posted (April 14, 2009 - from the Channel 7 Belize News Archives)
Andrew Zimmern is known for eating the most bizarre things...all kinds of insects, all kinds and forms of animal reproductive organs, basically anything that moves, he’ll eat. If you’ve seen his show on the Travel Channel, you’ll know what we’re talking about but if you haven’t, you’ll want to watch it next season because Zimmern is shooting a show in Belize. Keith Swift got a preview.
Keith Swift Reporting,
He’s eaten Volga – a kind of dried fish in St. Petersburg Russia, nibbled on cow tongue in Russia, and eaten a fried pattie made out of the flesh from a brown bear - and he did all that in just one episode of his show - Bizarre Foods.
But when we met the Travel Channel star behind the scenes last week in the lush jungle of Arenal in western Belize he wasn’t eating anything exotic. In fact he wasn’t eating at all, he was creating …………….art.
Andrew Zimmern, Travel Channel
“I took a tour of the art park. I love art, so I was really interested in coming here. It is a great story that installations are left to allow nature to sort of surround the pieces here and morph and change the pieces and allows people to experience art in a different sort of gallery if you will and then I joined the students who have been working on this project for a year. So we spent the last hour or so finishing it and installing my monitor that I personalized and the little kid who is watching it sort of stunned.”
Zimmer took us inside the filming the first episode of his new show – “Bizarre World” at the Poustinia Land Art Park in Arenal.
“This is our first show in the Bizarre World series. So it is a really a momentous occasion for us and we’re just thrilled to be ale to kick it off in Belize.
Bizarre World allows me to cover stories that aren’t about food. The show will be about half food and allows me to do things like this, art installation stories which is certainly unusual. It is a provocative idea. It is something we believe belongs in this show about Belize but I am not eating anything.”
But he still plans to sample bizarre foods in Belize.
“I will be eating some stuff in Bizarre. We are eating some jungle rat, I am doing some Creole hot pot drop cookery, some traditional kind of stuff, and along the way I am finding anything from stinky fruits to termite nests that I like to snack on because I am kind of addicted to the taste from spending a lot of time in the outback of Australia.”
Has there been anything you’ve refused to eat?
“The only thing that I’ve said no to was tap water in India.”
Why is that?
“Because that is a three day trip to the hospital.”
Zimmern filmed the episode along with an 8 member crew. He says there is a reason why he chose Belize.
“There are is more than just ancient Mayan cultures and beaches here. Now we are exploring both of those because we think there are stories interesting for folks who will never make it here but we also want to talk about the Creole population, we also want to talk about the indigenous food, we also want to take our cameras into the art park here. We want to connect people in the rest of the world, it shows in 70 countries, with the citizens of this country and show them really what makes Belize tick.”
Brent Toombs, Oxa Productions
“We will go to ATM for a day there, then we spend some time in Xunantunich. After Xunantunich we go over to San Pedro to spend a day there doing some stuff on the water and then some bizarre food type stuff at Rojo Lounge up in North Ambergris Caye and then we go down to Toledo in San Pedro Colombia Village doing kind of a Mayan feast with a family there and then we wrap up in Gales Point. We’re going to do a traditional Sambai with the people in Gales Point.”
“I’ve been here for about a day now and it is a place I’ve always wanted to come for the last ten or fifteen years, very badly, and sadly I do too much travelling for work so I’m glad that I am finally here.”
No air date has been set for the show. Zimmern left the country over the Easter.