Andrew Zimmern Reveals What He's Really Drinking During Iron Chef's Tailgates

Andrew Zimmern, who was the star of the show "Bizzarre Foods" before it got canceled, has eaten and drank a lot of seemingly strange, or just unfamiliar, things in his life. But there is one thing he chooses not to consume, ever, and it's a little different than, say, the reason Guy Fieri never eats eggs. The item in question? Alcohol. As for his reasoning, it's pretty personal for Zimmern, but it's something he's never been afraid to talk about.

Zimmern has been vocal about his substance use disorder recovery journey. Zimmern marked three decades of sobriety with an emotional post on Instagram in 2022, sharing that, "I am so grateful for all the incredible change over 3 decades and so humbled by all the continued challenges." So, when one Twitter fan of the new "Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend" show that Zimmern is a judge on asked, "If I am not mistaken you are a long recovering alcoholic. During 'Battle Tailgate' do the chefs make your drinks without alcohol?," we were curious to hear his answer.

Will Andrew Zimmern drink alcohol if it's for his job?

In the past, Andrew Zimmern has shared how he feels about cooking with alcohol in sobriety, basically saying that, with enough surface area and a long enough cooking time, the alcohol usually burns off, and that he doesn't like the flavor of alcohol in raw preparations anyway (via Instagram). But getting served a drink that might have alcohol in it is a very different scenario than using a splash of wine in some beef stew.

Thankfully, it sounds like this is something the show was prepared to address. Not everyone drinks alcohol, and in order to be inclusive of all the judges, Zimmern shared on Twitter that, "for folks in recovery the chefs always made non [alcoholic] versions of their beverages...and they were amazing." It's good to know the show isn't alienating anyone who doesn't drink alcohol, and it's yet another test of each competing chef's skills to make sure their drinks taste good with or without spirits. 

For those who don't drink, it might come as a relief to know this appears to be a growing trend in the food world. Zimmern was even the guest of honor at a no-alcohol dinner during the Aspen Food and Wine festival in June (via Instagram). And, for those of us who weren't invited to the festivities, Pepsi just dropped its first canned mocktail.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).