Where were you born?
I was born and raised in New York. My family has been in New York City since the Civil War. I have a ton of NYC in my DNA, from both sides of my family. I had a wonderful childhood in the city.
Who had the biggest influence on you growing up?
My father. He was larger than life. He loved travel, eating, food culture, exploring. My parents divorced when I was six, but stayed close. My dad moved downtown—it was kismet—to the West Village, where he befriended John Clancy, the Balduccis, James Beard—there was a whole sort of food mafia in the West Village. I went with my father when I was seven to have brunch at Jim Beard’s house. Stuff like that sticks with you. I see it now in my son. My wife and I do food-centric things when we travel. If parents get excited, so do kids.
- Andrew Zimmern's Top 10 Places to Eat Asian Food in NYC
- Andrew Zimmern: Real Recipes, Scary Foods
- Andrew Zimmern’s Favorite Food Festivals
- Andrew Zimmern's Recipes
What kind of food did you like eating growing up?
Even as a kid, I ventured out to ethnic restaurants all the time. We would go to Bo Bo’s in Chinatown and eat squab and salted dried shrimp in lettuce. I also went outside Manhattan to the other boroughs. Manhattanites didn’t do this in the 1960s. Brooklyn was a different country, Queens even more so.