot in.

People are always like, “Where should I go when I go here?” I’m like, “I have to go into my production book. I’ve been on over 150 episodes with Tony. “What’s your favorite place? What’s your favorite meal? Do you eat everything that Tony eats?” Those are probably the three most common questions. The only thing I could say for sure is I try to eat everything Tony eats. Often when he’s done, there’s no more food or we’ll shoot inserts. They’ll eat. Depending on the equipment we’re using, we’ve used not zoom lenses, but fixed focal length lenses. We can’t zoom in and get them eating. Afterward, we’ll have to do it after they clear out. We’ll make sure there are a couple of dishes left and then we’ll shoot closeups. That’s when the crew gathers around. I’m behind the camera and they’ll take a bit. The next time, I’m like, “You need to lift it and aim the fork into my mouth.”

In China, certain people might feel a sense of otherness. Click To Tweet

How big was the crew? Is the crew mainly local or you travel with a crew?

Essentially, by the end, it was Tony, a director, a producer, two camera people. We added a technical person in the last couple of seasons that would handle all the equipment through customs as well as doing a checkout before making sure we had everything we had. There were six of us by the end. We’d pick up a local fixer. Maybe they would have an assistant and a bunch of drivers and production assistants. It’s a small crew out of New York. That’s travel light. We started with a case or two per person, but by the end, we’ve traveled probably between 20 and 30 cases of equipment.

We get a lot of flak from the company and from the people we work with about how much equipment we take. As time has progressed with Tony pushing us to never do the same thing twice with expectations of the company and his fans that we don’t rest on our laurels, we keep pushing. In order to do that, we need the infrastructure, which is certain equipment. We’re not doing location scouts. We may do it once we’re there, but we don’t know what we’re going to encounter. We need three different kinds of lights in the off chance that it’s this, that or the other. It’s not that we’re bringing as much as we can, we’re preparing for as many different variations.

Also, you don’t know what you are walking into.

The fixer may send some pictures, but it’s hard to get a feeling for a place through a two-dimensional thumbnail.

Speaking about my travels, we did Asia, Tokyo, and Shanghai. We went down to Bangkok. We spent some time in Phuket.

It’s right before the tsunami though. That elephant was there that saved a boy during the tsunami.

It’s a little beach time down there. That’s how I tried in the vacations, going through all these cities. We did Hong Kong as well. Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The big cities and then relax out in the country.

We tried to do something similar this past time. We went to South America in Buenos Aires. We stayed there for about a week and then we went down to Patagonia. We did El Calafate, which was the glaciers. We did Puerto Madryn. We were there for the penguins. We saw the wild penguins, thousands, and thousands of penguins, which was sweet. We had some great photos and some great memories there. I like Puerto Madryn because when we went to Asia, it was winter, the Northern Hhemisphere. It was tough until we got further down south. South America was great because it was winter here, snowstorms. There, it was summer. Even in Patagonia, we didn’t need more than a light windbreaker, The North Face, or whatever even when we were hiking the glaciers, which is cool. We hiked the glaciers in El Calafate. We saw the penguins in Puerto Madryn. We did a wine country in Mendoza.

You said you were a beer person though.

That’s how I started. Now, I’m drinking for every meal. Right after the season, I’m going to let loose a little bit and enjoy myself. This is usually January and February when we take the trip. I feel like I’m flexing my travel chops even though they don’t compare but I’m excited to be here with you to tell you this.

My wife and I did a similar trip. We were doing an episode in Buenos Aires. She could never come and join me because we had two kids. At this point, we had only one child at home. The other one was in college. He decided at the end of his previous year that he wanted to study abroad, which we thought was a great idea. It threw us for a loop because we weren’t expecting the empty nest syndrome for another year or two. He gave my wife, Betty, an opportunity to come and visit me or travel with me a little. We did a Buenos Aires shoot and then went down to Patagonia and did a lot of what you did. On the glacier, did they serve you some whiskey on the rocks?

I was there with Tony many years earlier doing the same thing. Prior to Tony, I never drank while I worked, but he made it important, not so much that we should drink but if you want to wrap yourself up in the culture, you have to do what they do. If they were going to drink, you’ve got to drink too. I’ve been fortunate to have not gotten into too much trouble. That’s important. Not to push for alcoholism or anything like that, but if you’re going to go someplace, you want to immerse as much as you can.

What I was saying is that going forward for you, I would try to find a guide, not like a tour guide, and maybe a tour guide too and also find someone that could take you to that other side of town. Eat where the only people there are Shanghainese. You’ll probably get some glares, but we all would wear the round eye. My wife not having traveled as much as I have, said, “As soon as we retire, I want to travel.” I’m okay with that but I’d have to go through all my production books, “We’re going here, I’ve got to call this person.”

Having someone on the ground is important, especially for you as you want to delve into the culture a little. It’s hard when you’re staying at a nice hotel. Although trust me, I’ve ordered spaghetti Bolognese in the craziest of places just because I need a little taste of home and that’s Italian. You need a little comfort food now and then. There’s the guy who runs Zero Point Zero, an old buddy of mine. He will try a spaghetti Bolognese in every hotel that he stays in. That’s his thing. I love rice and beans and Mexican or Latin food. I remember coming back from Nicaragua. It was the first time in my life I couldn’t eat rice and beans after coming back from a trip where usually within a week after I get home, I’ll hit a Mexican joint. That was a little odd. Having someone on the ground is crucial.

From Mendoza, we went to Colombia. We did Bogota for a few days. We did an excursion. It was this area in the mountainous region outside of Bogota. We took a bus. We harvested coffee beans. We did the coffee bean thing, the local farmers. We brought back a bunch of coffee. We made it from the bean. We roasted and grounded it. It was sweet. We got the beach time in Cartagena.

I like Colombia a lot. It’s beautiful.

Do you get to enjoy it as much as you’d like when you travel on the work trips?

When you're traveling to a new place, try to find a guide to show you the different sides of town. Click To Tweet

I try to, but it’s also hard because I’m serious about what I do. I know that I need to sleep if I want to be happy with what I’m doing. A lot of the crew I work with are much younger. They go out a lot of the nights and will explore while it’s crucial for me to get my eight hours. I have to wake up in the morning and warm up. I have a routine. I’m up a couple of hours before we’re working. I know and they know, the crew, meaning that I’ve got a big turnaround, we wrap early and then we have a late call. I’ll go out with them, but I need my 7 to 8 hours, 7 at minimum. I need to recharge. In whatever location we’re at if we’re not shooting the next day, I’m out all night. I take advantage.

What has been the craziest experience that you’ve had or wildest most novel, “I can’t believe I’m here,” experience?

I’ve got two little stories for you. One was back on No Reservations. We were shooting with the Inuits up in the Hudson Bay area of Canada. It’s harsh conditions. We’re essentially in an outboard motor-driven canoe going across this lake and looking for seals on ice shelves, not ice flows, but wherever the ice went between the water and the land like the shore. It’s like what you had in your whiskey on top of the glacier. We’re struggling with the equipment in this cold temperature. Water is splashing on us. We’re constantly wiping ice off the lenses.

We’re with the patriarch of this Inuit tribe. He has the old cowboy movies, that Winchester rifle or something, but it’s .22. It’s little bullets and it’s all rusted. We’re cruising and suddenly over our heads are three birds. He picks it up, shoots, we’re moving, they’re moving on water. He misses. He, not to be punny, but he could have slightly winged one. Suddenly, it flew out of formation, regrouped, and carried on. I was like, “That guy is good.” We encountered a seal. I don’t want to club harp seals or anything like that, but this is sustenance for this family.

He goes out on the ice, puts it in a large milk crate, and drags it back to the boat. He brings it home. They cover the kitchen floor with plastic. They roll the seal out on it. They clean out its digestive tract and throw that away. They open this up. At least four generations of Inuits are around in the kitchen passing raw seal. They’ll take a handful of meat. They’ll take a bite. They’ll take a knife and cut right where their hand meets their mouth and slice the meat like that. They’re almost using their teeth as a fork and then chewing. They were happy. The reason why that sticks out in my head is that from their point of view, we were not there.

Usually, we go somewhere, we make an impact. You change your place by being there especially if you’re not from there. The most gratifying thing for me in this situation was we may have made a little bump in the atmosphere in terms of change, but they immediately forgot about us because it was such a joyous occasion. They were treating Tony. They did not forget about him. They were giving him choice bits of whisker, eyeball, all the fun things. We were there watching them. The way they interacted, a close family unit, four generations. There were some older women there that didn’t stand up in the house because they’d grown up in igloos or whatever structure was prevalent in their time.

They crawled along the floor because when you live in those harsh conditions in an igloo or whatever abode they were in, you want to keep the heat close to you so you don’t want high ceilings. That was fucking extraordinary. In the end, they had some Arctic blueberry for dessert. After they devoured this whole thing, they cut out a bunch of blubbers and stored it for later. You have the whole carcass sitting on the kitchen floor. They’re taking these Arctic blueberries, throw it in the carcass, pick them up, and it was their dessert. It’s their sweet and savory mixture of berries and blood. Your eyes are wide. My eyes were wide at the time. I can’t remember the guy’s name, but he had a show called Bizarre Foods. This sounds bizarre to us, but it is natural for them. Bizarre is the wrong word in a way. It’s all relative. Watching and feeling the love, warmth, and happiness that was flowing through that room was as close to our Thanksgiving without all the family dynamics. It was cool.

Is that something you think of a lot when you enter a location? There is a presence and you change the environment that you’re in. Do you consider that and try to limit how intrusive your presence may be to try to give the most authentic and feel of the experience?

Generally, we light a little and that will change everything. In those situations, it’s Tony and 1 to 5 people. They’re contained but out on the street, it’s a different story. You’re trying to fill in their content with images that are going to be evocative somehow. We went to Haiti and it was uncanny. The Haitians hated being filmed because it was sometime after the earthquake. Many people descended on them, media, and charitable groups. They’re like, “People are here. Something’s going to happen. We’re going to be saved.” Nothing happens because news doesn’t say, “Thanks for your time. Here is food for twenty.” That doesn’t happen. They did not like to be on camera.

I started using a longer lens so I could shoot a block down and I’d see three people coming out on a terrace or something. I would give a commentary. I’d say, “Here are three people. Let’s see how long, sorry, only two people. Never mind, they’re gone.” They knew when they were being filmed so that was tough. One of the things I’ve learned in terms of going into an area where people don’t know you and you’re generally outside and you want to film them, it certainly takes some nonverbal communication. It’s obvious when someone holds their hand up in front of the lens, they don’t want to be filmed, but sometimes you have to find that balance. I’ve had people come up to me and yell at me, “You should have asked. Why are you shooting me?” I’ll say, “I apologize. I didn’t mean to mess you up.” Once I ask, you change. I’m trying to get you and your environment without that change. I’ll come up and talk to you afterward.

I’m curious about the second story you mentioned.

That was completely different. We had gone to Borneo and stayed for several days in a longhouse. These people, the chief had been a headhunter during World War II. There were skulls hanging from the rafters and stuff. We went there. It could have been my 2nd, 3rd, or 4th episode early on of No Reservations. We went back a few years later. Going down the rivers, we filmed Tony. We got some content and then I was playing around with a camera at the end of a pole. Going at water level, picking it up, doing all this stuff, and showing Tony.

I rested on my lap and I looked around. I gave out this whoop of joy. Here I was in this extraordinary place and I was essentially done with all I can do and it’s maybe another hour until we hit our location. I enjoyed the moment. The coolest thing though was that Tony could be a hard ass, but he loved us. He wanted to share with his crew his feelings. Not by definition, but by connectivity, he shared with the world or whoever watched him. When he knew that we were happy, he was happy. After I let out that whoop of joy, I looked around. He had a big smile on his face because he likes that. He also noticed I put the camera down so that’s going to make him smile. He hates being on camera. There are times when he likes it, but here’s the thing, a director I work with said this on the crew special so I will paraphrase him. He said, “You interview someone, it could go well. You sit down with someone for a meal and you talk. It’s endless the opportunity there because you’re sharing something and not just trying to get information out of someone.”

I’ve been doing this show. I’ve got this vlog going on. You talk about all these fantastic meals and different cuisines that you’ve explored on the show and in your travels across the world. I found that there are some incredible culinary experiences to be had in this city. I went to Jeepney, the Filipino restaurant in the East Village. We were filming there and I have this vlog first down feast. I enjoy travel. I enjoy the food. Why not? I’ve been local to New York, but I’m interested in making something out of that and exploring another one of my passions like I’ve done with football. We had the balut, the duck egg, which was a novel experience.

Are you adventurous in that regard?

I was that day and as I’ve explored more of my interest, I’ve expanded my comfort zone.

It’s good to challenge yourself.

That was one of those moments. I was more agreeable than I thought I would be. I can’t say that I expected it. It caught me off guard. I forgot it was on the menu. I traveled around the city with one of my college buddies I played with at Columbia. Every week we’d go to a different restaurant and that’s how that started. We met up for the first time in like a year or two at Jeepney. He found it. He introduced me to foreign cuisine. I was a cheeseburger, pizza, and spaghetti guy before I met him, the classic American-type foods.

He introduced me to pho, roast, dim sum and this Filipino spot. I was a little reserved at first, but once I realized the possibilities and all that was out there, I was excited about trying to have those experiences so I’ve been a lot more explorative with my dining choices. I try to eat new foods from different places around the world in New York, which is cool to be in the city. This has been awesome. I appreciate your time, Todd. We’re here with Todd Liebler, three-time Emmy winning, seven-time nominee, father, the man behind the lens, and husband. I appreciate your time on the show. I look forward to seeing your future projects and what you’re up to. Thanks, Todd.

Thank you very much.

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