Andrew Zimmern Discusses Past Drug Abuse, Homelessness On ABC’s “Nightline”

Posted by on Jul 28

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James Beard award-winning food adventurer Andrew Zimmern participated in an interview last night on ABC's "Nightline" that may have been one of his most challenging experiences yet.

Zimmern is well-known for his daredevil cuisine, and is willing to eat anything from baby pig eyeballs to grasshopper pizza as the host of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern" on the Travel Channel. But in a new ABC interview, Zimmern lay the bravado aside to open up about his harrowing past, revealing that courage can be both physical and emotional.

"I lived in an abandoned building in lower Manhattan; one that we squatted -- a bottle gang and I," says Zimmern. "I would steal purses off the backs of chairs in those swanky little cafes on Madison Avenue, run down the side street, leap the wall at Central Park and 5th Avenue, get on the subway, go down to the Lower East Side, and sell the credit cards and passports that were in the purses for money to support my drug and alcohol habit. And then go to sleep at night on a pile of dirty clothes in this abandoned building, and I sprinkled a bottle of Comet Cleanser around so the rats and roaches wouldn’t cross over at night so I could pass out in some peace and quiet, and that’s what I thought was normal. That’s how I lived for a year -- no showering. I was the guy you crossed the street to avoid if you walked by me in New York."

To those who have kept up with the press, Zimmern has never kept his history of drug abuse and homelessness completely under wraps; the details were often omitted. But now that viewers know the history behind one of the food world's most adventurous celebrities, a whole new level of respect is brought for shows such as "Bizarre Foods." Because to Zimmern, the truly traumatic experiences are already behind him.

Source: The Stir

2 Responses

  1. Weird Celebrity Foods: What The Great Ate | Gross, Unusual & Ironic Vices of the Rich & Famous Says:

    […] courageously isn't just for folks like Andrew Zimmern anymore. Quite a few A-list celebrities have some dangerous and unusual eating habits up their […]

  2. Mike Says:

    If you pay attention to what he’s drinking in any episode, it’s always non-alcoholic. He even explicitly refused a fermented banana drink in one episode on the grounds that he doesn’t drink.