connectVideoTV chef Andrew Zimmern in hot water after ‘hores—‘ Chinese food comment
Host of ‘Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern is under fire for his commentary on mid-western Chinese food restaurants.
Celebrity chef and tv personality Andrew Zimmern knows the problems of addiction first-hand.
Talking candidly about his childhood and young adult life, Zimmern told Artistic Life that his addiction to drink and drugs had taken over his life, driving him to become homeless for a period of time in the 1990s.
If the 57-year-old tells, around December 1990, he found himself evicted from his apartment in New York City and with no one to call for help.
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Celebrity Chef Andrew Zimmern said that he didn’t shower for a year and slept on the floor in an abandoned house while battling addiction.
He eventually found shelter in an abandoned building on Sullivan Street. “It was a townhouse, in the middle of being restored,” he describes. “The work was stopped. Actually, demolition is more like it; renovation is a little too chic is a term. There were specific windows in the windows. There was electricity that was pirated from a nearby building on the other side of the roof with an extension cord. And there was a sink with running water, so you can drink water. So began my year of homelessness.”
He goes on to detail his living conditions, adding, “I didn’t shower for a year. Every night I slept on a pile of dirty clothes on the floor that I called my bed.”
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Zimmer says that he is not sleeping, more successful. And unfortunately, the building had a pest problem. “Every few days, I would steal a bottle of Comet cleanser that I would pour in a circle around my sleeping area, so that the rats and cockroaches would not crawl on me in the middle of the night.”
To earn money, Zimmern stolen purses from chic restaurants and sold the contents drug dealers for money.
He has also tried to drink himself to death with three cases of vodka.
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“I couldn’t tell you whether the three or five days later, but I woke up one morning and the excitement, the Ace bandage that was tied so tight around my whole life just was not there,” he recalled. “I felt a desperate need to reach out to someone.”
From there, Zimmern started putting the pieces of his life back together with the help of friends who had held an intervention. By the beginning of 1992, Zimmern had entered the Hazelden Betty Ford spending a total of five weeks. He went to a halfway house and climbed the ladder.
Zimmern, who now executive produces the food show “The Zimmern List,” said a person at the bottom of the pit has to find the courage to ask for help.
“What I tell people that you are looking for someone to talk to. You must somehow summon the courage to ask for help,” he said. “You have to share that dark, painful thing that you never want to tell anyone. Because to you, it will always be about you.”
This article originally appeared on Page Six.