Why Andrew Zimmern Says Family Dinner Is One Of The Best Shows He's Ever Made

Andrew Zimmern made a name for himself on TV with "Bizarre Foods," a food and travel show that was supposed to be about exploring other cultures. But a lot of people tuned in to see if Zimmern could stomach spoiled shark meat in Iceland or deep-fried and defanged tarantula in Cambodia (via Travel Channel). What truly motivated Zimmern on "Bizarre Foods," however, was not the prospect of biting into a sausage casing made of horse rectum, but rather the opportunity to share a meal with a family. Zimmern talked about this in a recent interview with Parade to promote his newest show, "Family Dinner," which airs on the Magnolia Network through Discovery+. "All of my other shows, no matter what, have always had a family meal in them as an element," Zimmern said.

Zimmern keeps focusing on families coming together to eat because these are moments in our busy lives when we can make real connections with the people who are closest to us — and it's not something Zimmern always had in his life, growing up. "Every piece of content I've ever made has family food in it," Zimmern told Parade. "I realize I've been the person in search of a family all along, that this is my healing, this is a way that I make myself whole."

For Andrew Zimmern, the family dinner is 'the best place to celebrate the human story'

Andrew Zimmern's sense of loss as a child, after his parents divorced, explains why his new show "Family Dinner" on the Magnolia Network is so special to him. "I think it's one of the best TV shows I've ever made," he told Parade. The show is "Bizarre Foods" with the gimmicky menu stripped away (and the remote locations — all episodes of "Family Dinner" are filmed in the U.S.). A family meal isn't an excuse to sample tree grubs in the Amazon jungle. It's the whole point of the show. 

"Where is the best place to celebrate the human story?" Zimmern said in his interview with Parade. "Where is the best place to eat food? It's at the family dinner table." On "Family Dinner," Zimmern sits down with strangers, hears their personal stories, and leaves with a satisfied belly and new friends. "We all are able to learn a little something, and it's not too earnest, and it's not saccharin," Zimmern said. "It's such a privilege to have other people, just by inviting me to dinner, give me such a valuable lesson and heal me."

What matters most, of course, is whether viewers get something out of "Family Dinner." A Twitter user who goes by @HrmsaBchBrent gave the show a big thumbs-up. "This #FamilyDinner series is wholesome and happy television," they tweeted. "@andrewzimmern once again brings great stories and food in a new way."