The Incredible Egg Man: Howard Helmer
When he took a job writing copy about the wonders of chicken eggs, Howard Helmer never thought he’d still be doing it 42 years later. Helmer is an advocate of cooking eggs. He was a Russian immigrant raised in Chicago, but now lives in New York City. He is now a senior national representative for the American Egg Board. His reign as the ‘Incredible Egg Man’ is coming to an end as retirement is coming soon.
Howard Helmer is the holder for two Guinness World Records for omelette making. One for the fastest omelettes made, 427 omelettes in 30 minutes and the second for the fastest single omelette, 42 seconds from whole egg to omelette. He is known for spreading the good word of the egg to consumers across the country through appearances on radio and television, newspaper, and magazine articles and live cooking demonstrations. He’s been doing this for the past four decades. He’s even promoted eggs on the White House lawn at Easter. He has also been on various talk shows including Oprah Winfrey.
He says if he hadn’t gotten a job with the Egg Board he would have wanted to become a Broadway star or anything that would put him in front of an audience. “He’s all about entertainment,” says Tina Ujlaki, excutive food editor at Food & Wine. Throughout his tenure he travelled the world promoting eggs and was surprised at how he addressed people and countries with the highest consumption and the lowest.
Over the years, he has worked with famous chefs and taught movie stars how to make omelettes. The Brazilian Egg Production Board invited him to make omelettes at the Grand Prix in the mid 1990’s. Brazil has the lowest consumption of eggs per capita. He also worked in Japan, where he taught homemakers quick and easy ways to make omelettes with fillings of the their choice. The only problem there was that they would drown their omelettes in ketchup, but as they say ‘whatever floats your boat’.
He’s not taking his upcoming retirement as bad news at all. Jeffrey Saad, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and who was runner-up on season 5 of “The Next Food Network Star,” has already been hired to take his place. Helmer says that Jeffrey is the perfect successor. As for Helmer’s personal future, he has a plan: “I’d like to take up landscaping, painting, and smoking cigars,” he says, “like Winston Churchill.”