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Sep 4, 2018

It would seem that Andrew Zimmern, the host and co-creator of the popular television series “Bizarre Foods,” is willing to try anything at least once. Over the course of the show’s 12 seasons, Zimmern has chowed down on stomach-churning foods like raw pig testicles, a frog's beating heart and cobra penis. Yet for someone with such an adventurous palate, Zimmern is particular about trendy food brands. In an interview included in this episode of Taste Radio, Zimmern derided the health and wellness food space as loaded with “snake oily people [who] take advantage of needy other people with untransformed trauma issues in their life.” “There are people who are doing really amazing things… if folks can make people’s lives healthier and easier through food, bravo, fantastic,” he continued. “But there’s so much crap in that arena and people trying to sell things based on the buyer’s shame experience.” Listen to our full interview with Zimmern, who is an occasional advisor and mentor to early-stage food entrepreneurs, in which he expounds on his perspective about food brands promoted as health and wellness products, offered his take on cultural appropriation in food, and discussed his belief that the strongest attribute one can have is vulnerability. Also included in this episode: a conversation with Intelligentsia Coffee CEO James McLaughlin, who presides over one of the most influential roasters and retailers of the past two decades. The company operates a dozen cafes in four U.S. cities and, along with a thriving e-commerce business, continues to expand. We met with McLaughlin at Intelligentsia’s newest cafe in Boston’s Post Office Square, where he discussed his personal journey from a jaded Chicago attorney to the head of a coffee company, how Intelligentsia maintains its role as a trendsetter and innovator and whether Cleveland could be the right fit for its next cafe. This episode is presented by NVE Pharmaceuticals. Show notes: 3:12: Interview: Andrew Zimmern, Host/Co-Creator, “Bizarre Foods” -- Project NOSH editor Carol Ortenberg caught up with Zimmern in Minneapolis where he was speaking at an event for the food and beverage division of the MN Cup, a startup competition hosted by the University of Minnesota. As part of the conversation, Zimmern discussed the role of food as a cultural medium that unites people, why he has a bone to pick with the natural food industry, and the careful path companies should take when attempting to mainstream exotic foods. 26:14: Interview: James McLaughlin, CEO, Intelligentsia Coffee -- Lauded for its irrepressible commitment to quality, direct trade sourcing and a unique barista training program, Intelligentsia has consistently set the bar for the retail coffee industry. BevNET Managing Editor Ray Latif met with McLaughlin at the company’s new coffee bar in downtown Boston where they discussed Intelligentsia’s careful approach to expansion, why every detail matters for a super-premium brand, and his perspective on continued consolidation in the coffee business. 45:04: We’re In The Sussudio -- The hosts convene to chat about recent visits to the office, including executives from upstart hydrogen water brand Susosu Water and the co-founders of chai concentrate maker company Chai Party. They also discussed our Elevator Talk series, which showcases up-and-coming food and beverage brands and how companies can take part, and noshed on a few notable products sent to the office over the past week. Brands in this episode: Intelligentsia Coffee, Freshe, José Gourmet, Sound Craft Seltzer, Atlas Provisions, Bohana, Tosi, Kind Bar