ALL POSTS IN [Food and Drink]

Andrew Zimmern

It’s been a little over 8 years since my first production meeting with Andrew Zimmern, a chef who was unknown to me at the time — as I was brand new to the TV and foodie worlds. He has hundreds of hours and thousands of miles recorded on national television, and to this day, I still ask myself, “How does he do it?” How does anyone travel so much, eat so exceptionally well, and then be expected to return to normal life? As we prepare for another season of Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern, which kicks off tonight at 9|8c on Travel Channel, I decided to get the answer to that question, along with others about what we can expect on Bizarre Foods, what Andrew is most excited about this season, his future travel plans and projects in 2015, and more!

As you go into another season of Bizarre Foods, what are you most excited for the viewers to see?

I think what’s most exciting for me is that we are finally able to slow down a little this season and dive deeper into the cultural elements of the show that are more interesting to me than skimming along the surface of the places we visit. TV needs to be relevant to stay current, and today’s viewers demand that. I think this season, we are finally delivering on that in spades.

What locations can the viewer look forward to this season? Any of them at the top of your list?

Mexico City, LA, Hawaii, Brooklyn, Ireland, Newfoundland, Lisbon, Kazakhstan, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Dubai, Rome, Iquitos and Panama. Top of the list has to be all of them. I am always most thrilled to talk about where I’ve just been.

On Oct. 27, we’ll showcase your trip to Mexico City, where you indulged in whole-minnow tamales in Xochimilco Market. How do the tamales in Mexico City differ from those found in popular places such as Los Angeles and Chicago’s Tom Tom Tamale?

Well, we got the chance to try many tamales with pre-colonial roots. Those don’t exist, in the purest sense of the word, anywhere else than in the culture you are diving deep into. I believe in the transformative power of travel, so going to the source has many side benefits that are crucial for personal and societal change.

Next, you’re off to Lisbon, and the steamed clams you posted on Instagram look amazing! What surprised you the most about Lisbon’s food scene?

The seafood in Lisbon is epic, and in the summer, there is nowhere else I would rather be. Uncrowded and accessible, inexpensive and delicious. The clams weren’t even in the top 10 once I was done. Food entrepreneurship and food tourism is helping to revive their sagging economy, and I think that was the biggest surprise for me.

Andrew Zimmern with an animal carcass head

While filming for the Ireland episode, you spent a lot of time in Cork. How does Cork differ from the popular city of Dublin?

We actually spent all our time in Cork and Cobh, with a side trip for a few hours to Dublin to eat at my friend Kevin Thornton’s restaurant. The greater Cork area offers some of the purest farm-to-table experiences on Earth. I was blown away by the horizontal and vertical reach of Irish cookery. I think that’s the best show we’ve made to date.

Out of all the foods you’ve tried this season, which dish do you have to have again and again?

So many — that’s not a fair question. Giana and Clovisse Ferguson made me several meals that I regard as some of the best of my life, and I begged them for recipes, and I cook them all the time now. Clovisse’s farmhouse bread recipe is on my Kitchen Adventures page at www.foodandwine.com for anyone who wants to take a peek.

Is there any place you haven’t traveled to, either on Bizarre Foods or during personal travel, that you’re eager to get to?

So many! I have a list in my office of over a hundred places I want to take our viewers, from the Trans-Siberian Railway to a boat trip down the Mississippi River, from Poland to Paraguay. And I want to do another dozen shows in China and Mexico, 2 countries with the deepest and most complex food cultures on planet Earth. Personally, I want to spend some time with my family in Thailand, take my wife to the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean, and do the dude ranch thing with my kid.

With only 2 months left in 2014, what have been your highlights from this year (including personal, professional and unforgettable food moments)?

Holy moly, hard question. Professionally, I would have to say that I am consistently amazed at how lucky I am to be in the places I go with the people I am with. Diving for prawns in the Waipio Valley in Hawaii is something you only dream about, right? Cooking with and being fed by the world’s greatest chefs and cooks is another. But the biggest and best treat of the year from a food standpoint was eating the 3,000-year-old butter that was found in the Kildare bog a decade ago. Starting my production company, Intuitive Content, is a great milestone; seeing my cookware line launch is another. Creating another book right now — that’s fun. Seeing young people I mentor go out in the world and do great things is a high that I never imagined having. My longtime colleague Molly Mogren is out on her own, writing and creating content for her own web projects, and that’s incredibly satisfying. And of course, we continue to expand our AZ Canteen food business, so that’s exciting.

What are you looking forward to in 2015? Any big trips — outside of Bizarre Foods — planned?

New Year’s will turn in Costa Rica, spring in France with family — that’s fun. For 9 years, I have had a shooting hiatus in spring, and it’s taken this long to turn that around and take the summer months off, so that’s going to be a great time to travel with my family. A driving vacation across the USA is on the docket for sure. I want to go camping with my kid and teach him some survival craft; I think he would dig that. I have some shoots I am planning for other projects in China and Haiti that I am very excited about, entrepreneur-oriented social innovation documentaries that I am really excited about. I want to create businesses in developing communities and leave them behind as a piece of a new sustainable, economic development, social aid program. Along the way, I want to make these into mini-docs. Imagine creating energy systems to help solve energy poverty in Africa, making electricity available so that wood-burning kitchens can be transformed into safer environments for families. I think this is important stuff.

As of now, what dish/restaurant is on your bucket list?

I want to eat my wife’s roast chicken more often. That’s a good goal.

Fried Gulf Shrimp

Photography by State Fair of Texas

Our stomachs are growling for tasty fried food from this year’s State Fair of Texas, which runs through Oct. 19. There are several food-related events during the month-long fair, including the famous Celebrity Kitchen, where acclaimed Texan restaurant chefs prepare your favorite dishes every day at the Creative Arts building.

READ MORE

Beer tasting at Four Peaks Brewing
Today marks the end of the inaugural Microbrew Madness, and after 3 weeks of viewer voting for America’s favorite craft brewery, the winner is Four Peaks Brewing Co. in Tempe, AZ. This beer lover’s oasis is a must-visit destination on your next trip to Arizona.

The brewery offers excellent, award-winning beer that appeals to all connoisseurs, ranging from the Kilt Lifter Scottish-style ale to the Hop Knot IPA. For seasonal beers and cask-conditioned ales, be sure to visit a Four Peaks pub. And if you love a game of darts, stop and play a game — the loser may just have to down an entire Oatmeal Stout shake.
READ MORE

Photography by Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

With the fall finally here, it’s a good bet that you and your friends will be headed out to arguably the most traditional festival of the season — Oktoberfest. And while I think it’s safe to say most of us won’t be making the trip to Munich for the official celebration (Sept. 20-Oct. 5), there are plenty of options stateside for a real taste of Germany. Whether it’s in a small town, major city, German beer hall or vintage barn, Oktoberfest is always great fun. But we’re not talking about the generic beer garden and polka band here. We’re talking about German-American communities getting down the same way their ancestors and countrymen have been doing across the pond for centuries. I mean, you wouldn’t go to a Mexican restaurant for St. Patrick’s Day, would you? Of course not!

So let’s break out the bratwurst, slap down some sauerkraut and, of course, tap the kegs on some of America’s most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations.

Cincinnati (Sept. 19-21)

Perhaps the largest and most popular Oktoberfest in the US is smack dab in the middle of the country —not surprisingly, in a city rich with German culture. Cincinnati (or Zinzinnati this time of year) plays host to thousands of Oktoberfest supporters, young and old, each fall with the city’s signature festival. With six blocks closed down for the party, there is plenty of room for you and your friends to don some lederhosen, down a few liters of beer and stuff your faces with German cuisine. Founded in 1976, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati may be best known for earning its place in the Guinness Book of Records by setting the mark for the world’s largest Chicken Dance at the time, with 48,000 people in 1994. The traditional dance is still going strong 20 years later, along with numerous other German games and dances throughout the three-day festival. READ MORE

Joe & Misses Doe Honey Beer

Joe & Misses Doe Honey Beer (Photography by Nancy Borowick)

Raise your steins! The annual 16-day Oktoberfest celebration, which pays homage to German beer, kicks off Sept. 20 in Munich. And if you’re not among the lucky few making a trip to Germany this year, Oktoberfest events in US cities including New York City, Miami and Cambridge, MA, will host their own celebrations, featuring their fair share of German brews, live Bavarian folk music, traditional cuisine and more. Then, mix it up — literally — with a visit to a local restaurant or bar for one of the following signature beer cocktails —  tasty concoctions made with both beer and liquor — to keep the party going. READ MORE

Temecula Valley

Photography by Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association

September is California Wine Month, and there’s no better time to plan a visit to one of the state’s 28 wine regions. Wineries will be marking the harvest and celebrating the month with special wine tours, tastings, concerts and more.

With more than 4,000 wineries ranging from intimate, boutique wineries to larger, more recognizable brands, California is sure to provide visitors with one that appeals to them — and their taste buds.

There’s no doubt that Napa Valley is the state’s — and possibly the country’s — most recognized wine region. However, head to Southern California for a lesser-known area, where picturesque rolling hills and vineyards await. READ MORE

Photo Courtesy of Denver Post / Getty Images

Wales is hosting the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain for the NATO summit Thursday and Friday (Sept. 4-5). The last summit in the UK was held in London almost 25 years ago.

President Obama will be in attendance, making him the first sitting US president to visit Wales. The assembled world leaders will focus on the crisis in Ukraine, Afghanistan’s future and new threats such as Islamic State. We’ll let them deal with those issues while we take a much lighter route. With the first family’s interests in mind, VisitBritain shared a few not-to-be-missed places to see and things to do if the president has some free time (not likely) or if the family makes a return trip to visit Wales.
READ MORE

Chef’testants Tiffani Faison, Nina Compton, Brooke Williamson and Paul Qui (from left to right) – Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert

Are you passionate about traveling the world and testing your cooking chops? Then Celebrity Cruises has you covered with the premium cruise line’s Top Chef at Sea program. The popular Bravo TV show – Top Chef – has now embarked internationally on Celebrity’s fleet, already known for its celebrated cuisine, with a series of exciting culinary features, and on select signature sailings, some of the celebrity chefs also come aboard.
READ MORE

Ryan Van Duzer and Arthur Hsu hold an Avery Brewing Co mug with beer

Host Ryan Van Duzer at Avery Brewing Co in Boulder

Travel Channel’s digital video producer Arthur Hsu traveled to Colorado to film one of our newest original series, Microbrew Madness, launching next week on travelchannel.com. The new web series will take viewers on a journey to discover the best craft breweries in America. Having traveled many times before to Colorado for his passion sport of bouldering, and now to film Microbrew Madness, it was the perfect time to catch up with Arthur to get an “insider’s” look at the city fondly called “the city nestled between the mountains and reality.”

What brought you to Colorado?

I was producing the last webisode for Microbrew Madness, at 2 great craft breweries, Avery Brewing Co in Boulder and Verboten Brewing in Loveland, with host Ryan Van Duzer and producer Andrew Robertson. We have been working on this project for nearly a year, starting off at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL, so it’s bittersweet to see this wrapped up. The craft breweries we’ve filmed are in destinations that offer much more than just tasty craft beers, and based on the crowds during the 2 weekdays we filmed, the locals agree. READ MORE

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • Plitvicka Jezera, Croatia

  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

  • St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

  • San Francisco, California