The fearless Andrew Zimmern took an hour out of his schedule to hang out in the Eater forums answering all of your juicy questions. Between running his Minneapolis food outpost AZ Canteen and hosting his Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods, Mr. Zimmern is a busy guy.
The Q & A, which featured questions from readers and editors alike, lasted just over an hour. In that time, Mr. Zimmern managed to discuss one of his favorite insects and the worst ice cream he's ever tasted, among other topics. See here the 12 best lines from our Q & A with Andrew Zimmern:
1) On how he'd run an American fast food chain: "I am the director of a future American quick-serve chain called Andrew Zimmern's Canteen. Like many other chef-entrepreneurs, I am convinced that fast food does not mean bad food. The two biggest concerns I have for our growing company are fair wages for our employees and healthy/tasty food for our customers. I still think that’s the holy grail for quick-serve concepts."
2) On his favorite meal in 2015 thus far: "I would have to say dinner at Cosme in NYC where Enrique Olvera is absolutely killing it. The corn husk meringue dessert may have been the single best bite of my last 12 months."
3) On the expansion of AZ Canteen: "We are expanding from a remote kiosk to a three-register brick-and-mortar booth offering a whole variety of amazing stadium foods including our Korean fried chicken sandwich. We are also going to be in Kansas City this spring as well with two Andrew Zimmern's Canteen concepts."
4) On his list of five things he just can't eat: "Oatmeal, raw cookie dough, walnuts, durian and SPAM."
5) On the better kisser, between Anthony Bourdain and Bear Grylls: "Bourdain, not even close. Don't get me wrong, Bear is a good kisser but he has very busy hands."
6) On the spiciest dish he's ever tried: "The fresh hot chilies in the jungle markets in Thailand. There's nothing hotter."
7) On the one place in the world he would suggest someone visit: "Botswana and spending time in the Aha Hills with the tribal people who work there."
8) On the best insect to try for a first-timer: "I love the Mexican chapulines. These little crickets are beautifully roasted with salt and lime."
9) On the worst ice cream flavor he's ever tried: "I just had braised pig foot ice cream in Taipei, Taiwan. It was awful. Ice cream with little cold, fatty bits of sweet pig foot skin is something I would rather enjoy separately and not hybridized."
10) On parasites: "No. I would love to get a parasite. I would suffer for 30-40 days. I would lose 50 pounds. And then I would take whatever medicine is required so I could crap the little f—-er out. Perhaps this could be the new Andrew Zimmern diet book. Every book comes with one little pouch of parasites to help you lose weight the fast and easy way."
11) On gifting the many families he visits abroad: "The most important thing that we bring to any location or any family is dignity and respect. Many of the people in our show appear to be impoverished by a Western standard, but they don't see their lives that way. That being said, I can't recall a trip where we didn't leave behind supplies: food, a generator, tents, bags, bedding, cookware… you name it. Gifting is a very precarious social venture in the developing world, but we always, always take very good care of the people who take very good care of us."
12) On receiving gifts: "In tribal Botswana I received some woven necklaces and a handmade bow with three poison arrows. It's framed and hanging on the wall in my living room, and is without a doubt one of my favorite possessions. Along with my ever growing collection of animal scrota."