Andrew Zimmern Shared An Emotional Tribute To His Late Mother

Affable, intrepid, and seemingly in possession of boundless energy, Andrew Zimmern, executive producer and host of "What's Eating America" and the soon to be launched "Family Dinner," is one of the culinary world's most talented storytellers. While Zimmern deserves much of the credit for his success, he wants the world to know that his mother, Caren Zimmern, is someone to whom he owes a great debt for having given him "the gift of understanding the power of stories," he told Food & Wine. "If we don't understand the stories and learn from our history, then we're not going to be in a position to be as good of human beings as we could be."

Caren or "Clara Betty Heyman," as she was known in her youth, died in October of 2011 (via Andrew Zimmern). The celebrity chef wrote that his mother never gave up on him, even when he was in the throes of addiction, which he has said began when he was just 13, soon after his mother suffered a traumatic brain injury during a surgery. On Mother's Day 2021, Zimmern took to Instagram to share what may be his most emotional and relatable tribute to his mother yet. 

Andrew Zimmern's tribute to his late mother will resonate with all parents and children

"My mother suffered a traumatic brain injury the summer I turned 13 and was never the same," Zimmern wrote. Although she wasn't always "happy," Zimmern went on to say, "she pulled a lot of joy out of life. Her heart was immense. Her spirit was indomitable." Now that the host is the father of a teen son, he has realized the importance of accepting your children for who they are (via New York Times). "Relationships with parents are hard and messy and joyous and we swim in each other," he admitted. "Being a parent is harder."

He explained his mother had to deal with his addiction, alcoholism and him not keeping his promises. "To all the mothers out there I'm sending a huge hug of gratitude for taking on the toughest pieces of life and to all for whom today is also about unresolved conflict, sorrow, grief, anger, and loss, especially those who lost a mom this year, I'm thinking of you today and sending a big hug too," he concluded.