Nick Chipman loves food. The bigger and crazier, the better. On his website, dudefoods.com, the Milwaukee man with the admittedly-ridiculous appetite not only profiles dishes from local restaurants, but also features his own outrageous culinary creations, ranging from chicken wings breaded with waffles to a towering colossus created from every sandwich on the menu of his local McDonalds.
Since launching the site in 2010, Chipman has been featured in Maxim Magazine, appeared on Anderson Cooper’s RidicuList, and mentioned on sites like Gizmodo, the New York Daily News, BuzzFeed, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, the Cooking Channel, Food Network, GQ and more.
Readers can learn more about Chipman and his remarkable food creations at www.dudefoods.com.
I would always sort of just make crazy sandwiches or ridiculous food creations and then take pictures of them and show them to my friends or post them on Facebook, and they all seemed to like them, so I figured that maybe other people would enjoy them as well. One day, I just sort of said to myself, “Hey, I should start a blog!” so I came up with the name DudeFoods that day. Unfortunately, someone already owned DudeFoods.com, but he wasn’t doing anything with it, so I emailed him asking if he wanted to sell me the domain name. He told me to make an offer and a couple hours later I sent him the money through Paypal, and he transferred the domain name over to me.
It’s funny because I also emailed the guy that owned DudeFood.com because he wasn’t doing anything with it either, but he wanted some insane amount of money for it, like he thought it was still the late ’90s or something and someone was going to pay him $10,000 for his domain name. It’s still for sale four years later, hahaha.
In looking back over the items you’ve created for your site, are there any that your particularly proud of?
I’m coming up with new stuff pretty much every single week that I’m really proud of, but if I had to narrow it down to just one I’d probably pick my Chicken and Waffle Wings, just because it’s such a simple idea that really takes chicken and waffles to the next level.
Are there any recipes that you had high hopes for that simply didn’t quite pan out as you’d imagined?
I recently tried to make some s’mores that used Rice Krispies Treats in place of graham crackers, but then I learned that when I heated them up to melt the chocolate and marshmallows the Rice Krispies Treats just completely fell apart, which I guess I should have expected, since all they consist of is marshmallows and cereal. Granted, the giant glob of of Rice Krispies, chocolate and marshmallow that they turned into was still delicious, but it wasn’t anything that you could actually eat without the use of about 100 napkins. I have a few other things that haven’t turned out as well, but I still plan to go back to them and try to get them to work.
How long did it take for you to start seeing a profit from your site, and what methods of monetization have worked best for you?
I threw some Google AdSense ads up on the site right away, so from the get-go, I was making enough to cover my hosting bills, which is all I ever really expected, but I probably didn’t start getting really decent traffic until I’d been doing the site for a year or so.
Once it got bigger, companies started coming to me offering to pay for me to write about their products, and although I still end up turning most of them down just because it really isn’t a good fit, there are a few here and there that I’ve taken up on their offers. It’s sort of hard to turn down getting paid $500 to write about bacon or a few thousand dollars to mention a pizza company, you know?
What kitchen tool or appliance could you not live without?
Probably my deep fryer. I’d say that it gets the most use out of anything in my kitchen. I actually used my old one so much that it finally just stopped working and I had to buy a new one, but my original one was just some cheap one that I got from Target for $25 or so in the clearance section, so I wasn’t too bummed about it.
How do you think you would fare on a food competition show such as Chopped?
It’s funny that you mention that because I actually competed on a show called Deep Fried Masters a year and a half ago, which is produced by the same company that does Chopped and, although I made it past the first round, I didn’t win. I totally psyched myself out going into it. There were seven contestants aside from myself and all of them either owned restaurants or owned booths at random state fairs around the country and I’ve never even worked in a restaurant, so I went in expecting to lose, which I think threw me off a little. If I got a chance to be on another reality cooking show, I’d totally destroy everyone though.
Rank the following fast food restaurants, from best to worst: McDonalds. Wendy’s. Burger King. Taco Bell. KFC. Arby’s.
Alright, this question is way too hard and I’ve probably put more thought into it than all of the previous ones combined. I like each of them for different things.
Burger King in my opinion has the best fast food breakfast, at least out of all the fast food places you mentioned.
McDonald’s I like just for their dollar menu and how cheap it is to eat there. Two McDoubles, a McChicken and a large soda for $4? Count me in!
Wendy’s has the best fast food chicken nuggets, and you can’t really mess with their Frosty either. It’s so good!
Taco Bell is perfect for late night eats, and on top of that, it’s crazy cheap. Stopping by at 2am after you’ve been drinking at the bar all night and spending $5 for four or five items is a steal.
As far as Arby’s goes, I really like them, but they change their menu around WAY too often. It’s like they have no idea what to do aside from roast beef. I remember them even selling egg rolls for a while.
KFC is the only one you mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of. As far as fast food chicken goes, I’d pick Popeyes over them any day.
Can you tell that I eat way too much fast food?
If someone offered you $50,000, with the stipulation being that you could never eat bacon again for the rest of your life, would you take the deal?
As much as I’d love to have $50,000, I honestly don’t think I could ever do that. I’d last maybe a month if I was lucky, and then I’d end up getting drunk one night and coming home and just binging on pounds and pounds of bacon.
You can only eat at one Milwaukee-area restaurant for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose?
This is a tough one because Milwaukee has so many great restaurants that specialize in certain cuisines, but I’d want to pick something that’s all-encompassing. Plus, I’d want to pick a place that not only has awesome food, but if it’s the only restaurant I’m going to eat at for the rest of my life I’d want a place with an awesome beer selection as well. I guess I’d probably go with Stubby’s, since all of their food is pretty top notch and they have tons and tons of unique offerings. Oh, and they have a really, really good brunch. If this is the only place I’m going to be eating at then the fact that they have an awesome brunch is a must. Plus, 53 beers on tap! That doesn’t even include the typical boring tap beers like Miller Lite either, I’m talking 53 legit craft beers on tap.
What’s your beer of choice at the moment?
My beer of choice at the moment has been my beer of choice for going on six or seven years now I think. It’s a Belgian beer called Chimay. It’s brewed by monks and the money goes towards their monastery, so in addition to being an absolutely delicious beer, I feel like I’m doing a good deed when I drink it. If I had to choose a beer from Milwaukee though (which is insanely difficult with all the amazing breweries around here), it would probably be Riverwest Stein from Lakefront Brewery.
Do you believe the Brewers have a legitimate chance to win the World Series this season? What needs to go right for them to bring home the championship?
I’d like to think so, but they always seem to fall apart at the worst possible times. I’ve been to five or six games so far this year and I think they’ve only won two of them so maybe what needs to go right is that I need to stop going to games because apparently I’m bad luck or something.