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Andrew Zimmern’s Favorite Food City Will Surprise You

As the host of popular TV shows ranging from Bizarre Foods to Magnolia Network’s Family DinnerAndrew Zimmern has traveled and eaten his way across the globe.  

His programs have garnered a strong following because the Emmy- and James Beard Award-winning television personality and chef isn’t your typical cookie-cutter host.

“My show, Tony [Bourdain’s] shows, when he was alive, are more resonant with people than a lot of other travel shows because we actually lived our brands long before we had a camera crew following us along.”

We caught up with the passionate, friendly Zimmern as he prepared to head to Upstate New York for the second annual Catskill Cuisine festival May 10 to 12. He shared the most unusual food he’s tasted, his comfort food staples and his unexpected favorite food city.

You will host several demonstrations at Catskill Cuisine. What is Catskill cuisine?

It started in the Borscht Belt days as a summertime destination for folks — especially associated with Jewish communities in New England, and especially in New York —traveling up to a place that they knew could supply food they were familiar with. And in many cases, it was kosher food.

It’s fascinating to me, as a culture geek, how something that is remembered as one thing can have a series of hinge events that turn it into something even more fabulous.

The Catskill Cuisine festival is in Bethel. It’s right around the corner from Max Yasgur’s farm, where Woodstock was, which is phenomenal. Since then, obviously, golf courses, casinos, music festivals and so much more have taken place there and expanded so that people from all over the country go there during the summertime.

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