Nov 30, 2021
Over the course of 22 seasons hosting his “Bizarre Foods” television series, Andrew Zimmern ingested salted tuna sperm, dung beetle and cow urine, among hundreds of other peculiar delicacies. While a certain amount of shock value helped draw millions of viewers to the show, at its core Bizarre Foods was an exploration in how people of different cultures gather, eat and drink. It’s a theme that extends to his latest series “Family Dinner,” in which Zimmern breaks bread with families across the U.S. in an effort to better understand the cultural, regional and historical facets of what and how Americans eat.
In many ways, “Family Dinner” is the culmination of Zimmern’s culinary journey as a chef, food writer and media personality. His travels and exposure to global cultures and cuisines have provided him with compelling insight into the underpinnings of modern society, one that he shares with others at dining tables across America, and in an interview featured in this episode.
As part of an expansive conversation, Zimmern spoke about takeaways from his recent travels and meals at Americans’ homes, how Covid has changed at-home dining and traditions, his work as a mentor to early-stage entrepreneurs in his home state of Minnesota and why he believes that great brands don’t necessarily need to be the best brands. He also addressed criticism for a sponsored Instagram post which featured a legacy meat brand, why he condemns organic labeling and why he’s bullish on the benefits of some genetically modified ingredients.
0:37: Interview: Andrew Zimmern, Host, Family Dinner – The conversation kicked off with Zimmern and Taste Radio editor Ray Latif riffing on the former’s fluffy beard and the origins of his love for Minnesota. Zimmern also spoke why he has an affinity for certain brands, why he believes elitism is hampering solutions to issues of food accessibility and affordability and his position that GMOs – applied within reason – continue to play an important role in the food system. Later, he discussed the genesis of “Family Dinner,” why he’s fascinated about learnings from millennials and Gen Zers and offered his perspective on plant-based meat and the future of the category.