Earlier this week, Andrew Zimmern was the guest lecturer for José Andrés' ongoing food class at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Andrés kicked things off by introducing Zimmern and the topic, which addressed how food influences culture today. In the intro, Andrés asked whether a show like Hannibal or Bizarre Foods can influence or change the world, and he wondered aloud whether presidential taste in food affects how and what the rest of the country eats.
After a lecture on persuasion in food advertising from GWU professor Clay Warren, Zimmern took the stage to discuss the "subtle form of persuasion at work when you travel." He shared how filming in places like Namibia has given him a new way in which to see the world, and he talked about the influence he has on his viewers. Zimmern also admitted that he "heavily" curates his brand, saying, "I'm an entertainer, I'm a funny roly poly adorable fellow. I'm kind of a nice guy. Sometimes I'm a little off-color and I'm interesting and I've had some nifty experiences. But I take my role as a storyteller very seriously. ... I am very, very aware of how powerful the television is." Here's the video, with Zimmern around 42 minutes in:
Video: Jose Andres: Lecture 11