Culinary adventurer and lifelong Hamptons fan Andrew Zimmern shares his thoughts on food and change—and his outrage.
For a guy who has traveled the world on Bizarre Foods and Delicious Destinations, Andrew Zimmern still enjoys our local flavor. “The East End is singular,” he says. “There’s nothing like it.” Zimmern’s affection for the area began in childhood, and his memories have shaped the way he feels about food today.
How has the area changed? I remember potato fields being more dominant than Mcmansions. Old Highway 27, no traffic in town. Rudy at Dreesen’s market marveling at their first doughnut conveyor! Bonacker culture is gone. What’s your favorite summer ingredient? Mussels. My dad used to lower me by my ankles as a kid into the jetties at Main Beach and Georgica; we’d cook them on the beach. What’s the worst thing you’ve eaten? I’ve enjoyed stew in tribal regions of Ecuador that had rabbit shit cooked in it, so what do I know? Food cooked with no caring in it is most offensive. I’ve eaten food in Minnesota at my son’s school that filled me with rage thinking of the kids for whom unhealthy swill might be their best chance at a whole meal all day. Who’s on your dinner guest bucket list? I’d like to cook a meal for refugees where conditions are the worst, where the wholesome food we take for granted is an impossible dream. That keeps me up at night, because I think no one cares about those folks. And I think I might be right.
ZIMMERN’S CHILDHOOD MEMORIES OF THE EAST END HAVE SHAPED THE WAY HE FEELS ABOUT FOOD TODAY.