The second season of Fremont Place resident Phil Rosenthal’s fabulous food and travel show, “Somebody Feed Phil” is now available on Netflix. In honor of the occasion, Rosenthal was recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times:
On his first travel food show, “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” which aired on PBS in 2015, he traveled to what he likes to call “Earth’s greatest hits”: Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Italy and Hong Kong. When the PBS show wasn’t picked up for a second season, Rosenthal signed a deal with Netflix for 12 episodes of “Somebody Feed Phil.” Carving out his own space in the streaming service’s growing stable of food shows, Rosenthal is fond of telling journalists, “I’m exactly like Anthony Bourdain if he was afraid of everything.”
The Buzz finally caught up with Phil last week after several weeks of publicity for the show coincided with the tragic passing of two of Rosenthal’s inspirations, Anthony Bourdain and LA Times’ food critic Jonathan Gold.
Rosenthal explained that like Bourdain and Gold, he believes that food is what connects us as humans. He uses food, because we all love it, and laughter, because it works, to bring us into his show which he said, is really about people but it’s disguised as a food and travel show with humor.
“Jonathan Gold once said that his mission was, ‘I want people to be less afraid of their neighbors,” said Rosenthal, who was shocked like everyone else was to learn of Gold’s death last week.
“That’s all I want, too,” said Rosenthal. “I think the world would be better if we could all experience a little of someone else’s experience.”
Rosenthal said he gets asked why he likes everything and why he’s so exuberant wherever he goes, The answer is simple, because it’s true. He just wants to find and showcase what’s good.
“Good is good, delicious is delicious,” explained Rosenthal. “I’d rather have a good hot dog than a mediocre four course meal. I just want the best of that thing.”
Rosenthal really admired Gold for showcasing good food where ever he found it and using food to help us appreciate the incredible diversity of Los Angeles.
“Jonathan used his weekly column to show you the places he really liked, he only showed you the good. I could get some laughs, if I went negative, but I want you come because I like everything, Why use your powers to do that? I’d rather use my powers for good!” explained Rosenthal.
But we also couldn’t resist asking, how he eats all the food! The answer, he doesn’t. First of all, it looks like all he doing is eating but he explained when you see the show, we are probably seeing the one big scene of eating. Rosenthal and his crew will spend 10-12 days in a location but only feature one big meal. He told us he paces himself because he can’t physically eat that much. Second, Rosenthal said he share the food with the crew.
“I take one or two bites, then I passing it on to the crew, “said Rosenthal.
And, finally, he works out every day for 90 minutes doing some kind of activity, weights or using an elliptical machine. He also works with a trainer two or three times a week. And, he walks. When he’s in town, he’s been spotted phone in hand, headset in ears, walking around the neighborhood.