WJH welcomes “Bizarre Foods” host Zimmern


Abby Doeden

Andrew Zimmern addresses a question during his visit to WJH.

On May 20, Chef Andrew Zimmern, star of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods,” visited WJH and spoke with staff and students about his life struggles and how he overcame them.

“I was a user of people and a taker of things,” Zimmern said.

This slogan was in reference to his drug and alcohol addiction and the hard times he faced as a young adult in New York City. Zimmern went on to talk about how he came to Minnesota to visit the Hazelden Treatment Center and started to work in restaurants around the Twin Cities.

He then turned to talking about the success he found in Minnesota and how he came to get his own television show in a mere two years.

“In life, being ‘The Best’ is irrelevant. Being ‘The Only’ is much better than being the best,” Zimmern said.

Another theme Zimmern addressed during the assembly was how food represents people’s culture around the world. This was the main purpose of the assembly, fitting right into the International Baccalaureate curriculum that has been adopted into WJH in the past three years.

“I believe math, music, and food are the three aspects of culture. But people will not be mad if someone takes their calculator away. People will be mad if they take their boom box away, but their life will move on. However, without food, people could not survive,” Zimmern said.

At the end of the assembly, Zimmern saved time for the students to ask him some questions. Naturally, one of the questions asked was what the grossest food he had ever eaten was.

Zimmern’s response was a joke, of which he claimed he had been wanting to make all night, and to which all of the audience members erupted in laughter at:

“The dinner I had last night at [my neighbor and WJH counselor] Ms. Baker’s house,” Zimmern said.