The Truth About Andrew Zimmern's Wife

As host of Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern greeted the world with an open mouth and an open mind. Speaking with Food & Wine, Zimmern recalled eating "spoiled and fermented" shark meat called Hakarl. He has endured the horrors of durian fruit, which is so potently odorous, that the stench prompted a college evacuation amid concerns of a gas leak, according to Time. If unicorns existed, Zimmern would probably eat their horns. It's easy to imagine that being married to a man with such an adventurous mouth might require a strong stomach, or a weak sense of smell. But for the better part of two decades, Rishia Zimmern didn't have to imagine.

How Andrew Zimmern met his wife

As recounted in Zany Eats with Andrew Zimmern, the couple crossed paths back in 1999 while Andrew was teaching a cooking class at a school that had a store where Rishia worked. He sold her on the idea of dating, and in 2002 they said, "I do." Three years later, they welcomed their son, Noah, into the world. Unfortunately, the couple's marital knot came untied over time, and in 2018, the couple told The New York Times they were headed for an "amicable" divorce.

Based on the tasty-sounding, putrid-meat-free recipes that Zimmern's ex-wife has published on Epicurious as well as in many food blogs, one might guess that she and her husband had very different approaches to food. But durian fruit and rotten shark meat didn't spoil their marriage — at least not directly.

Andrew and Rishia Zimmern's marriage soured under the bitter limelight

Andrew Zimmern bluntly acknowledged in an email to The New York Times, "I wasn't there for my wife, and I wasn't there for my son. My wife gave me a thousand chances to make it right." Instead, his public persona consumed his life, and the toll it took.

In 2013, Zimmern told the Minnesota Post, "People have trampled my wife and kid to get to me." He referred to them as "victims of my popularity" and acknowledged, "I'm sure more days than not they would say it's not worth it, but I have this business to support." Unfortunately, it seems that it was impossible to sustain both his marriage and his fame. Fame won. In March 2020, Mpls St. Paul reported that the couple had finalized their split within the previous 15 months.