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Eaters who dine out this week are likely to discover it's the season in Seattle for squash, heirloom tomatoes, and Andrew Zimmern.

The roly-poly host

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Bizarre Foods Crew Storms Seattle This Week

zimmern.jpg
Eaters who dine out this week are likely to discover it's the season in Seattle for squash, heirloom tomatoes, and Andrew Zimmern.

The roly-poly host of Bizarre Foods, a Travel Channel production that's typically paired with No Reservations, is in town this week to capture the city's food culture. While the show's title implies Zimmern's on the hunt for what a western audience would consider the very oddest edibles, a staffer clarifies via e-mail that "the intent of the show is to look for foods, customs, traditions, lifestyles, landscapes, etc. that our audience would find unexpected and unusual."

The staffer, Sarah Gebeke, adds, "The people and cultures featured in our programs are always treated with respect and understanding and are portrayed in a positive light."

That seemed to be the case last night at The Walrus and the Carpenter, where Zimmern was fussing over a plateful of raw Pacific oysters.

"I hear everything is better in the Emerald City," he told a neighboring table.

Zimmern has at least one more shellfish encounter on his busy itinerary, as Bill Whitbeck yesterday reported on Twitter that he'd delivered an order of geoduck for the show.

On Friday, Zimmern's bound for Seattle Coffee Works, where he'll learn about the intricacies of coffee at the café's celebrated slow bar. (Zimmern, a recovering alcoholic, doesn't drink, so he won't be exploring Seattle's breweries or cocktail bars.)

Seattle Coffee Works spokesperson Shalini Gujavarty says the show's producers were intrigued by a Seattle Met profile of Coffee Works owner Sebastian Simsch.

"The producers saw him as a mad-scientist type," she says.

For Bizarre Foods fans who somehow make it to Friday without spotting Zimmern's bald head, the Seattle Coffee Works visit may be a good opportunity to observe the vagabond in action: The shoot starts at 1 p.m., and the café will remain open.

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