If there’s one person in the culinary travel world I look up to most, it’s this guy. Andrew Zimmern LOVES EVERYTHING and is such a sweet happy person for it. Basically, he’s exactly as he seems on TV, which I was lucky enough to discover years ago at NYCWFF. Needless to say, he’s left a lasting impression and I’m always SO excited when I see him around town.
I mean, the man travels all over the world indulging in the most Bizarre Foods – his ultra popular show on the Travel Channel, that he both hosts and produces. (Don’t ask me how but Zimmern has also found time to become a teacher, food writer and 3-time James Beard award winner.) Oh, but there was once a time, way before Zimmern conquered the culinary world, when he was just a young foodie eating his way through Zabars and Luchows in his native New York. And there was also that time he yearned for Hildi Rosenfeld’s (great name) affections. Plus that time he karaoked “Rapper’s Delight” (which in fact must have happened many magical times, by the sound of it).
Please. Read on to learn more. You should want to. (He’s the BEYUST.)
- My absolute favorite food memories from growing up include: minced squab in lettuce cups at Bo Bo’s with my dad and snacking at Barney Greengrass and Zabars in the UWS with my grandmother.
- Artists I love, of any medium include: Capote. Steiglitz. Dickens. Somerset Maugham. David Byrne. Werner Herzog. Banksy.
- Of my favorite food shows, I think Mind of aChef is very good. Bourdain’s stuff across the board is educational and clever. And I love the old Great Chefs series and Batali’s old Molto Mario series.
- When I cook, I listen to my iPod — and I have crazy taste in music. I’m really into Holly Williams these days, Brazilian music, classic rock, old punk bands, Fripp, Eno, Roxy, One Eskimo…(the list goes on).
- If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be mussels.
- My favorite midnight snack is cold leftover Chinese food or grilled toast with butter and anchovies.
- My guilty pleasure is gas station pizza.
- I travel 250 days a year. If I had an entire day free, I would hang out with my son, sleep, lunch with my wife, go grocery shopping and cook dinner for the family and our neighbors. But in my alternate universe, I would ditch them completely and spend the day on one of my favorite hidden beaches in Palawan in the Philippines. Lunch on the beach, nap in my fale, dinner at Badjao Seafood House and pool for the night at Kinibutch’s.
- My go-to karaoke song is Rapper’s Delight.
- I’m the world’s best kisser.
- The cities with the best street food are Mexico City, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Penang, Fez, Shanghai, NYC, Chengdu, Bangkok, Manila, Cairo — oh my god, I could go on and — Paris. Recently I’ve come to believe that without a doubt, Mexico City is world’s best.
- My spirit animal is the Manta Ray.
- My first crush was in 3rd grade, Hildi Rosenfeld.
- I’ve always wanted to run for public office (but never have).
- I like to watch obscure Japanese cooking demos, extreme sports, surfing, and anything related to whatever team I’m following. Oh, and lots of old Grateful Dead shows.
- I’m addicted to whatever feels good. I have a disease called MORE.
- Every day I try to do something for someone else and get out of my head. It’s the only thing that keeps me sane
- Luck, fate, or perseverance: Perseverance. How you choose to handle getting the shit kicked out of you, how you throw serenity in the face of calamity is what determines your happiness