Andrew Zimmern, the host of Bizarre Foods America, has tried his fair share of wacky culinary creations, and his most recent adventures took him across the country in search of local favorites from chefs that are willing to push the envelope. The result was a list of his favorite summer food destinations that are putting a twist on summer classics.
We caught up with Zimmern to learn about his experience searching for warm-weather favorites and trends he is seeing across the country.
The Daily Meal: You've seen many "bizarre" foods, so what makes something stand out to you? What food is weird/interesting to you?
Andrew Zimmern: There are so many different ways. Chefs are doing so many new techniques and reworking old dishes, and that grabs my attention. Sadly, most of what is cooked is derivative or poorly made. Hot Doug’s [in Chicago] came out with the foie gras hot dog… that gets my attention. Something doesn’t have to have a bloody squirrel head to be interesting.
TDM: Of the places on you’ve been for summer food destinations, which were some that stood out to you as unique?
AZ: Next is incredible; it is very new and exciting. Not a day goes by that I don’t dream of the pastries at Red Medicine. I also love the frozen lime yogurt at Son of a Gun in Los Angeles.
TDM: What are some trends you are seeing across the country in terms of bizarre foods?
AZ: Carrots are the new big thing… chefs are discovering them in very profound ways. I will get cold plates with 10 different carrot treatments. Goat has never been more popular in America as an alternative protein. And small, local fish with the heads on them is an amazing, amazing thing as someone who has been trying to get America to eat more fish.
To see Zimmern’s cross-country adventures, tune into Travel Channel for new episodes of Bizarre Foods America starting July 1 at 9:00 p.m. To see his picks for summer food destinations, check out the slideshow.