Hi! I’m Andrew Zimmern, a professional chef, host of TV's Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, and host of the 4th annual The Munchies People's Choice Food Awards.

The Munchies, presented by Tablespoon.com, honors the best food experiences America has to offer by asking people to vote for their personal favorites. Led by me, an expert panel of 43 culinary tastemakers – from chefs to food writers to TV personalities – selected 100 nominees across 20 categories, representing the best of the best in the world of food. Based on popular vote, the most deserving chefs, restaurants, cookbooks, culinary personalities, media and more will win a Munchies Award. Please vote (and vote daily!) so your voice can be heard: http://www.tablespoon.com/themunchies.

Okay, AMA!

(For proof that it's me, check me out here: https://twitter.com/andrewzimmern/status/581153898657943552)

EDIT: Thanks, reddit! Sorry I couldn’t answer all of your questions but you can find me on www.twitter.com/andrewzimmern and we can chat more there. And one last thing: remember to vote for your favorite food categories at www.tablespoon.com/themunchies!

Comments: 250 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

C0ntents48 karma

Will we see spring in Minnesota this year?

andrewzimmern69 karma

Absolutely not. Spring in Minnesota won't come until fiscal season 2016. I'm a pessimist.

jimbozinoh36 karma

Hi Andrew,

First and foremost, thanks for being awesome. Your shows have truly inspired me to learn in a new way by jumping out of my comfort zone and becoming immersed in other cultures. I have one question, what was the most surprisingly good food you have ever tried on Bizarre Foods (or just in general)?

andrewzimmern41 karma

Deep-fried baby sparrows in Vietnam.

Vallandigham17 karma

Hello. Can you talk about your feelings on GMOs and manufactured food/beverages in general?

andrewzimmern44 karma

I'm against GMOs that are frankenfoods. I'm against manufactured foods when they are processed beyond recognition. HOWEVER, I have a big problem with anyone who doesn't understand that many organic natural farmer's market products that we all love, at some point in their history were genetically modified. Honeycrisp Apples here in Minnesota are a great example. Combining genes is not a bad thing. GMOs that are frankenfoods are very dangerous and we need to proceed very cautiously. As far as manufacturing, there's a big difference between a Twinkie factory and an olive oil bottler in rural Italy.

HeartsAcesMaces17 karma

Hey Andrew, I love your show! I know you like bands like Grateful Dead and other rock bands, what have you been listening to lately?

andrewzimmern30 karma

Here are the last few downloads of mine: 1. Chet Faker 2. Phil Del 3. The Everywheres 4. Alt-J

andrewzimmern26 karma

Forgot one of my favorites, Sturgill Simpson.

Facelesspirit11 karma

Hey Andrew, my wife and I have been big fans since season 1 of Bizarre Foods. Do you ever get massive food cravings while stateside for exotic foods you can't get locally?   If so, what foods?

andrewzimmern27 karma

All of the time. Everyday. My meats of choice donkey and kudu and horse aren't available here.

YourOpinionIsAwful11 karma

Andrew, I love your show(s). Any chance you will ever do am episode in Guam? Seems like a good fit for the show.

andrewzimmern13 karma

Yes, there's a chance. I think there are some great stories there.

dannygopher9 karma

Hello Mr. Zimmern. Thanks for doing this and being a cool Minnesotan! I always thought it was so cool that my parents took a cooking class of yours.

Anyways what is the weirdest thing you have had to eat in Minnesota?

andrewzimmern11 karma


saopaulocreed8 karma

sup Andrew... is there any food that you won't eat or consider off limits? not talking about things you personally detest (durian, walnuts, etc.) but things some people would have a moral/ethical problem eating?

andrewzimmern20 karma

I won't eat endangered species or willfully promote sport eating of foods best left untouched. Bluefin Tuna is a food that I just recently decided to avoid. That being said, there's almost no food I wouldn't try, as long as it didn't compromise my personal integrity.

Genghis_Khant7 karma

Hi there Mr. Zimmern! I just want to say thank you so much for representing the world’s many cultures so respectfully in your various shows; it seems like it could be very easy to make an exploitative travel show but you’ve done quite the opposite. I really do believe the easiest way to make friends anywhere in this diverse world is through food and you show that with a great sense of respect and humour.

Also, thank you, Molly and @bethkgibbs for brightening up my commute every week with Go Fork Yourself, it’s a really wonderful podcast.

I’ve got a question that I want to call into the GFY hotline to get both yours and Molly’s answer but the question I’ll ask here is:

When you arrive in a new city or country where you know nobody, how do you go about finding out where to go to eat?

Thanks for doing the AMA and go fork yourself!

andrewzimmern10 karma

Great question. I pick up my phone and cross-reference chefs social media accounts, dailys and alt-weekly's recommendations.

Slootz4Dayz6 karma

Huge fan!! We watch your show every night on deployment! It’s the only thing we look forward to haha. Do have a couple questions though…. 1. You said on one episode that you hate eating 5 things. We know oatmeal and spam are on the list, what are the other 3?! And 2. Where would be the one place in San Diego to try? Kind of a hard question since theres a lot!

andrewzimmern6 karma

Juniper & Ivy, and George's at the Cove.

DrBRC6 karma

walnuts, durian

andrewzimmern7 karma

Add raw cookie dough to that list and that's the five.

terribleorigami5 karma

If you could have any origami sculpture, what would it be?

andrewzimmern46 karma

A two-inch high, eight-inch square paper replica of the Library at Alexandria. I would keep a book of matches next to it.

andytheg5 karma

What was something you ate on Bizarre Foods where your first thought was, "This is pretty normal, why am I eating this?"

andrewzimmern17 karma

I think that everyday because someone's grandmother ultimately cooked the food.

andytheg5 karma

I love making my own pizza at home, any suggestions on how I can make it better?

andrewzimmern12 karma

Yes, a pizza stone. Most conventional home ovens don't get hot enough to make great pizza, so preheating with a stone helps.

vtechviffer4 karma

NM green chile has seem to take on a new identity throughout the US. Do you think it's a fad or will it take hold? I personally put it on virtually everything.

andrewzimmern7 karma

It's been around for thousands of years and came up from Mexico and Central America. I don't see it going anywhere soon.

welshfarmer4 karma

Hello Mr. Zimmern, huge fan here,

After being exposed to the entire spectrum of the culinary world, from 'cutting edge' chefs to the humblest of meals, what aspects of fine dining make it a premium service? Are the tastes really that more intricate than well-executed regional foods? Or is it the total package of hospitality?

andrewzimmern8 karma

Service and ambiance are nice for me, but fine dining has always been about the food whenever I'm at a table. I love to see what truly forward thinking talents can do with their ingredients and their technique. Eating stewed tomatoes in one fashion or another at Husk in Charleston or Manresa in Los Gatos is a prime example. Two different approaches, two different fine dining restaurants, finely crafted food. An experience like Eleven Madison Park, Alinea, Next, Ink, and other creative kitchens, is a thrill ride.

CrapYeah3 karma


Thank you for doing this!

I just finished your book, The Bizarre Truth a few months ago, and absolutely loved it. My favorite chapter is without a doubt "The Kalahari Trance Dance of the Bushmen"

My question for you is this: How do you come to grips with your moment during the trance? Having traveled the world for decades now, have you experienced enough different cultures to where it feels like another piece in this world, or does it feel other-worldly?


andrewzimmern7 karma

It feels like another piece of this world. My greatest joy is the library of experiences that allow me to understand people better.

senor_doyle3 karma

Will the Vikings ever win the Super Bowl?

andrewzimmern12 karma

Yes. Mark it down. 2017. It's our year.

nothesharpest3 karma

Just how bad is durian?

andrewzimmern8 karma

Old onions mixed with bad feet. I don't like them.

hammer73time3 karma

Andrew what is the best food at the Minnesota State Fair that most people wouldn't usually try?

andrewzimmern14 karma

All the things I love are the items that people endlessly eat and line up for. The oddball items at the state fair that aren't popular, aren't popular for a reason. The state fair is not a place for much experimentation, it's a place for celebrating comfort.

skawtiep3 karma

Andrew Zimmern! I'm a huge fan. I love listening to you at the KFAN State Fair booth. One of goals this year is to be at the fair the same day you're there.

As for a question, I know you've traveled to different parts of the world and gone many places many Americans wouldn't be able to get to due to political turmoil and what not. How did you feel going to these places, and what's left on the list of places you still want to go to?

Also any Twin Cities places I need to check out?

andrewzimmern21 karma

I'm dying to go to all of the places people tell me I can't. Sadly, working for an entertainment and lifestyle network means that from insurance standpoints I can't get into the places I want to visit most. We've had to cancel several trips to hot zones for those reasons. And if any senior state department or pentagon officials are reading this, please contact my office because I would love to go visit our service men and women anywhere they're deployed.

SrGhSrGh3 karma

Mr. Zimmern, big fan, if you got kidnapped and taken to a deserted island with the option of cooking for one restaurant only, which one would it be?

andrewzimmern10 karma

Badjao Seafood House in Palawan in the Philippines.

puhleez4203 karma

What region of the US would you say has the most creative/bizarre foods and what were some of your favorites?

andrewzimmern7 karma

Southeast and Northwest. And anything from the ocean. The saltier and the funkier, the more I tend to like it. Clams of all types, exotic shellfish, etc.

TheDonnyChen3 karma

Hi Andrew! Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA.

You mentioned in a GFY podcast that fine dining in general as a whole is more of a diner's experience (for fine dining enthusiasts) than an eater's experience (people that enjoy food without following the chef/restaurant like it's an artist/musician).

Do you think there is a way for eaters to appreciate fine dining more other than the fact that chefs are opening up more casual restaurants?

andrewzimmern4 karma

I compare it to music. If all you listen to is one genre, you're missing out. Go sit and eat at the bar in our neighborhood's temple of gastronomy and experience the food in a more casual environment.

bpsookie2 karma

Hi Andrew. Traveling the world with Bordain must have been a blast but what chef would make the best global travel companion, lining or dead?!

andrewzimmern8 karma

I'd like to travel with David Chang. He seems to be endlessly fascinated with the same things that interest me.

bpdexter852 karma

Hi Andrew,

I am a big fan, and have made several of your recipes that you post on your website. However, there are so many to choose from!

If you were trying to impress someone by making one dish, what would that be?

andrewzimmern2 karma

I always make one of my two favorite foods: roast chicken or a Japanese hot pit dish called Shabu Shabu.

aooot2 karma

You can only use 5 ingredients for the rest of your life. What are they?

andrewzimmern4 karma

Other than accepted general pantry items, I would have to pick mussels, clams, chickens, horses and tuna as my proteins.

buttcheeksmessiah2 karma

Hey Andrew, I just wanted to thank you for always showing my home state of West Virginia love. It's rare that we get portrayed in a good light. I gotta asK, of all the places you have been which has been the biggest let down?

andrewzimmern7 karma

Nothing has let me down because I'm more interested in the people than anything else.

ssavannahdee1 karma

Was there ever a place that you visited that you werent necessarily "excited" to visit, or wanted to, but ended up loving?

andrewzimmern3 karma

Not really. I get really excited just to drive across town.

LemonEyeDrops1 karma

Hi Andrew! First off, thank you for doing this ama :D I've been a huge fan of you and your show for years! The question I have for you is, what is the absolute best thing about your job? Whether it be the food, the people and their cultures, or something unexpected. Thank you for reading :)

andrewzimmern2 karma

The best thing about my job is that I get to hear everyday from people who tell me I've made a positive difference in their lives.

busch_commanderT21 karma

How does Bunny's rank among all of the restaurants you have been to?

andrewzimmern3 karma

Great wings!

NYCubsFan1 karma

You've met so many incredible producers of food. Who are your top 3?

andrewzimmern6 karma

It's impossible to rank, but some of my favorites would include Fromagerie Debois in Paris, Russ and Daughters in NYC, Edward's Hams in Virginia...I could go on forever.