Andrew Zimmern Chef Chat with the Bizarre Foods czar, Part 2

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Back in the US of A
​Local chef turned big-time TV star Andrew Zimmern is bringing his wildly successful Bizarre Foods home to Minneapolis. The premiere episode of this all-American season, premiering Monday on the Travel Channel at 9 p.m., features Minnesota foods.  (It's the second episode he's filmed in his home state.)  Yesterday we chatted with him about some of his favorite places to travel in the US and the local food movement (click here to catch up).  Today, we get much more personal, discussing family foods, fetid lakes, and why most of the food critics in this town are tiny.


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Andrew Zimmern Chef Chat with the Bizarre Foods czar, Part 1

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Back in Minnesota and ready to share our weird with the world
​After traveling the globe, conquering the world one plate at a time, Andrew Zimmern brings the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods home to roost. This season, which premieres Monday, Zimmern focuses entirely on food in the United States.

To kick off the season, he's highlighting food from Minnesota. He took a break from his stuffed schedule to chat with us about travel, home, and the huevos of one particular local chef.


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Andrew Zimmern wants you to watch Bizarre Foods tonight and help the homeless

Categories: ZimmernWatch
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Travel Channel
Watch Zimmern eat bizarre foods and help the homeless
Andrew Zimmern has been encouraging everyone via tweets to watch the San Francisco episode of Bizarre Foods tonight to help out 100,000 Homes Campaign, a charity organization that battles against homelessness. For every viewer who watches the episode, Travel Channel will donate 10 cents to the Campaign, up to $100,000, according to the television network.
 

In a video message, Zimmern says that homelessness affected his own life.

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Would Andrew Zimmern eat human flesh? [VIDEO]

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Travel Channel
To eat foreskin, or not to eat foreskin...
On tomorrow night's episode of Bizarre Foods, Minnesota local Andrew Zimmern travels to Madagascar, where he is forced to ask himself, "Would I eat human flesh?"

He and his wife are honored guests at the ritual circumcision of a five-year-old boy. Traditionally, the paternal grandfather eats the foreskin, after it's been snipped, with a side of banana (seriously). However, the grandfather can pass the foreskin to an honored guest, in this case the beloved Minnesota foodie himself.

Watch what happens.

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Andrew Zimmern a kung fu superhero [VIDEO]

Categories: ZimmernWatch

Zimmern and Richman go all Charlie's Angels at Brasa.
If Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern wanted to be the next Jet Li, he'd probably have to spend less time on airplanes and log a few more hours at the gym.

But thanks to some green screen magic, the rotund television star is able to take out at least four weapon-toting thugs half his age with some pretty sweet kung fu moves displayed in this new 30-second promo. Check it out:


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Andrew Zimmern talks eating penises and stealing to buy drugs on Nightline

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Andrew Zimmern arrived in Minnesota in 1982 and headed to Hazelden to recover from a serious drug addiction. In subsequent years, the onetime chef became a food writer and host of the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods. This week, he was profiled on ABC's Nightline and shared a few stories on the bizarre foods he's eaten (raw cow blood, bile, 15 types of rats), and sordid tales from his drug-addicted past. Here is the video, plus our top five quotes from the interview transcript (some portions edited out of the video):

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Bizarre World - Wisconsin airs tonight

Categories: News, ZimmernWatch

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The Punch Pizza/Flickr
Andrew Zimmern's new show "Bizarre World" features the great state of Wisconsin on tonight's episode. It's kind of funny: The show has traveled to far-flung places like Cuba, South Africa, and Indonesia. And now Wisconsin? It airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the Travel Channel.

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Zimmern's book "The Bizarre Truth" out today

Categories: ZimmernWatch

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The Punch Pizza/Flickr
Did you know Andrew Zimmern had a book -- his first -- coming out? Neither did we. "The Bizarre Truth," which essentially sounds like it'll be a literary combo of his two shows "Bizarre Foods" and "Bizarre World" (presumably with flashy and/or gross-out photos) is out on shelves today. You gotta credit the guys mad marketing skillz.

Here's how the Travel Channel describes the book:

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Zimmern's new Bizarre World show premieres tonight

Categories: ZimmernWatch

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gloriashealth/Flickr
Aww, kinda cute right? What about dinner plate cute?
Zimmern's new show "Bizarre World" premieres tonight on the Travel Channel. The show seems to depart from his "Bizarre Foods" show in its attempt to more fully explore the culture and traditions of the places he visits rather than just focusing on food. We're not quite sure we understand. Does this mean we'll now get to see Zimmern, say, praying with Tibetan monks? Doing tai chi with elderly Chinese people? Sweat lodging it? Gawd.

In tonight's show, Zimmern travels to Cuba where he apparently dines on local tree rats and participates in a ritual that involves bathing in blood. Now this we gotta see. Show starts at 9 p.m. Let us know what you think.

Zimmern has hope for local restaurant scene

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The Punch Pizza/Flickr
Andrew Zimmern with Punch Pizza's John Soranno.
Andrew Zimmern gets out his crystal ball in the September issue of MSPMag, predicting a silver lining to the downtrodden local restaurant scene. He compares what's happening now with the economic downturn in the late 80s and the culinary creativity that grew out of it. The innovation inspired by, well, desperation, led to a shift in mindset about the purpose and function of restaurants, he says, focused less on opulence and more on being what he describes as just plain "fun places to hang out." We like where he's going with this.

I think the next 12 to 18 months will show some unbridled creativity, often in small restaurants owned by young chefs who will realize new opportunities in a new economic climate. It will be easier to take risks, and creative solutions and bold ideas will be easier to execute. I'm confident that if eating were a stock, now would be the time to buy.

It makes us think of the French "bistronomy" movement discussed last week on MPR's Midmorning show by Slate's Mike Steinberger: young, rising chefs eschewing the ladder toward Michelin stardom in favor of opening cafes in lesser-known Parisian neighborhoods and sticking with affordable fare for ordinary people.


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