Andrew Zimmern is a TV host, chef, and food writer best known for hosting Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods franchise. In 2010 and 2013, the Vassar graduate won the James Beard award for Outstanding TV Food Personality. Additionally, Zimmern is a contributing editor at Food & Wine Magazine, writes a monthly column for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine and is a senior editor at Delta Sky Magazine. The eighth season of Bizarre Foods returns Monday, April 13th at 9pm EST.
Andrew was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule recently to answer a few questions from us.
1. You walk into a bar. What do you order from the bartender?
Grapefruit juice with sparkling water…I just celebrated 23 years of sobriety. I used to love a good Negroni though for cocktails and icy cold beer on a hot night.
2. Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
Albert Brooks and @pzfeed (breaking news),
3. What’s currently waiting for you on your DVR/TiVO?
If I can wade through Noah’s Nat Geo shows, Teen Titans, Star Wars stuff, and then make my way through my wife’s guilty pleasures… it’s season 4 of Walking Dead, some BBC historical cop shows, Survivor’s last season and a Sarah Silverman stand up special
4. It’s your last meal — what are you going out with?
Alone on a beach, sunset, bucket of clams and some lemons. Thermos of great gazpacho, my wife’s roast chicken and some Bespoke coffee ice cream.
5. What websites do you visit on a regular basis?
Roads and Kingdoms, Civil Eats, Fact Check, New York Times, Eater, Food & Wine, Monocle 24, Grantland, Uncrate, Flavorwire…I’m a junkie
6. What’s the most frequently played song on your mobile device?
Right now…hard one, I would have to say “Castanets” by Escovedo…its my ‘got to get going’ jam.
7. The first face that comes to mind when you think “punchable”?
Probably Bill O’Reilly. He’s also an avatar for all those who stifle intelligent debate, lie and manipulate people away from civic discourse and polarize our national conversation. Nothing makes me more pissed off.
8. What’s the last thing you Googled?
An article about Bernard Loiseau. He was a chef who committed suicide over a decade ago. I was researching for a talk I am going to give about the world of food and the pressure cooker we are building by deifying food people and fetishizing and romanticizing all things edible. There’s going to be some fallout when the bubble bursts.
9. Dogs or cats?
10. Best concert of your life was…?
Clash at Bonds in 1981. I went to 5 of the first 7 nights and then a few towards the end, I think they played 13 or 14 shows… First night I was up against the stage and they opened with “Safe European Home” right into “Tommy Gun.” Best 10 minutes of my life if you really want to know. The Who’s first American performance of “Quadrophenia” was insane, Earth Wind and Fire the “Gratitude” tour was crazy. Prince’s first NY shows 30 years ago. Grateful Dead acoustic and electric shows at Radio City Music Hall in 79. Englishtown NJ shows of theirs were great. Zappa on Halloween at the Palladium every year when I was in high school…its a long list.
11. What book are you most likely to give as a gift?
W. Somerset Maugham’s South Seas Tales, a collection of short stories. Superb stuff.
12. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
My wife puts up with me. Nothing tops that.
13. South Park or Family Guy?
14. You have an entire day to do whatever you want. What would you do?
Sleep and read, sleep and read, eat, do the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. Sleep some more. Watch a great sporting event on the couch.
15. What movie can you not resist watching if it’s on?
Godfather parts 1 and 2.
16. The sports team or teams you’re most passionate about?
St Johns basketball. I thought that the original Mullin/Berry/Jackson/Wennington/Glass et al team was a group I cared about more than any other. I bleed New York Giants blue, and I love the Minnesota Twins despite the last decade. I would love to see my current hometown baseball team show up one year. I moved here in January of 92 so I missed the great World Series years for them.
17. Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Well, its always the last meal that’s the great meal. I have such an amazing and blessed opportunity traveling and eating for a living. I could name a hundred restaurants around the world in all the great cities, not sure how you separate San Sebastien legends from Parisian ones…or the once in lifetime sort of tribal experiences, hunting with the Himba in Africa or with protected tribes in the Amazon rainforest eating foods I will never taste again…Badjao Seafood House in Palawan in the Philippines though always comes to mind when I’m pressed…ridiculous seafood. Simply the best.
18. The last movie you saw in a theater?
Whiplash or Rio 2, I can’t remember.
19. Who was your first celebrity crush?
Charlotte Rampling. I think she was in a Playboy Sex in Cinema pictorial in 1974 or ’75 along with my other first crush Julie Christie. And there was Monica Vitti, Jane Birkin, Uschi Digard, Tura Santana…the 70’s had it all.
20. What would you cook if Nic Cage was coming to your house for dinner?
Cosmo’s Moon. Easy choice. When did he become synonymous with douchey-ness? It’s sad really.
PREVIOUSLY: Julie Ann Emery