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Food and Drinks

‘Bizarre Foods’ TV host Andrew Zimmern apologises for mocking ‘horses**t’ Chinese restaurants in US Midwest

  • Andrew Zimmern admits he sounds arrogant as he describes plans to open his own Chinese restaurant in Minnesota
  • He wants to introduce diners to the ‘greatness of Chinese and Chinese-American cuisines’
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2018, 3:24am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2018, 8:50pm

The host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, chef Andrew Zimmern, is apologising for his comments about Chinese restaurants in the US after he was criticised as culturally insensitive.

Zimmern just opened his own Chinese restaurant, Lucky Cricket, in Minnesota, which he hopes to turn into a nationwide chain.

Last week, Fast Company posted an interview from the summer in which Zimmern said he was saving the souls of people who dine at “horses**t restaurants masquerading as Chinese food” in the Midwest. Zimmern, 57, is based in Minneapolis.

The Eater website said his remarks represented cultural elitism. The Washington Post called them insulting.

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In a statement, Zimmern admitted that his comments sounded arrogant. He took responsibility and attempted to clarify, saying many diners in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St Paul ate Chinese food in malls, and he hoped to expose them to the “greatness of Chinese and Chinese-American cuisines.”

He wrote on Facebook on Monday: “Here in Minnesota we have some of the most underrated Asian foods in the country all around us. Just in the Twin Cities alone there is some spectacular Lao, Hmong, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese foods, but a fair percentage of Midwesterners sadly ignore many of those restaurants in favor of chains who’s food is simply not half as good.”

He added: “I have championed Chinese American culture and cooking for decades, and tried to do the same with establishing the importance of Italian American, Chilango and Tex Mex cultures. And I understand that the question of ‘who gets to cook what? And why?’ is vitally important and one that we should all consider.”