Andrew Zimmern

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Andrew Zimmern
AndrewZimmern crop.jpg
Zimmern at Punch Neapolitan Pizza[1]
Born Andrew Scott Zimmern
(1961-07-04) July 4, 1961 (age 55)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Residence Edina, Minnesota, U.S.
Occupation Culinary expert, chef, television host, radio personality, food critic, columnist
Spouse(s) Rishia Haas
Children 1

Andrew Scott Zimmern (born July 4, 1961) is an American television personality, chef, food writer and teacher. He is the co-creator, host, and consulting producer of the Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods America and Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World. For his work on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern he was presented the James Beard Foundation Award in 2010 and another in 2013. He also hosts the show Dining with Death, which discusses some of the foods that could cause death.

Early and personal life[edit]

Zimmern was born and raised in New York City,[2] in a Jewish family.[3] He began his formal culinary training at the age of 14. He attended the Dalton School and graduated from Vassar College. Contributing to many of New York’s finest restaurants as either executive chef or general manager, he has also lectured on restaurant management and design at The New School for Social Research.

Owing to severe drug and alcohol addiction, Zimmern was homeless for about one year.[4] During this period, he survived by stealing purses from cafes and selling the contents.[4] In 1992, Zimmern moved to Minnesota, where he checked into the Hazelden Treatment Center for drug and alcohol addiction treatment, where he now volunteers.[5] He later gained wide acclaim during his four-and-a-half-year tenure as executive chef of Café Un Deux Trois in Minneapolis's Foshay Tower.[6] His menus received the highest ratings from the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, and Mpls. St.Paul Magazine, as well as national publications.[citation needed] Zimmern left daily restaurant operations in 1997.

Zimmern resides in Edina, Minnesota, with his wife, Rishia (née Haas),[7] and their son, Noah.

Writing and food events[edit]

Zimmern is a contributing editor and award-winning monthly columnist at Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and a senior editor at Delta Sky Magazine. As a freelance journalist, his work has appeared in numerous national and international publications. Zimmern has served as SuperTarget's meal adventure guide, sharing his passion for ethnic foods with supermarket customers around the country. He is the international spokesman for Travel Leaders and Elite Destination Homes.

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 Living.

Zimmern has been a guest chef at many national charity events, food festivals, and galas, including Food and Wine Magazine’s Aspen Festival, The Twin Cities Food and Wine Experience, and the James Beard House in New York City. He has appeared frequently on The Food Network's Best Of..., CNN's Money and Health, and NBC's Today Show. He also starred in The Cooking Club of America's instructional video series.

Zimmern regularly speaks to professional associations around the globe on all culinary matters, from the American Federation of Chefs to the Chinese Chefs National Committee. In the fall of 2002, he was an honored guest of the People’s Republic of China, traveling, lecturing, and giving demonstrations on Chinese cuisine.

Zimmern's book The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked out the Door Mouth First ... and Came Back Shaking My Head was published by Broadway Books in 2009. It is a collection of Zimmern's food and travel stories around the world.[8] He is also the author of Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods, released by Feiwel & Friends on October 30, 2012.

Zimmern also lends his name to a stand named Andrew Zimmern's Canteen at Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN

Travel Channel[edit]

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern premiered on the Travel Channel with a pilot episode on November 1, 2006. The show has been on for 15 seasons and over 100 episodes, with Zimmern visiting 32 countries and 14 U.S. states. Bizarre Foods also took home two CableFax awards in 2009, one for Best Television Program: Food, another for Best Online Extras for Andrew’s web series Bizarre Foods in the Kitchen.

In 2009 Zimmern hosted a spinoff of Bizarre Foods called Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World. A pilot and nine episodes were produced in eight countries and two states.

Zimmern guest-starred in a 2007 episode of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain in New York City; Bourdain did the same on Bizarre Foods. He also appeared in a 2009 episode of Man v. Food with Adam Richman in Minneapolis where he introduced Richman to lutefisk.

In January 2012, Bizarre Foods America debuted. A spinoff of Bizarre Foods, this time Zimmern focused on various cities in the United States and samples local cuisines and ways of life.

Zimmern is also on Driven by Food.

The current season (2016-17) is being recorded without Zimmern on location. The episodes are being recorded, then Zimmern's narrative is added after.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In May 2010, Zimmern won the James Beard Award for Outstanding TV Food Personality.[9][10] His online series, Toyota’s Appetite for Life, won an Effie Award in 2010. Zimmern is executive in residence at Babson College.[11] He won another James Beard Award in 2013.


  1. ^ Rachel Hutton, Punch Pizza lauded by Travel Channel, offers $3 pizzas, City Pages, January 24, 2011, Retrieved January 25, 2011; his own words are in the YouTube video at the link.
  2. ^ Adam Buckman (June 27, 2007). "'Bizarre Foods' Guy Scarfs Meals That Once Were Pets". New York Post. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 
  4. ^ a b "Wherein Andrew Zimmern went for the full Bourdain" Archived July 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., CNN Eatocracy excerpt of ABC Nightline interview, July 27, 2010.
  5. ^ Chen May Yee (August 3, 2008). "Wayzata retreat simplifies recovery". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  6. ^ Rick Nelson, Café Un Deux Trois closes its doors, Star Tribune, April 7, 2003, Accessed December 8, 2010.
  7. ^ "Chef Andrew's recipe: Wed now, party later; He marries Rishia Haas in a hurry, puts big celebration on back burner.(NEWS)(C.J.)". January 9, 2003. 
  8. ^ Berman, Joshua. "Interview With Andrew Zimmern: Travels in a 'Bizarre World'". WorldHum. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Andrew Wins James Beard Award". Travel Channel. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 12, 2010. 
  10. ^ "James Beard Awards 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Andrew Zimmern Joins Babson as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence". 

External links[edit]