Zoë François Revealed The First Cake She Made For Andrew Zimmern's Birthday

How does chef, author, former "Bizarre Foods” host, and Substack newsletter publisher Andrew Zimmern spend his birthday? The food adventurer's social media accounts offer a bit of a glimpse. Zimmern was born in 1961 on the Fourth of July, and his celebrations look to lean mostly all-American — sometimes with family, sometimes with friends, and sometimes by getting on stage and making music with friends (via Instagram).

Surprisingly (or perhaps he's just not sharing), Zimmern doesn't seem to celebrate his special day by eating anything "bizarre." When he turned 60 in 2021, for example, the celebrity chef treated himself to a repast of caviar and salmon on top of a bagel slathered with cream cheese, marking the "first meal of the second half" of his life. Extravagant? Certainly. Bizarre? Not at all.

No birthday is complete without cake, and in another July 4/birthday-themed Instagram share from this year, Zimmern professed his love for angel food cake. "It reminds me of my childhood, the dessert I'd always request on my birthday,” Zimmern said in the post, which shows a couple of slabs of the classic cake, embellished with summer berries and clouds of whipped cream. Not only does this dessert serve as Zimmern's birthday go-to, but it also symbolizes his friendship with Zoë François of Zoë Bakes.

Angel food cake: Zimmern's birthday favorite

Zoë François — known for the dessert recipes she shares on her website and Instagram as @zoebakes, as well as in her popular "Zoë Bakes Cakes" cookbook — also had an angel food cake moment this past July 4: She took some time on Instagram to wish Zimmern, her former supervisor and longtime friend and mentor, a happy birthday. In her post, François reminisced about the "sliver of time” she spent with Zimmern when she served as his pastry assistant, recalling the first cake she baked for his birthday. It was angel food, naturally (and coincided with her first attempt at making a rhubarb pie).

The angel food cake recipe spotlighted in François' post isn't the plain Jane cake most people probably picture when they think of angel food: It's what François calls Raspberry Rose Angel Food Dream Cake. With its pretty-in-pink exterior, snowy white interior, and crown of fresh raspberries and a single rose bud, it looks angelic indeed. What makes it a "dream" cake, exactly? We're not sure if it's the lighter-than-air cake itself or its frosting of sweetened whipped cream embellished with jammy raspberries — whatever it is, it seems to share a lot of common ingredients with Zimmern's angel food cake recipe, based on the one his mom used to make.