Andrew Zimmern's Hilarious Hot Dog Rule You Should Never Break

Andrew Zimmern is a man with a mission to expand our culinary horizons. While he's widely known for his TravelChannel show, "Bizarre Foods," he later shared with Thrillist that he was not a fan of its name. His hope for the show was to admiringly examine different cuisines, as it aimed to do in later seasons, rather than present them for shock value. In fact, the chef thoroughly enjoyed most of the new-to-him dishes he ate on the series. Nevertheless, Zimmern is certainly not lacking in food opinions, especially when it comes to the quality of ingredients. His recipe for Thai grilled beef salad calls for "the best aged beef you can get your hands [on]," for example, and his canteen dogs are meant to be made with the "bespoke dog of your choosing." (We're guessing Oscar Mayer franks aren't going to cut it.)

Zimmern's hot dog hot takes don't stop there: He also has some strong feelings about acceptable condiments on the classic dish. In a recent tweet, Zimmern posed and cheekily answered the question, "Is it ever okay to put ketchup on a hot dog? Yes! But you have to be 12 or under."

Zimmern's hot dog tweet sparked a mixed reaction

Zimmern's tweet was actually a retweet of one posted by Feltman's Hot Dogs quoting Zimmern's words, so, in effect, he re-retweeted himself, which is not confusing at all. His condiment opinion was favorably received by some, including, no doubt, Chicaogoans, who famously never put ketchup on hot dogs. Others, however, were 100% Team Ketchup, including one person who replied, "All Australians eat hot dogs this way."

There were also a number of Twitter users who took a more democratic approach to the art of hot dog garnishing. As one person put it, "Put on y'all's hot dog whatever y'all want to put on y'all's hot dog." Finally, one person showed their appreciation for Zimmern but refused let him yuck their yum: "Andrew I love you as a chef, a human being, and a fellow Minnesotan. But I am 33 years old and I love ketchup on hot dogs and I will NEVER apologize!!!!!"

How Andrew Zimmern dresses his dogs

Zimmern may have once called the hot dog "one of the most bizarre foods on the planet, and one of the most disgusting on hundreds of levels" (via "Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods"), and yet he still treats them like edible works of art. Case in point: the aforementioned Canteen Dog recipe on his website. In addition to bespoke meat products, the elevated hot dog calls for homemade mustard, homemade coleslaw, homemade mayo with roasted veggies, and home-pickled jalapeños.

Another post on Zimmern's site is a guide to "pimping your wiener," which includes all kinds of advice. In it, the chef includes the secrets behind his favorite hot dog spice blend: celery salt, celery seed, dried spearmint, black pepper, and piment d'Espelette. He even provides recipes for sauerkraut, bread-and-butter pickles, and roasted red pepper relish. Interestingly enough, though, this particular page also features a little something for the under-12s (or anyone who might want some fries to go with that dog): a recipe for homemade ketchup!

One celebrity chef dares disagree with Zimmern (and the entire city of Chicago)

Many of Zimmern's fellow chefs share his disdain for a ketchuped hot dog. Ina Garten is Team Mustard all the way, she revealed on Twitter, although she also relishes the condiment made from chopped-up pickles. Martha Stewart is also a mustard and relish kind of gal, though she further embellishes her franks with dill pickles, sauerkraut, and bacon (via Today). As for Guy Fieri, he once told Mashed that he dresses up a dog in a way that only he could, favoring jalapeños, bacon, and pineapple relish.

One chef who's famous for doing things his own way (very emphatically — and not always using family-friendly language) is the notorious Gordon Ramsay. The Chicago Sun Times reports that Ramsay recently opened his first-ever restaurant in their fair city. Its menu, scandalously enough, features not one, but two hot dogs sporting an uncool condiment: yep, ketchup. A quick look at the menu of Gordon Ramsay Burger in Chicago confirms this unwelcome-to-many news: the Standard Dawg is topped with onions, mustard, pickles, and, ketchup, while the spicy Chipotle Dawg features cheddar cheese, avocado, several types of chiles, and chipotle-spiked ketchup. As far as we know, Zimmern's been too Minnesota Nice to confront Ramsay over his breach of Chicago dog etiquette — and we can only imagine (but probably couldn't print) how Ramsay would retort to anyone who dares criticize his culinary choices.