Nobu Adilman Puts the 'Jew in Jewpanese'

Published: May 13th 2010
in Culture » Television

Nobu Adilman
Pic: Christopher Wahl

There’s a reason why Toronto-born Nobu Adilman was voted one of Heeb Magazine’s Top 100 people. He’s an accomplished actor, musician, TV host and producer whose credits include hosting gigs on Food Jammers, Invention Nation and CBC’s Smart Ask!


Adilman’s upcoming projects include a documentary about Leslie and Clara Reitman (parents of renowned Canadian filmmaker and producer Ivan Reitman). He’s also pitching a variety of TV shows, including a series called Getting to Nobu: Putting the Jew in Jewpanese, where Adilman explores his Jewish roots.




You’re an actor, musician, TV host and producer. What drew you to the arts?


From a very early age my brother and I were fully saturated with the arts world and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. My mother played the traditional Japanese instrument shamisen, encouraged us to play music and is incredibly creative in everything she does. My father, Sid Adilman, had a daily column - Eye on Entertainment - for around thirty years in The Toronto Star. He was also the Canadian Bureau Chief for Variety magazine - the headquarters was our basement. He took us to everything and I loved the excitement around performance. He and a friend saw the Spielberg film E.T. in Cannes before everyone else, so on opening day in Toronto, my friend and I got notes for us to get out of school so we could be among the first people to see the film. We were in grade three!




Food Jammers is such a unique show. How did you come up with the concept? 


Micah [Donovan] and Chris [Martin] were doing Food Jammers experiments years before the opportunity to make a show came along. It started with their desire to roast their own coffee which resulted in our first episode. The idea goes hand-in-hand with the social network we have. Most of our friends are committed to the idea of community, play, food and creative partying. It was so second nature to us that we came up with a whole season's worth of shows over one night of burgers and beer. 




Through Invention Nation, you went on a road trip across the United States in search of eco-inventions. What was the most interesting invention you found?


Off the top of my head, Steve Heckeroth's electric tractor - imagine silent farm fields. Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre's mushroom insulation, that is cultivated from spores, has a higher RF value than the standard and isn't flammable. Will Allen's urban farming/vermiculture revolution happening in downtown Milwaukee. Larry Winarski Sr.'s rocket stove that he created with the Aprovecho Research Centre in Oregon that uses recycled material to create a clean combustion cooker - especially useful in the Third World where 5 million people per year are negatively affected as a result of cooking over open fires. Jennifer Broutin and Carmen Trudell's Revolution Door that generates power from NYC's revolving doors. Charles Greenwood's utopian HumanCar takes NASCAR technology and applies it to green transportation. Straw clay homes. Bamboo bicycles.... We were on the road for four months so I could go on for a very long time.




Are you working on new seasons for either of these TV shows?


Both shows have not been renewed. Food Jammers has just added the US market with the first season premiering on Cooking Channel on May 31, 2010 - it'll be fed into 55 million homes. It also shows all across Asia, Brazil, Italy, Israel, and Australia. Invention Nation was being played again on Planet Green in the US, and has been broadcast in Hong Kong and Japan. It has never aired in Canada.




Related articles: (Nobu Adilman, TV show, Reitman, Food Jammers)
Share with friends Print this page Read later Recommend 3 times