Andrew Zimmern: Andrew Zimmern: A Familiar Face In A New Place
Today, “Premiere Week” begins on Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks – Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network. Among the highlighted shows debuting tonight in Outdoor Channel’s “Taste of the Wild” block of programming is “Andrew Zimmern’s Wild Game Kitchen” (9 p.m. EST) featuring James Beard Award and Emmy Award®-winning chef Andrew Zimmern. Recently, we were able to catch up with him in spite of his busy schedule to talk about the new show and his lifelong passion for the outdoor lifestyle.
- Andrew, you’ve had critical and Emmy Award-winning success with your previous shows on different networks, what attracted you to Outdoor Channel?
Several things… I have never done a typical stand and stir show, but I always wanted to cook regularly on TV. When the opportunity came to merge my love of the outdoors with teaching and bringing disparate groups together, to be a new face in an established genre and introduce my fans to cooking wild food over open fire and, most importantly, to have the creative control to do recipes that you could also make with supermarket ingredients if you didn’t have access to wild foods, well it was too good to pass up. Additionally, I believe that cooking wild and foraged foods allows me to talk about our natural resources and sustainability in a way that is genuine and from the heart.
- People may not realize that you participate in the outdoor lifestyle and it’s a big part of who you are living in Minnesota. How did you get into hunting and fishing?
I started fishing, crabbing, and foraging with my dad in the 60s when I was a kid. In college, I started hunting and that was 40 years ago. I moved to Minnesota 30 years ago and living here allowed me to do all of these activities regularly. On Bizarre Foods, I had the chance to hunt for dozens of species on six continents from wild buffalo to wildebeest, crocodile to kangaroos, wild hogs to antelope, kudu, beaver, and everything in between. I always wanted to cook the foods we harvested and on Bizarre Foods, other people were showing me, so I was an eager student and feel I have a lot to pass on to many home cooks.
- What do you see as the difference between “Andrew Zimmern’s Wild Game Kitchen” and some of the other shows you’ve done previously?
This is exclusively a cooking show.
- What can we expect to see in the new show that viewers and fans may not have seen before in your shows?
I am cooking! Full meals, mostly over open fire and with the principals of cooking that I have learned from a lifetime and a half in kitchens all over the world.
- What is your favorite wild game food to cook and eat?
What’s your favorite t-shirt, or your favorite song? I can’t possibly answer that. But I love to show others the myriad of techniques and flavors to combine to get the most out of their kitchens.
- Share with us something that would surprise your viewers and fans about your passion for the outdoors.
A few things… I have hunted and fished and lived that lifestyle for my entire life, so I know that my best day in the field I never put the gun to my shoulder. It’s about being in nature and spending real time with friends, and strangers who become friends. I collect vintage shotguns and once held 25th place in B&C for the wild buffalo I shot in New Mexico 12 years ago, and I’m a pretty good shot.
- Where and when can we see “Andrew Zimmern’s Wild Game Kitchen”?
Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on Outdoor Channel in the network’s programming block “Taste of the Wild.”