Celebrity Grub Restaurants

Andrew Zimmern Slams The Michelin Guide, Thinks It’s Becoming ‘Irrelevant’

The Michelin Guide has long been considered one of the most reputable lists of the top restaurants in the world. However, it has come under harsh criticism in recent years, particularly with the Guide’s low number of female-headed eateries, and the pressure that has driven chefs to request being taken off of the list.

You can now add chef, author, and TV personality Andrew Zimmern to that list of critics, as he just took the Michelin Guide (amongst others) to town in an interview with Extra Crispy.

A post shared by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on

“I do not believe Michelin stars are relevant anymore at all,” he said, calling out the Michelin Guide and the San Pellegrino 100, another prestigious list of restaurants, in the interview.

Zimmern feels that these guides are growing out of touch because of the vast amount of territory they choose to not cover.

“You look at the vast majority of restaurants in the San Pellegrino 100 for example, or the vast number of restaurants that have received Michelin stars, and they ignore such a large volume of the world’s culinary scene, it’s shocking to me. South Asia, Africa, and even with as much South American representation as there is, so much is ignored. I’m really stunned by it.”

To Zimmern, these guides and their restaurants are just the “tip of the spear” as to what food really can be. That makes sense, given how little global coverage the Michelin version actually has. It only covers 25 different countries in total, and even then, has guides more specific to cities rather than entire nations. Even in the United States, culinary bastions like Charleston and Austin get stiffed because no guide for their town exists, and the food can be just as good or even better than the restaurants getting stars in other locations.

Zimmern also feels that “ethnicity, ethnocentrism, and sexism” has become “extremely hurtful” in how those guides are constructed. “You don’t have to look very closely at any of it to see that it’s an old white boys’ club,” he said.

So if you are looking for some of the top food wherever you are, what do you turn to if not the Michelin Guide or the San Pellegrino 100? “You have a cell phone,” Zimmern says, describing it as the best tool to find the tastiest eats in your area. “You can access food writers, chefs, line cooks, and local publications in three minutes on Twitter to vet the five best eating experiences in any city or town in the world.”

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As for the guides, Zimmern believes he can lend a hand in making them more relevant.

“There are not many people who are well suited to critique how that list is done,” he states, “I happen to think that I’m one of them. The reason that I do and say that is because I’m actually traveling all over the world eating at these places.”

It’s a spicy take from Zimmern to call out those prestigious guides in such a way, but it may be a wake-up call that they can use to diversify their lists to make them more contemporary.

Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

10 Times Hosts Actually Didn’t Like The Food They Ate On Camera

We’ve all had to eat something that we didn’t find appealing. Yet, to hide disgust, we smile and nod, using every bit of energy to act like we’re not about to vomit.

No matter how many times you’ve channeled your inner Ben Stiller from Along Came Polly, when faced with ingesting something that isn’t a part of your normal diet, it’s still hilarious watching someone else turn pale and squirm when having to forcefully swallow their worst food nightmare.

With that said, it’s even funnier when TV hosts find themselves face-to-face with their greatest food phobias on camera, but have nowhere to run, because the show must go on. So, let’s take a moment to watch all the times TV hosts actually didn’t like what they ate on camera.

Global New’s Artichoke Dip

The cast of the Canadian news program, Global News, got a taste of a holiday treat gone wrong, when news anchor Leslie Horton brought in an admittedly bad batch of homemade artichoke dip. However, in this YouTube clip uploaded by Global News, instead of dropping it off in the break room, Leslie decided to torture her colleagues by having them try it on air.

Bear Grylls Larva

When it comes to blindly trekking into the wilderness, Bear Grylls is a jack of all trades. Grylls can find food in any environment. To demonstrate this, this YouTube clip shows us that not all the sustenance Bear comes across is tasty. After finding a large larva worm hiding under some tree bark he explained that these type of bugs, “contain more protein than beef and fish,” pound for pound. Unfortunately, after chewing it, Bear admitted the larva was, “one of the worse things” he’d ever eaten.

James Corden’s Cod Sperm

If you’ve ever watched The Late Late Show with James Corden, then you might be familiar with the game, “Spill your guts or Fill Your Guts,” a Truth or Dare style game that requires the contestants to answer a personal question or eat something unsavory and repulsive, like a bull penis or fish eyes. In this YouTube clip, uploaded to the Late Late Show’s channel, Kendall Jenner gave James Corden the option to answer which one of his parents he prefered or eat cod sperm. However, Corden’s parents were actually in the audience, so being the great son that he is, he kept his mouth shut, and reluctantly swallowed the cod sperm.   

Jimmy Kimmel’s Durian Fruit

When Jimmy Kimmel invited Jessica Chastain on to the ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, she brought him an unexpected gift. In this clip, uploaded to the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel, Jimmy tries durian, which is known to be the worst smelling fruit known to man. It’s safe to assume that after being told that durian is sometimes called, “the bleu cheese of fruit,” Jimmy had second thoughts about inviting her back.   

Gordon Ramsay’s Hottest Curry Ever

Gordon Ramsay knows how to heat up a kitchen. When he’s not screaming obscenities at Hell’s Kitchen contestants, he’s usually cooking up something delicious. Well, you could say the tables turned when Ramsay had the opportunity to try the hottest curry in the world. In this clip, uploaded to Ramsay’s YouTube channel, Ramsay was the one taking the heat. “That’s disgusting,” he said. “That’s the hottest thing I’ve ever tasted.”

Anderson Cooper turns pale

During an episode of Anderson Cooper Live, the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods,” host Andrew Zimmern did a segment on some really exotic foods, that basically just grossed Cooper out. Some of these items were some of the most left field Zimmern had encountered during his time traveling abroad, including fermented soy beans, webbed goose feet, and a cheese made from pig head. Even though Anderson was a good sport and tasted the items, he immediately spit out his small nibbles.   

Kelly Ripa literally runs away from food

During an episode of the morning talk show Live Kelly and Ryan, host Kelly Ripa literally runs away from John Leguizamo and Andrew Zimmern, while yelling, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” To her credit, Kelly’s antics were so extra, both Zimmern and Leguizamo stopped trying to convince her.  

Zimmern vs. Durian

For a man that is willing to eat anything, regardless of taste, texture or smell, Andrew Zimmern drew the line at durian fruit. A fruit native to Asiathat’s well-known for it’s spiny exterior shell, and very foul odor, durian is an acquired taste. In this clip, Zimmern finally meets his match as he eats a chunk of fresh durian. Still, despite his cultured palate, the Bizarre Foods mastercouldn’t handle the durian and spit it out within seconds.

Anthony Bourdain and Anderson Cooper eat Tripe

Tripe is from the stomach lining of a cow. While the dish might not sound the most appetizing, it’s an exotic animal part used by multiple cultures. If you’re going to eat tripe for the first time, make sure it’s with the the Vincent Van Gogh of culinary philosophy, Anthony Bourdain.

Stinky Tofu

Every country has an odd snack that is loved by locals, but might disgust the rest of the world. Stinky tofu is one of Taiwan’s favorite traditional snacks, and one thing is certain — it stinks. On a trip to Taiwan, Andrew Zimmern took on the foul smelling treat without any hesitation. However, it’s safe to assume that even the bravest souls might have a tough time swallowing thick, putrid, rotting tofu. You are a brave man, Mr. Zimmern.  

Celebrity Grub Culture Restaurants

Andrew Zimmern Says This Is The Best Ramen Spot In America

For years, we’ve been chasing the best bowl of tonkotsu ramen here in the United States. It seems we found a pretty big lead in the search, as world-acclaimed food travel host and chef Andrew Zimmern dropped some major ramen praise.

A recent visit to Menya Ultra prompted Andrew Zimmern to exclaime that the:

Best tonkatsu ramen in America might just be in San Diego!

This praise should not be taken lightly as Zimmern himself has been around the block a few times. The culinary authority has hosted such Travel Channel series’ as Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods America, and Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World.

It might be pretty safe to say he knows what he’s talking about.

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Tonkotsu is a type of ramen broth made from pork bones which originated from the Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan. It’s arguably one of the best and iconic variations of the Japanese ramen dish.

Looks like we’re going to San Diego this weekend.


Bizarre Foods Host Andrew Zimmern Just Showed Us The Birth Of A Baby Lamb


You gotta love Andrew Zimmern, he does a lot for us food enthusiasts. He eats all the crickets and lizards we never knew we never wanted, and he teaches us about life in the process — today, that lesson is on what it looks like to birth a cute baby lamb.

The past couple days, Bizarre Foods TV host Andrew Zimmern has been trotting around the Minnesota State Fair, Instagramming pictures of fries and cheese curds. Here’s proof:


A photo posted by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on


Perfect cheese curds from Original Cheese Curds A photo posted by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on


Then all of a sudden, he seems to make a B-line to the livestock area and starts documenting the miracle of birth. Let’s all take a moment and be thankful for Andrew Zimmern’s diligence and curiosity.

Animal births often get overlooked (mainly because the majority of us don’t live on farms in Minnesota), but they are a genuinely beautiful (and slimy) thing. Watching a baby lamb come out of its mother in all its film and glory, head and hooves first, is an awesome reminder of the miracle of life — and where our food comes from.

This Is What A Very, Very Pregnant Lamb Looks Like:

Sheep getting ready… @mnffa

A photo posted by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on

As you can see, we’re about to learn — and see — a lot. This is genuinely a very crucial process, as upwards of 20% of newborn lambs can die within the first week of being born if they are not properly taken care of. Look at that glistening bosom. You can just imagine Andrew Zimmern’s excitement as he whips out his smartphone to capture the glory:

The Birth Of A Lamb, Thanks Drew:



Lamb number two, a little boy named Viper! @mnffa A video posted by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on

Touchdown! Little baby girl newly named Java was just born

A photo posted by Andrew Zimmern (@chefaz) on


Gratuitous Food Porn: Insect Edition

Fried Spider header

Andrew Zimmern pops them like candy and they have an entire cookbook designed around them but they’re considered taboo for modern day consumption. We’re talking insects. Yes, those creepy crawlies out in your backyard are indeed edible but chances are after the age of five you stopped trying to eat them willingly. Insects are actually eaten pretty frequently around the world but here in the US we get freaked out at the idea. There’s a high nutritional value to these little buggers but the only time we ever see these pests is at the bottom of a tequila bottle or immortalized in a lollipop. Besides gag gifts, insects can actually be transformed into some odd yet palatable dishes.


Three Bee Salad


Recipe: National Geographic


Insect Sushi

insect sushi Screen Shot 2013-12-07 at 3.54.16 PM

Via: Tony McNicol


Fried Grasshoppers


Via: Green Prophet


Sheesh Kabobs


Recipe: National Geographic


Fried Scorpion on a Stick


Via: Village Joy


Chocolate Covered Crickets

chocolate cricket

Via: Cafe Mom


Deep Fried Tarantula Spider


Recipe: National Geographic


Ginger Dusted Beetle

ginger beetle

Via: Good Food Revolution


Mealworm and Pigeon Burger


Via: The Independent


Locust Pizza

locust pizza

Via: ABC Net AU


Insect Chocolates

12_-_mealworm_and_locust_pralinesVia: RNW


Honey Spiced Locusts


Recipe: Inn at the Crossroads


Escamoles a.k.a. Ant Eggs


Via: I Bizarre Foods


Banana Worm Bread


Recipe: The Guardian


Crunchy Cricket Stir Fry


Recipe: The New Protein Blog


Header image via National Geographic

Food Trucks

Andrew Zimmern Gets into the Food Truck Game

Hate to break it to you, but this truck won’t be offering monkey brain sausages any time soon.

Bizarre Foods star Andrew Zimmern is opening his very own food truck with a scheduled August 25th launch date at the Minnesota State Fair. Dubbed the AZ Canteen, the new truck will serve dishes on the extreme end of the food truck spectrum, but not to the extent of things that Zimmern’s eaten on his show.

Stephanie March, senior editor at Mpls.St. Paul Magazine, reported that Zimmern’s truck plans to “expand the protein choices of Americans with the overarching goal of restoring health and wellness to our food system one plate at a time.”

According to March’s blog post, the Bizarre Foods star plans to dish up goat burgers and goat sausages that were created between Zimmern and acclaimed New York butcher Pat LaFrieda. Other menu items include cripsy pork belly, veal tongue sliders, and ice cream sandwiches made with ice cream from Izzy’s, a St. Paul-based, handmade ice cream shop.

As of now, it looks like there will be limited stops for the AZ Canteen as the truck is set to “make appearances at some local events throughout the year.” There is the prospect of more trucks popping up in other cities across the globe, so keep your hopes up if you’re nowhere near the Minnesota State Fair.

Who knows, maybe Zimmern will serve up some of the types of foods he’s eaten on Bizarre Foods by then. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

[Thx: MSPMag via TCBMag]

Andrew Zimmern Talks Bizarre Foods America [INTERVIEW]

There are few things in the world that Andrew Zimmern won’t eat. Walnuts are one of them.

Andrew is a father, chef, food writer, teacher and TV personality. You probably recognize him from Travel Channel’s hit series Bizarre Foods where he travels to different countries and eats food some people can’t even stomach the idea of.

In January, Andrew’s new show Bizarre Foods America launched. Throughout the season, he goes to different states in the U.S. to explore unfamiliar cuisine people thought they knew well.

Tune in on Travel Channel on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST to check it out. In the next episode, Andrew visits West Virginia. Today, he talks with FOODBEAST:


What inspired you to start cooking?
Oh gosh. I came from a family that put high value on food and where it comes from, and the food experience. My family is made up of a lot of adventurous diners, travelers.  My family liked to entertain a lot at home so I didn’t really know people who didn’t like to [cook].


Has anyone is your family traveled as much as you have?
My father, but not quite to the level [as I have]. I don’t think very many people in the world travel to the level I travel in terms of the number of countries in a short amount of time, to the variety of places I go, but I’m making a travel TV show.

My dad was in an international business and traveled a lot when I was younger.


Why is food important to you?
Oh gosh, like math and music, it’s one of the ways that both define our culture but is very easily tradable with other people. It’s a universal.  Food is something not only can we share with people all around the world, but we participate in it many times a day.  You can go days without music or looking at art, but you can’t go too long without food. So as a tool to look at other cultures and understand more about our own, and to also share other experiences with other people, I think food is the perfect medium for that.


So would you say it’s a universal language in a sense?


How did you get the idea for Bizarre Foods?
Well, I always loved traveling.  I always wanted to tell food stories about other cultures, and I wanted to use those stories to define those cultures and put them in context for people. Once I had the opportunity to actually get out and try to talk about it for television, I presented it as a pretty simple equation: Food is great, it’s popular. Food with stories is even greater and more popular. And food with stories of the fringe is the greatest of all because they haven’t been told before.


What’s the weirdest thing you’ve encountered in the new series, Bizarre Foods America?
It’s like asking a dad which is his favorite kid.

Wow, um. I go to West Virginia every year; I love West Virginia. I think the reminder that there are still places in our country where people hunt to make their breakfast, and hunt in the mornings for their supper and still live a life where everyone in the community knows how to cook: boys, men, women, grandparents. Everyone knows how to cook, knows how to hunt, knows how to build a campfire, knows how to fix a car, knows how to put a roof on a building. I just adore West Virginia for a 1,001 reasons.

Another big surprise to me after traveling around the United States for one whole year is the reminder that, while so many of us consider ourselves to be American, it’s a modern idea of what being American is, and when I’m with tribal people in the Pacific Northwest, in Florida with the Seminole, in New Mexico with the Pueblo and I have a chance to actually hear their language spoken, that is our language. Their food is our food. So celebrating the indigenous cultures around our country, the first peoples of America, as I like to call them, is a real privilege.


Obviously you’ve tried a lot of things, needless to say, is there anything you’ve wanted to try but haven’t had a chance to yet?
Oh my gosh. Everyone thinks the list of things I’ve seen and done is vast, but the list of things I haven’t seen and haven’t done is even vaster. I could go on and on about the stuff I wish I could do. Just for my own sanity, I like to concentrate on the things I’ve experienced and less on the things I haven’t so I can stay somewhat balanced.


What do you hope people will gain from watching your show?
Well, after running around the world for five or six years doing the last few seasons of Bizarre Foods, I wanted to come home to America for a couple of reasons. Mostly because I was sick and tired of hearing for people saying, “Oh, well when you’re in tribal Africa or the mountains of South America, of course the food is going to be pretty strange.” I wanted to show them, in the ways our traditional show makes the unfamiliar familiar, that in fact the least familiar might be the thing that’s found right in their own backyards, literally. Or certainly, their neighbor’s backyard. I think we did a really good job at that. I wanted to show people what they knew the most about, they knew the least about. I really like the new shows.


What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned through your travels?
The most valuable thing is our ugly and human fragility.


How so?
We prejudge things. We’re not very accepting, and we tend to judge a lot of things without any investigation at all. You know the old saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but a lot of times in this country we don’t even look at the cover.


What are your must-haves when it comes to travel?
I have to have my phones, laptops, and my iPad, and my Kindle. I like to be connected. But I like to be in control of it and put it away when I need to.


If you were a food what would you be?
I would definitely be a clam.


Hard and salty and ugly on the outside, but super sweet and addictive on the inside.


If you had to eat the same dish every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Roasted chicken


What advice would you give to aspiring food professionals?
It’s really simple, you got to work twice as hard as you imagine anyone else would. And you have to develop your own voice and your own point of view with your product.  If you don’t have something unique to say, and you don’t have a point of view, it’s very, very difficult to be heard in this business.