Chef, TV personality, food writer, culinary explorer and traveller, Andrew Zimmern travels the globe exploring food in every destination he can get to. From world class restaurants to street carts and jungle markets, it's all about discovering and sharing the authentic experience.
He's back on our TVs with Bizarre Foods America where he continues his quest to taste weird and wonderful foods.
We chat to Andrew about his favourite foods and more.
Is there anything you wouldn't eat?
No, not really. Given the right circumstances, I can't think of anything I wouldn't try at least twice.
What's the most delicious thing you've ever eaten?
It's a cliché but I'm not sure how you top vine ripened wild fruits, or perfect summer tomatoes. Jungle and bush meat on the open fire are pretty superb. Not even sure how those all compare to the great restaurant meals, high and low, that I have eaten in my lifetime.
What's the most disgusting?
Harsh wording. Certainly putrid meat and fish is the top category. Maybe the better answer is American fast food, or SPAM. Boxed meat with all those stabilizers and preservatives is way fouler than anything most viewers are shocked by.
Do you have a food travel bucket list? What's your top 3?
Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq. My TV career suffers from bad timing in terms of American relations with those governments and the conflicts at times have prevented show planning there. I am also eager to hit Ukraine and Eastern Europe. We have underserved that part of the world and it's a source of great embarrassment for me.
How do you choose where to eat when you travel?
I go where the stories are. Food with a story is what it's all about. Do you rely on online reviews at all? No, I think it's a weak strategy, but I am not sure we could do this show without the internet value add for research.
What's the most under-rated food you've come across?
What's the unlikeliest food destination you've been to, or want to go to?
Well, we have many American cities like Pittsburgh that don't seem like ground zero for great food/travel TV but yet they are. And I want to do shows in culturally puzzling locales like Branson, Missouri.
As a chef, what's your easiest tip for amateur cooks?
Take your time. Think about your choices, and keep it simple and don't cook with anything fake or pre-fab. There's no need.
What's your culinary pet peeve?
Diners that "practice contempt prior to investigation". The philosopher William James thought it the most vile of human frailties and I agree.
What's the one destination travellers should get to in 2014?
Botswana or Brazil for World Cup or Sochi for Olympics.
Have you ever gotten really bad food poisoning or been scared for your life after eating something?
I haven't gotten terrible food poisoning other than one night spent with a mild case half way around the world.
I have eaten poisonous animals many times over the years. One night we waited outside a hospital for a few hours just in case something happened but that was mostly out of boredom I think.
Watch Bizarre Foods America, Mondays at 20:30 on SKY025.
- © Fairfax NZ News