Andrew Zimmern’s Bio – Bizarre Food TV Show

September 4, 2010 at 10:21 am 1 comment

Chef Andrew Zimmern’s Biography

Andrew Zimmern, is a respected Chef, TV personality, food writer and teacher. He is also the creator, host and consulting producer of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods TV show. The 49 year-old Zimmern, is a resident of Edina, Minnesota. He is a husband to Rishia and father to the 4 year old Noah. He is most well known for eating bizarre foods from all over the world. Even so, he cannot eat the durian fruit that grows in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. Yes, Andrew Zimmern’s nemesis is Durian.

Andrew was born on July 4, 1961 to a Jewish family in New York. He Began his culinary training when he was 14. He attended the Dalton School and graduated from Vassar College. Andrew has contributed to many of New York’s finest restaurants as either executive chef or general manager, and has also lectured on restaurant management and design at The New School for Social Research.

Despite his accomplishments, Andrew hasn’t always led such a successful life. In fact, this very successful and popular chef and a blogger of Chow & Again was a severe drug and alcohol addict. He told Nightline Tonight on July 27, 2010, “you’re living the life where you are constantly beat up, abused, abusing other people, doing something horrifically shameful and tawdry things that crater your soul – you give away pieces of yourself that you swear you would never do. I was the guy you crossed the street to avoid if you walked by me in New York. I lived in an abandoned building in lower Manhattan; one that we squatted – a bottle gang and I, stole purses for money to support my drug and alcohol habit.”

In 1992, Zimmern left New York and moved to Minnesota, where he checked into the Hazelden Treatment Center for drug and alcohol addiction treatment. In his words: “a homeless, alcohol- and drug-addled wreck.” After being rehabilitated and becoming sober, Andrew got his life back and gained wide acclaim as the executive chef of Cafe Un Deux Trois in Minneapolis. Having found his haven in cooking, Andrew’s menus received the highest ratings from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, Minneapolis-St.Paul Magazine, as well as national publications.

Two of his mottos are: “One man’s weird is another man’s wonderful. Change our world one good odd meal at a time.” and “If it looks good eat it.” Apparently, bugs, spiders and organs look good to him and that’s why he doesn’t have any problem eating them all.

Prior to Bizarre Foods, Zimmern had an extensive radio career. His shows Chowhounds, The Andrew Zimmern Show, and Food Court with Andrew Zimmern achieved wide popularity in the Twin Cities.

Additionally, Zimmern was the food features reporter for Fox 9 News Minneapolis, and was also a featured contributor on both HGTV’s Rebecca’s Garden and Tip-ical Mary Ellen, where he handled on air food duties for both shows. He was the food and lifestyle features reporter during the 1997 season of the UPN network’s nationally televised Everyday Livin.

Andrew is also the author of The Bizarre Truth, a columnist of Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine and a senior editor at Delta Sky Magazine. He starred in The Cooking Club of America’s instructional video series. In May 2010, Andrew became a James Beard Award-winning TV personality. This “fat and bald guy” as I described him when I was having a problem remembering his name is the international spokesman for Travel Leaders and Elite Destination Homes.

His online series, Toyota’s Appetite for Life, won an Effie Award 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 a lot of recipes on his website but two Asian recipes in particular caught my attention: Hotel Saigon’s Beef Rolls which is just a very simple ground beef rolled in grape leaves. And Chicken Satay which is a GBD (golden brown delicious) which BBQ chicken thighs with curry powder and fish sauce.

I first got to know this bubbly Chef while I was still in the Philippines when my husband told me about this Bizaare Foods TV Show hosted by the fat and bald guy. Keith told me this because Andrew went to the Philippines, specifically to Manila – the capital of the Philippines to feature our country in his TV show. What surprised me was that he ate balot. Balot is an 18 day old duck egg that has the dead chick inside. This is one of the most common of Filipino traditional foods. Literally, the chick is dead inside because the balot makers, wait for the eggs to be 18 days old and then cook it by incubating it. When you open the egg, you will notice a brown “sauce” which is actually the blood of the chick and then you will, of course, see the chick and has to eat it itself. Even as a Filipino, I am not eating that! I haven’t eaten it ever and I have no plans of eating it. But, Andrew Zimmeren ate it! I was surprised and shocked! That one episode really led to me watching almost all his shows.

He is really a very unusual and quirky man. But when I found out that he used to be a severe drug and alcohol addict who had turned his life around and is now a successful chef, writer, and tv show host, it really increased my interest. That is a phenomenal story!

The point here is that your past doesn’t necessarily have to define your present and your future. If you are willing to change for your success and have the vision to be successful, you definitely can. Therefore, you don’t have to be perfect all the time to be successful. Most of the times, challenging failures can help you get to your destination.

That’s why in three to five years from now I want to be an Executive Chef and in six to ten years from now have a profitable and successful Filipino-American restaurant that would introduce real Filipino good and odd food meals yet delicious to St. Louis, Missouri.


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I also learned how to make White Stock, Brown Stock … Seriously, if you are already perfect

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