“THE ONLY REASON I work this hard is so I can be disruptive,” Andrew Zimmern explains from a deep-seated black leather couch in Midtown’s Renaissance Hotel, where he serves as a global brand ambassador. “I have to keep my platform big so that I can change the way people think about food — it’s the only reason I do what I do.”
Host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, the 55-year-old chef’s fame is predicated on one thing: “being the fat white guy who goes around the world eating bugs.” (Seriously, he once ate insect “nuggets” in Amsterdam.) But why, masochism aside, does he do it?
“I think food can change the way people see the world,” he asserts. “Can push boundaries to make us more tolerant and accepting. I never wanted to be a talking head behind a cutting board, which, trust me, was an option. But I knew that in order to have an impact, I would have to tell the stories people weren’t talking about… stories from the fringe.”