First off, let’s just put it out there: Josh Ozersky’s man boobs are astonishing. Now let’s talk about how food writer Ozersky compares himself to Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises within the first minute of this VICE Munchies episode, which is, quite frankly, terrifying. This is one of the most surreal profiles of anyone we’ve seen in a long time, and it’s simply fascinating to see how Ozersky walks the line of being an interesting, eccentric New Yorker who has a deep knowledge of New York food and chefs, and a very irritating individual who frustrates the hell out of us and a lot of other people, too. Chef Marco Canora of Hearth explains, “He almost feels a little too comfortable here. He walked back the other day in the middle of service, you know, like What’s going on, what’s going on? It’s like, no Josh, not now.”

Josh’s rise to fooderati prominence came about with his book Meat Me in Manhattan: A Carnivore’s Guide to New York, and from there he went on to edit Grub Street for New York magazine while putting out other books on Colonel Sanders and the hamburger. We realize people in food media are generally wackos—or, if not wackos, at least a little strange—but Ozersky takes it to a whole other level. In the episode, Josh strolls around NYC with a group of cronies who are equally as eccentric as he is. His posse includes “spice guru” Mr. Recipe, who sports an upturned handlebar mustache, Chef Anthony Goncalves, and Tommy Walker. At the end of the day, it’s kind of endearing to see someone as out there as Ozersky find an accepting crew and a loyal readership.

Episode Take-Aways:

  • Half of the Italian restaurants in NYC are run by Albanians.
  • Josh Ozersky thinks eggplants grow on trees.
  • The guy who makes pizza at 11B is really passionate about his craft.
  • Ozersky looks smoking hot with his shirt off.
  • Ozersky is a professional appreciator, and kind of a chef stalker, too.