Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern arrives in Denver this weekend for an adventurous romp of eating
Back in July, I got a phone call from a woman involved with Tremendous! Entertainment for the Travel Channel, the cable network that hosts, among other shows, Bizarre Foods, the fast-paced, food-centric program that showcases Andrew Zimmern, the two-time James Beard Award-winning chef, clamping his jaws down on everything from barbecued armadillo in Florida to lamb's tongue in Los Angeles.
Andrew Zimmern is coming to dinner in Denver.
And Zimmern, she told me, was coming to Denver to film an upcoming episode. Where, she asked, should he eat?
Some of the joints he's hitting up are still under wraps (we hear Mongolian and Mexican are part of the itinerary), but on Tuesday, September 11, we know for sure that Zimmern and a motley crew of food geeks who thrive on stuffing their gullets with unconventional tastes -- at least by this country's standards -- will have dinner at Parallel Seventeen, as part of the Denver Adventurous Eaters Club, a group of intrepid gastronauts recruited by Jon Emanuel, the executive chef of Project Angel Heart and an associate professor/chef instructor at Metro.
"A producer contacted me asking for advice on all sorts of things, and they also wanted some information about my club, so Mary Nguyen, the amazing chef of Parallel Seventeen and Street Kitchen Asian Bistro, who's hosted several of our dinners in the past, offered to do a dinner for this, and from what I understand", says Emanuel, "Andrew is super-excited about it. And so am I."
The Denver Adventurous Eaters Club, which Emanuel started in 2005, after having a less than pleasant experience at Domo with another local dining club -- the "people were assholes, not to mention cheap," recalls Emanuel -- began with just two people but has grown, he notes, to more than 500 strong, and there are about twenty adventurous eaters, he says, who come to every dinner. "When I formed this group, I wanted people who understood restaurant etiquette, people who appreciated food and people who were well-traveled and not picky -- and so far, we've done everything from goat roasts to dinners at JJ Chinese."