Andrew Zimmern Won Us Over and Adam Richman Tried Too Hard at Scottsdale Culinary Fest Celeb Shows

Categories: Events

Zimmern on stage
Lauren Saria
Sorry for the far-from-fabulous photos -- no cameras were allowed in the theater.
If getting out of the sun and away from the delirious drunks yesterday at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival wasn't enough motivation for you to fork out $30 to see Travel Channel personalities Andrew Zimmern of Bizzare Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Adam Richmanof Man vs. Food, you weren't alone.

But for those of us who did sit through two hour-ish long shows, it was a unique opportunity to get pretty close and rather (maybe too) personal with these two guys.

And while I had previously written off Mr. Zimmern for his completely silly and unmerited overreaction to Spam musubi (which is DELICOUS if you've never had it) on the Bizzare Foods America episode filmed in Hawaii, he completely won me over again. As for Richman...well, I'll save that for later.

The first show kicked off just after 1 pm in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Zimmern talked about traveling abroad as a young boy and explained how his non-traditional upbringing vis a vis food set the foundation for his eat-anything attitude.

"Either I was right," said Zimmern, "Or these millions of people I saw in China eating this strange mollusk were wrong."

Although I am an avid Travel Channel viewer, I was surprised when Zimmern mentioned he's been completely sober for over 20 years after struggling in the past with both drug problems and alcoholism. One attendee asked if he missed wine to which he replied, "People only drink wine to get drunk," adding, "I don't really believe that, but it's fun I get to say things like that now."

And to keep things moving, here are four more nuggets from the show:

1. Before coming up with the name "Bizzare Foods," Zimmern wanted to call the show "Chew On This" or "The Wandering Spoon." Yikes.

2. Zimmern hates walnuts. When asked by a young fan about the reason behind his aversion, he replied: "Because they're disgusting!"

3. While in town, Zimmern dined at Chris Bianco's Italian Restaurant with friend Claudio Uricuoli, formerly of Prado at the Montelucia, and found the "humble Italian" cuisine up to par.

4. For the demo, Zimmern prepared duck testicles and octopus in and effort to encourage the public to explore alternative proteins. During this segment, Adam Richman made a short boxer-clad appearance, joking about the source of the testicles....

Richman guest appearance
Lauren Saira
Richman popped on stage in ketchup-stained boxers at the mention of duck balls

After the show, Zimmern stayed for a half hour of Q&A and even posed for photos with fans. Overall, a family-friendly, educational and entertaining experience.

Location Info

Trattoria Bianco

4743 N. 20th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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