Before he started eating testicle soup and boiled grilled rat for a living, Andrew Zimmern the host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel was a homeless, purse-snatching addict.

Zimmern was born and raised in New York City to a Jewish family. He began his formal culinary training at the age of 14. He attended the Dalton School and graduated from Vassar College. Contributing to many of New York’s finest restaurants as either executive chef or general manager, he has also lectured on restaurant management and design at The New School for Social Research.

Due to severe drug and alcohol addiction, Zimmern was homeless for about one year. During this period, he survived by stealing purses from cafes and selling the contents. In 1992, Zimmern moved to Minnesota, where he checked into the Hazelden Treatment Center for drug and alcohol addiction treatment, where he now volunteers.

Read his story…

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