Andrew Zimmern is a James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer, teacher and is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the co-creator, host and consulting producer of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World, he travels the world, exploring food in its own terroir, wherever it’s found. From world-class restaurants to street carts to jungle markets, it’s all about discovering and sharing the authentic experience.
Andrew began his formal culinary training at the age of 14, apprenticing with some of the greatest chefs in the world. Born and raised in New York City, he attended the Dalton School and Vassar College. After graduation, Andrew contributed to several of New York’s finest restaurants in an executive chef, general manager, or consultant capacity and lectured on restaurant management and design at The New School for Social Research.
In 1992, Andrew moved to Minnesota, where he gained wide acclaim as the executive chef of Cafe Un Deux Trois in Minneapolis. His menus received the highest ratings from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, Mpls. St. Paul Magazine, and many national publications.
Andrew is a contributing editor and award-winning monthly columnist at Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, and a senior editor at Delta Sky Magazine. As a freelance journalist, his work has appeared in numerous national and international publications such as Saveur and Bon Appetit.
In May 2010, Zimmern won the James Beard Award for Outstanding TV Food Personality. His online series, Toyota’s Appetite for Life, won an Effie in 2010. Bizarre Foods also took home two CableFax awards in 2009, one for Best Television Program: Food, another for Best Online Extras for Andrew’s other web series, Bizarre Foods in the Kitchen.
Andrew has served as SuperTarget’s meal adventure guide, sharing his passion for ethnic foods with supermarket customers around the country. He is the international spokesman for Travel Leaders and Elite Destination Homes. Andrew is the author of The Bizarre Truth, published by Broadway Books/Random House and has several books slated for release in the coming year. He’s releasing Bizarre: The Game with Discovery Bay Games in Sept. 2010.
For more information on Andrew, please visit www.AndrewZimmern.com
Q: Why did you get involved with Lovin’ Spoonfuls?
A: Hunger issues are front and center on my radar screen. Its shameful that any American goes to bed hungry in our country. Grass roots efforts in support of progressive causes, like Lovin’ Spoonfuls are important to me.
Q: What was your reaction to the stats about the abundance of food that’s tossed each year?
A: Its criminal, especially in light of our hunger and malnutrition profiles in this country. Eating shouldn’t be a class issue in my opinion.
Q: Surely you’ve been to communities in the U.S. and around the world that don’t have enough to go around, let alone waste. Any particular experiences in those areas come to mind? What is the most interesting part about traveling the world and seeing how different cultures eat?
A: We live in a culture of abundance in America. I have spent many days, weeks and years in barrios in rural Central America, or refugee camps in the Middle East, or in townships in Africa, all of which would make our challenges in the USA pale in comparison. Why in a country with so much are we unable to solve the issue of hunger. Where is our sense of balance? Traveling the world, experiencing the food/culture scene has given me an unparalleled look into just how lucky we are in America to be able to solve our hunger issue, but leaves me all the more puzzled why we haven’t.
Q: What’s your favorite normal food to eat? Does your family have any BIzarre tastes?
A: We eat standard fare in our house. My wife is a wonderful cook and lately her BBQ ribs with sauce made from scratch is the meal my son and I clamor for most. I eat some pretty strange foods on the road, but it allows me to understand a culture. Last night we threw some beef on the grill, roasted some new potatoes, made a salad and some green beans from the farmers market. Noah caught a June bug, but neither of us ate it. We practice catch and release.
Q: What can we look forward to on BIzarre Foods this season? Any other plans in the works?
A: On BF we visit Syria, Greece, Pennsylvania, Venice, Namibia, Madagascar, Hungary, Finland, San Francisco and other locales, it’s a great season. In the fall we come out with a young adult version of my book, a board game and I will be at the New York City Wine and Food Festival the first weekend in October. Come see me!
Follow me on Twitter @andrewzimmern – www.twitter.com/andrewzimmern
Watch Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel and www.travelchannel.com/bizarre
Read Delta Sky Magazine and Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine and www.msp.blogs.com