The popular TV host credits his career to the idea that a well-cooked meal brings people together like nothing else.

May 27, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Andrew Zimmern at kitchen counter holding a knife
Credit: Magnolia Network

No matter which of his popular TV programs he's worked on — from the Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods" to MSNBC's "What's Eating America?" — chef Andrew Zimmern has always found comfort in sharing meals with families. His latest show, "Family Dinner" (streaming now on Discovery Plus), centers around how Americans with different backgrounds and cultures value the simplicity and importance of gathering around the supper table.

On this week's episode of Homemade, host Martie Duncan welcomes Andrew to chat about "Family Dinner" as well as supporting our local restaurants, the food memories that come back to him when he thinks about his grandmother's apron, and what dish he'd make if he were to ever battle fellow television personality and chef Bobby Flay. Listen to this episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPlayerFM, and everywhere podcasts are available beginning June 1.

About Andrew Zimmern

As a four-time James Beard Award winning chef, Emmy winner, writer, and producer, New York native Andrew Zimmern's contributions to the food world hardly end with his best known role as television host. At the same time, his television series — which include "Bizarre Foods," "Driven by Food," "The Zimmern List," "What's Eating America," and, most recently, "Family Dinner" — have introduced many Americans to the food traditions of cultures in the U.S. and the world over.

Zimmern founded and leads Intuitive Content, a television and digital production company television, and Passport Hospitality, a restaurant and food service development company. Zimmern also helped spearhead the Independent Restaurant Coalition in the wake of the pandemic. He is the author of The Bizarre Truth: Culinary Misadventures Around the Globe; Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods: An Intrepid Eater's Digest; Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre World of Food: Brains, Bugs, and Blood Sausage; and AZ and the Lost City of Ophir: Alliance of World Explorers.

Episode Transcript

MARTIE DUNCAN Welcome to Homemade. I'm Martie Duncan. My guest today is a culinary icon in every sense of the word. He's a four-time James Beard Award winning chef, journalist, television host, food critic, author, and a champion of the restaurant industry, too, especially our mom and pop institutions across the country. You most likely know him from his hit television shows, like his TV programs like the Travel Channel show "Bizarre Foods," which took him to every corner of the earth to eat anything, and I mean anything, in the name of showing cultural similarities and differences when it comes to food.

His new show on the Magnolia Network is called "Family Dinner." As we were all locked down for much of last year, cooking at home was a real necessity. Andrew visited with families of every variety from all over the U.S. He joined the in the kitchen to learn about their favorite recipes and to talk about why gathering around the table for a family meal is so important, maybe more so now than ever before.

I've been a a big fan of Andrew's for a long, long time, and I'm fascinated not only with his career in food but his own personal journey, too. I am thrilled to welcome the one and only Andrew Zimmern, A. Z. himself, to today's episode of Homemade. Thank you so much for taking some time to be with us today, Andrew.

ANDREW ZIMMERN Hey Martie. Good to see you.

MARTIE I've heard you say this before. I want to find the quote if I can. But you have always said that "food has the ability to transport you, to unlock memories." And that's true for everybody. I don't care who you are. Even if your grandmamma or your momma didn't cook and you didn't come from a cooking household, Little Debbie or a Ho Ho or whatever it is that you ate as a kid, those things bring us together. I don't care who you are. 

ANDREW They do. 

MARTIE That is the common ground that we all should at least start from, don't you think?

ANDREW Absolutely. And I'm a great student of history and I try to always be teachable and I'm a voracious learner and always have been my whole life. The greatness of our culture here in America isn't because we're more enlightened than any other nation, as De Tocqueville once said, but rather because we have an ability to repair our faults. And, I think in the last 10 years, I've seen us lose our traction when it comes to repairing our faults. We used to be much better at that. I think if I had a hope for our culture right now, it really is that we find a way to repair the problems that we all see.

I believe in the greater good of people. I'm not one of these glass half full glass/half empty people. I believe the glass is refillable. And I think the area that we need to focus on is, is how we're fixing our problems. That to me is the big umbrella under which a lot of this sits.

And you're right, I do believe that a well-cooked meal, something that has some love thrown in it, is something that brings people together. I've made a career out of it.

MARTIE Unifying, yeah unifying. While you were talking about doing good, and that is all really on all of us to try to do better, I want to bring to light the situation that we see with our restaurants right now. Can you tell me a little bit about what you've done, personally. I know you're involved in restaurant relief. Can you speak to how each one of us might be able to help our local restaurants and our mom and pops that are just so vital to every community?

ANDREW Sure. My recommendation for everybody is to support the independent restaurants, not chains, that are closest to your house. Of course, I understand people are going to support their favorite restaurants. You know, if you love to eat at you know you know Jean and Ernie's Taco Hut, I'm not telling you not to.

But the easiest thing to do is to grow where you're planted and support your local businesses because you know that their taxes go into paying for your kid's school books. Your fire department, your police department.

MARTIE Right.

ANDREW And then probably most importantly, I would encourage people to go to SaveRestaurants.com. That's the website of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, a group that I was, lucky enough to be a co-founder of. The restaurant industry is massive. We're the second largest employer in the country next to the US government. We are the number one employer of single moms, single dads, first time job seekers, last time job seekers, returning citizens, those coming from jails and institutions, number one or two of immigrants, And we are a very special group of employees and workers, creative, tireless, but so many of whom can't get a job in another industry... 

MARTIE Or don't want to get a job in another industry.

ANDREW That's right! The issue is no one got into the restaurant business to get rich. Some people have.

MARTIE Yes.

ANDREW But no one is into it for that. But the long and the short of it is that restaurants deserve federal help in the form of grants way before the other industries do, that have been way more profitable. We put 93 cents of every dollar we take in on average back into our communities. We are the holder of trust taxes like liquor taxes and sales taxes that we give back out. We're the reason kids books are in their schools in some small towns across America, because the largest collective industry in that town is the food service industry.

MARTIE Right.

ANDREW Um, and it is it's just I forget about the the restaurants. How about the pipeline, the supply chain that goes in? How about the tourism dollars that circulate around? It's so many people are reliant on this. So, you know, again, SaveRestaurants.com, please, please join us, write your senator, your congressman from our website and let your voice be heard that you want restaurants saved. 

MARTIE They are the first people you go to when your kid needs a sponsor for their soccer team. They're the first people you go to when you have a charity event and they are the ones that always donate and always show up. So it is_these are.

ANDREW Martie, you are so right.

MARTIE People that are so vital to our community. Y'all know that Joe's barbecue down there has sponsored your kid's soccer team for six years in a row.

ANDREW That's right. And I'll underscore that, in highlight. While our industry is getting kneecapped, half the restaurants in America are closed, we're looking at extinction events. it's just been a horrific year, uh, for restaurants. And yet, who is out there feeding... First responders and anyone else who's hungry? Restaurant people, they're giving away and giving back. That is how_that is how kind and generous and loving and creative this industry is. I call them second responders because, you know, it's not just the, the bake sale and the soccer team. When there's a tragedy, when there is a hurricane or something, the first people to rush in are our first responders and literally right behind them are, the chefs and restaurants looking to feed people, because that's that's what we know how to do.

MARTIE It's the truth. I have done it lots of times myself, and I have wanted to do it more than I've ever been able to. It just goes to show you that the restaurant community is a community, part of your community.

ANDREW Yeah.

MARTIE All right. All right. Let's move on. I want to talk about your new show. I've always loved, I've loved all your shows. 

ANDREW Thank you. 

MARTIE Now will I have to say, I turn my head any time you eat something and I turn the volume off because I don't want to hear it crunch either. I don't want to see it, I don't want to hear it sometimes. But I am so excited about this new show because it's something that I feel very strongly about and something I've kind of always wanted to do. You've got a new show called "Family Dinner." It's on the Magnolia Network. Tell us about the premise for Family Dinner and how you came to it. And for me, it's sort of like things have come full circle from Bizarre Foods all the way around to What's Eating America. And now you come to the family table.

ANDREW Well, it's interesting. You say it starts with the show that you didn't like.

MARTIE I liked it. I like it. I just...

ANDREW I'm kidding you. I'm just busting your chops.

MARTIE I know. 

ANDREW Here's the thing. We never put a big circle around it with a giant arrow pointing at it. And I never said it on camera. But in every episode of Bizarre Foods that we ever made, we always had a family meal. And when we were creating the show, one of the things that I insisted on was that we had some repeatable stories that we would always do a process story because people want to know how something's made.

MARTIE Right.

ANDREW So we always, we always had a process story in our show. Always. Doesn't matter whether it was blood pancakes in Finland or, uh, you know, near beer in n Moscow or wherever it was, we always had a process story. We always had a family meal, as well. It was very important to me that we show people who live in Japan how people who live in the AmANDREWonia Basin in BrANDREWil eat and vice versa, because our show aired in 160 some odd countries. So while we were making it primarily for an American audience, I knew I could have a tremendous impact on how the world saw each other if they could just see how we all eat. Because my experience as a traveler before we ever made Bizarre Foods was the people all eat the same. It does not matter where you are. Every culture, every jungle, every city, every restaurant, every farmhouse we walked into. It's the same thing. Everyone would always say to the kids, sit up, eat everything on your plate. These people with the cameras will be gone in half an hour. We promised you you could play more when they were gone. Don't eat with your fingers. Families do the same stuff. They laugh the same way. They bust each other's chops the same way. They love each other the same way. This is universal and it was very important for me to show that.

ANDREW So I did all the Bizarre Food stuff. I did all the Travel Channel stuff. I did a couple of shows on Food Network, like All-Star Academy, which I loved because it was mentoring young people. One of my favorite shows I've ever done. I would love to make more of that show. when the folks at Magnolia called up our production company, I own a production company here in Minneapolis and they said, we want to show with the Intuitive Content look and feel. What do you think? here's what we're looking at at the network. And the first words out of my mouth in the conference room were, "family dinner." That fits right underneath the Magnolia tent pole. It's the perfect, perfect Magnolia kind of show. And they asked me what that was. And I said, well, let's have our host go around and actually show people how Americans eat. But we're storytellers. At Intuitive Content, we're really good at telling stories. And we wanted to tell the stories of the farmer in Minnesota that married the wife from Russia. And she moved here with one suitcase and seven changes of clothing, one for each day. And now they have eight kids and they're the pillar of their community. We wanted to eat with them. We wanted to eat with the immigrant mother that came across the border from Mexico escaping violence in her home, from her ex-husband to make money in the restaurant business. And, uh, three years later was able to send for her children. She had to make the Sophie's Choice, escape her life and risk being able to go back and get her kids. She hid her children. She hid her children with her sister, and left the country and sent for them three years later. So we wanted to tell these incredible stories of these incredible families and hear from them in their own words, why they believe eating together, is something that's important to them. Why is that the crucial glue that holds them together? And I said, let's do this. I want to do this show. [17.2s] 

ANDREW And so we made 20 episodes of it and it's streaming on D Plus, along with the eight hundred episodes of everything else I've done over the last eight years.

MARTIE Right.

ANDREW So it's a it's actually the D plus platform is really fun for me because I have people who've never seen Bizarre Foods binge watch it and send me, something over Twitter And it is just the coolest, coolest thing. Show has sort of stood the test of time and they're to be associated with that. The impact of that show never really hit me until it went on the streamer and a whole new generation of fans got to see it.

MARTIE Yeah, I had the same thing happen. I don't have nearly the catalog that you...I've got one, two one little shows I've done on Food Network, but, um...

ANDREW It's amANDREWing, right? Now that it has a new life?

MARTIE With Food Network Star, I get these people emailing me and writing me and telling me how impactful it was and how motivated they were by my journey. And I'm like, oh wow. And that's just one little thing. I can only imagine if it's you. Andrew, I want to ask you this. So do you think, this need to tell the story and sit around a family table comes from your early childhood where you had these great family gatherings with your own family, lots of people. Do you think it started there? Like, is it...

ANDREW Oh, for sure. For sure.

MARTIE Ingrained in your back then? 

ANDREW Well, it's worse at the at the risk of, uh, at the risk of trying not to cry because it always chokes me up. But I, I, you know, my family, we had these incredible big family meals and it was so exciting and so much fun. And to sit at our family's table was always such a joy with whoever was showing up, the twenty people that were invited and the extra ten that we're just like, yeah, come on over. We're having people the house tonight. That's how my parents entertained. The door was always open. And the word no, never came out of my parents mouths. If there were extra people coming over for dinner, I remember almost every weekend at some point_I'm talking when I was a little kid, single digits.

MARTIE Right.

ANDREW Um, at 5:00, my dad was like, "Come on, I need your help." And we would go to the supermarket. It was a couple of miles up the road from us in our little summer community. And the reason was we had to buy more half chickens.

MARTIE Right.

ANDREW My father's solution to feeding more people was half chickens, because you can cut legs and thighs and breasts. He said, let's just keep grilling half chickens. We'll just keep grilling chicken until everyone is full.

MARTIE Yeah.

ANDREW And he was such a great entertainer and storyteller, sitting around the family table. And, you know, my parents divorced. My mother had a horrific, uh, traumatic brain injury and everything just disappeared. It just vanished overnight. My reaction to all that was to become a drug addict and alcoholic and not feel anything. So for fifteen years after all this tragedy, I anesthetized myself and became a user of people and a taker of things. And eventually I was blessed enough, uh, to get, uh, sto_ get sober and stay sober.

And so I realized when I was making Family Dinner. I realized, without getting too Freudian, why I_15 years earlier had said a family meal has to be part of every episode of Bizarre Foods because I'm constantly in search, I'm chasing that dragon. I'm an addict.

MARTIE Oh, yeah.

ANDREW I want to go back. I want, need to feel that.

MARTIE You want to feel that.

ANDREW Exactly.

MARTIE You want to feel that.

ANDREW I want to feel that again.

MARTIE Yeah. The taste of things that you remember from your childhood helps to spur those memories.

ANDREW 1000 percent.

MARTIE You said your grandmother's roast chicken was like one of your favorite things. And I'm sure that's part of the reason it, it must prompt you to remember those days and your grandmomma's kitchen. Can you take us there? What did her kitchen look like and what do you must remember her cooking?

ANDREW Uh, Well, it's great because I love that you call her my grandmama and we called her Bubby. but we have the same feeling, right?

MARTIE Yeah.

ANDREW And so she had a small apartment on West End Avenue...

MARTIE In New York.

ANDREW At between 79th and 80th. And she had a big living room. And then you went up three little steps into a dining room and there was a corridor to the front door. And then through the dining room, you could go down this other hallway where there was her bedroom in the guest bedroom and a shared bathroom. And she had a tiny little kitchen, that typical little, you know, 100-year-old New York City apartment kitchen that had a window at the end of it was one of those weird like fans, the little pull cord that like.

MARTIE Yeah.

ANDREW It's all greasy and dusty. And there was only room for one person to stand in the kitchen and cook. So when I was little, I sat on a stool in front of that fan and I watched. And then eventually she would hand stuff to me and then eventually she would have me help her. I would go over there once a month on Saturday mornings, and we'd shop all morning and afternoon, cook all night, then watch some TV, then get up Sunday morning, cook some more then the whole family would come over Sunday lunch, including my dad, and then I would go home, leave with him at like two, three o'clock Sunday afternoon. I loved helping her and I loved learning what she was doing. And my grandmother had her kids when she was older. My father had me when he was older. So my grandmother was not a "hey, let's go to Central Park and kick the soccer ball around" grandma.

MARTIE Right.

ANDREW But the cooking thing we had in common. She also, uh, we called it Holocaust mentality. She had lost a lot of relatives, uh, in the Holocaust. And so she, like many other Jews of her generation and subsequent generations, I think I've inherited some of it. There's a part of us that feels like at any moment it could all go away.

MARTIE All go away.

ANDREW So..

MARTIE My dad lived through the depression.

ANDREW There you go. Same thing. So she had this apron that she would wear. And when she was taking stuff out of roasting pans or working with chicken fat and all the rest, she would wipe her hands on the belly area of her apron. And instead of throwing it in the wash after she used it, it was good for another day, another session in the kitchen.

MARTIE Why not? Why not?

ANDREW [00:32:07] [00:32:07] And so on Sundays, when we would cook it _Saturday, the clean apron went on. Stuff is all over. Every Sunday when I left the apartment at 3:00 in the afternoon with my dad, I get this big hug from my grandmother, but I was little, so my face would go right into this big pile of roasted chicken fat and gravy that was on her apron and that smell when I make her onion gravy. I can taste it, I'm put back into her kitchen, but what I remember the most is like I immediately think, apron. Apron comes into my head. [33.5s] 

MARTIE Oh, wow.

ANDREW It's so weird.

MARTIE That's wild.

ANDREW So, yeah, I mean, that's_you know, her kitchen was a happy place that filled up with people, too, even though she was not what I would call a happy woman.

MARTIE Hey, Andrew. Will you walk us through that roast chicken recipe really quick? I mean, everybody's got their way of doing it.

ANDREW Oh, yeah. Super, super, super easy. Although my grandmother had hers and I've, I've refined it now. My grandmother never put anything inside the cavity of a chicken but salt.

So I've changed up a little in the formal recipes on AndrewZimmern.com. Uh, but I take my chicken, I wash and dry it, and then I let it sit overnight in the fridge.it really helps make the skin super tight and crisp and delicious. And. uh, I rub the whole thing down with butter, sprinkle it with, salt and pepper and different seasonings. I put lemon and celery and parsley and other aromatics into the cavity.

ANDREW I trust it. I tie the legs together and pull them up the back side by winding around the wings. And the reason I do that is the same reason that if I was cooking myself, I would cook faster with my arms raised. Right? It pulls your, your scapula, your shoulder blades up.

MARTIE OK, I really thought you are going to say when I'm cooking myself. And I thought, I hope he doesn't cook himself. But you're actually talking about cooking, yourself.

ANDREW Yes. The, and here's the reason, dark meat cooks slower than white meat. Right? So what we're trying to do when we're cooking poultry is accelerate the time of the dark meat quarters...

ANDREW And their attempt to reach 170 degrees.

ANDREW When the connective tissue breaks down. And the white meat, which is dry and nasty at one hundred and seventy degrees. So, uh, I do that first and foremost. Anything under three pounds. It goes right into a rack. I scatter onions all around the pan. I take a few tablespoons of chicken fat because I always have leftover chicken fat in a little jar in the refrigerator and I drizzle that on top of the onions so that they start roasting in caramelizing after the first half hour of cooking. And the reason that I do that, people are like, why don't you baste? Well, I don't baste. I never baste. And, you know, I'm trying to preserve the moisture in the white meat of the chicken and at the crown where the keel bone meets the thinnest part of the breast, that's where you're basting. Why do I want to put three hundred and twenty five degree fat onto the place that I'm trying to keep it, 165 degrees at most, if it's nice and moist and delicious. Um, So I roast the chicken at 90 minutes, 110 minutes, depending on the size anywhere in between there until the dark meat is just cooked through because I already know the white meat is cooked and then I pull it out, let it rest, which helps the dryness issue on the white meat. And while it's resting, I make a simple pan gravy with all of those browned onions... 

ANDREW The chicken fat and everything that's in there. I emulsify the chicken fat into the gravy. It gives its richness and I use homemade chicken stock with that, so it has a really deep, delicious flavor. My grandmother never would cook with anything other than homemade chicken broth, and that's really the generic recipe. If you're cooking with bigger birds, I'll take a roasting pan. I'll put about a half inch of uh, stock or water in it. And I'll actually get that boiling on the stove top and I'll poach the bottom of my turkey, let's say.

MARTIE Really?

ANDREW For 15, 20 minutes, then take it out and stuff it and put it in a rack and roasted. Yeah. Because I want to, I want to give the the place that's going cook the To be the last a head start. Right? So that my white and dark meat all comes together at the same time. My grandmother's roast chicken recipe, she would do, uh, she would shove, and I mean shove, three chickens into that roasting rack that inserted into that roasting pan. It's a tight squeeze. And so she would always cook it a little too much because she needed to make sure that we're all connected with, like this big block of chicken. And I do my gravy usually ahead of time with onions and lots of wings and backs in the saute pan, and I just let them roast until they're all brown and caramelized for like three hours. At 250 to 275 and then hit it with stock and boil it reduced. And I make this concentrate that I just can quickly thicken and use for gravy, uh, for when I'm entertaining. [9.8s] 

MARTIE I'm coming to your house. I'm coming like right now.

ANDREW The food's good. Everyone always says to me are all those pictures on your Instagram is that stuff that you're cooking for yourself? I'm like, well, 99 percent, that's what I'm cooking. So. Yeah. And I think if, if people_there's some people who have complained it's too much roast chicken, but I'm obsessed with roast chicken and all its different cultural variants, whether it's You know, the charcoal roasted chicken of Central and South America or the, you know, Hainan style chicken, you know, poached chicken and fatty rice over in Asia. I'm just, I'm obsessed with roast chicken. I love it.

MARTIE You're listening to Homemade. Stay tuned as Andrew tells me more about his grandma's recipes, which rock star's guitar he purchased at auction, and what he'd make if he ever had to complete against Bobby Flay! I'll be right back, after the break.

I'm Martie Duncan and my guest today is award-winning chef and TV personality, Andrew Zimmern.

A couple of other recipes from your grandma I want to bring up.

ANDREW Sure.

MARTIE Because they're favorites of mine too. Stuffed cabbage.Stuffed cabbage is the winner. And cheap and delicious.

ANDREW If she was alive today, she'd be mad.

MARTIE Why?

ANDREW She'd be so mad. I took her stuff, cabbage recipe. She stuffed her cabbage with beef and rice and simmered it in canned tomatoes. With sugar and white vinegar and one dried bay leaf that was so old it had no flavor it all. And it was delicious. And salt and pepper. I think, she chopped an onion in with the beef and the rice, right? That was it. Six ingredients. it was heavenly what that woman did with six ingredients. And look, is part of it my memory. Am I overly romanticizing it?

Of course I am. However, I love her stuffed cabbage. And as I started to eat stuffed cabbage around the world, the good and the bad, I started to incorporate changes and flavors. And I think I will put up, you know, if I went on like one of those, uh, Food Network shows where you're supposed to cook one dish expertly. 

MARTIE Right. 

ANDREW There are a lot of -- Beat Bobby Flay is one of them. 

MARTIE OK, yes.

ANDREW If I wanted to beat Bobby Flay. I would make stuffed cabbage.

MARTIE Oh, really?

ANDREW I have well, I've invested so much time with this.

MARTIE All right, Bobby. You heard that. 

ANDREW I've invested so much time.

MARTIE I think that's a throw down, Bobby, you and Andrew.

ANDREW Yeah, stuffed cabbage.

MARTIE Stuffed cabbage throw down.

ANDREW So, I've spent a lot of time in Africa, especially North Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, uh, Morocco. And when I started incorporating, um, uh, different herbs and seasonings from that part of the world in with my stuffed cabbage, it just took off.

The sourness and the saltiness of preserved lemon, the earthiness of a little pinch of saffron, the sweetness from raisins, you start to put that into a stuffed cabbage, into a sauce and reduce that to where the tomato literally glANDREWes the tops of these things. So they almost look like candy apples coming out of the oven.

MARTIE Oh, delish.

ANDREW We don't have any rice. I, I, I roll it neither lose nor firm. But, you know, when you're making meatballs or hamburgers you don't like, smash it together because it just makes them too tough. Just loosely rolled. The meat sets itself. And it has, we put a lot of herbs and vegetables in there, as well.

ANDREW To help with the mouthfeel, is so soft. You can eat it with a fork. You don't need a knife. I love Savoy cabbage, something like Grandma. I don't think my grandmother ever cooked with the Savoy cabbage in her life.

ANDREW She cook with giant head cabbage that was usually pickled and in a, uh, big barrel at the delicatessen.

MARTIE Really?

ANDREW That she would fight other, oh yeah. She would fight other grandmothers off with her cane to get the biggest stuff, the biggest heads, so that she could have big rolls. Um, this was_my stuffed cabbage is much different, but I think my grandmother would find it delicious.

MARTIE I know she would. I want to talk a little bit more about your personal life just because I always think it's fun. 

ANDREW Sure.

MARTIE What's still on your bucket list? I mean, what could possibly still be on your bucket list. You've done everything.

ANDREW Not by half., there are so many things that I want to do. I want to travel the world as I've done it for the last 50 years with my son and show him places I've been.

MARTIE Oh, yes. Yes.

ANDREW I want to in in some more tangible way, create a little more equality in the world for all people. I'm not going to lie, I've worked pretty hard at that for the last 15 years. I believe if you've been given a platform, you owe society something...

MARTIE Agree.

ANDREW Immeasurably large. Um, and you know, whether it's my work with the, uh, International Rescue Committee that Einstein founded in 1939. I'm their voice of nutrition here in America or Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach program and the work that I've done with the Electrify Africa campaign to try to get, uh, electricity over in Africa. More people have cell phones than have electricity there. If you solve the electricity issue, indoor cooking goes away, which means more people have better health outcomes. They're able to store food. People are able to store medicine better outcomes for more people. I spend half my time fighting for social justice causes for things that I believe in. But I still, it's, it's, I need to see more traction. I need to see more stuff happen. Um, there are so many people who life is leaving behind. We are, we are leaving behind whole swaths of our fellow brothers and sisters that have done nothing to deserve the outcomes that they have. It's one thing if you ignore it. You know, if you're given the opportunity to go to school and you don't, you've got other issues.

ANDREW We need to, we need to make sure everyone has school and everyone has food and everyone has the same shot at the same job. And we just need more equality in society globally and here in America.

So I really do want to create more of a lasting impact there. And I'm sure the next twenty years will hold that. I also_there's a lot of stories that I still want to tell. I'm not a retirement guy. I'm a die in the saddle guy. 

Yeah,I'm in the saddle for a long time to come. So, you know, I want to do, uh, more episodes of What's Eating In America. I thought that series was really good.

MARTIE Yeah, it's a good show.

ANDREW Uh, we have a lot of things that we're working on right now here at Intuitive Content, both with me and without me. I want to grow my businesses. I'm a serial entrepreneur. Uh, I want to, there's a lot of stuff that I want to do. I don't have something on my list like 'learn to rumba' or anything like that.

MARTIE Oh, that could be fun, though, too.

ANDREW It can be.

MARTIE Well, uh, you're a musician, too, right? You collect guitars.

ANDREW I'm the worst guitar player in the whole world but I... 

MARTIE Did you play in a high school band.

ANDREW I played in a horrible high school band called Aromatic Prawn Explosion. It was a Led Zeppelin cover band.

MARTIE Awesome.

ANDREW Naw, I'm just, I'm just kidding around.

MARTIE You collect guitars. You collect rock and roll t-shirts.

ANDREW I do. I do. I do.

MARTIE Tell us. What's your favorite guitar.

ANDREW Uh, I have a 1967 ES3-35.

MARTIE Gibson.

ANDREW Hollow Body. Yeah, I have a, I have a Les Paul Gold top vintage that I'm really pretty excited about.

MARTIE Wow. Like Duane Allman's.

ANDREW Um, I mean I've targeted certain ones. Uh, One of my favorite guitarists is Walter Becker from Steely Dan.

MARTIE Of course, yes.

ANDREW And when he passed away, uh, they put up a lot of his guitars at auction and I bought one of Walter's guitars.

MARTIE Wow, phenomenal. 

ANDREW Yeah, and this is true. I bought it a year ago. I still haven't opened it. It was almost too emotional for me.

MARTIE Really?

ANDREW I never bought the guitar of a person that I knew and idolized and learned songs and other guitars like them. And then I was holding his guitar and he was no longer with us. And it kind of_I got this, like, shiver up my back. And I just said, I'll open it when the time is right. So, yeah, I mean, I, I like to collect guitars, like to play guitars. Uh, you know, for me it's more Risky Business style. I crank it up in my headphones and my guitar room at my house.

MARTIE Why not?

ANDREW Go nuts. But you talked about things that I want to do. I thought when the pandemic started, I contacted a couple of people who were doing online guitar lessons.

And I'm like, hey, I want to do online guitar lessons. And they said, Perfect, Zoom's great for it. It's, you know, we can figure that all out. Then like a lot of other people, the idea that I would have more free time actually disappeared. I have less free time. I'm working on so many different things to try to keep my businesses alive. Other people's business is alive.

MARTIE Right and stay sane, too. 

ANDREW Filled with so many things.

MARTIE Yeah.

ANDREW I just I literally have not had the time. So when you said that, I thought, what's one thing I really want to do for me? Play more guitar stuff.

MARTIE Yeah.

ANDREW The problem is a lifetime of cooking, uh, I have that ligament tightening thing. And you could see there where that happens.

MARTIE I have it too.

ANDREW Your fingers are going to splay down. I mean, just a lifetime of of cooking. So I have to take care of my hand problem first. My right hand is fine.

But my left that I make my chords with is less responsive than I would like it to be. And my thumb, I can't really use my thumb very well. So I went to my doctor. I said, you have to fix this because I'm doing this guitar thing and he's like, there's a pandemic that's elective surgery. So I have to wait for all of that. But yeah, I just want to tell more stories, spend more time with people that I love.

MARTIE I love that.

ANDREW Yeah.

MARTIE And have a little music...

ANDREW Do some smooching and a hugging.

MARTIE Yeah, why not.

ANDREW What do you call down in the south?

MARTIE Uh...

ANDREW Of all people, you must have some really funny name for it. I call it a little smooching and a huggin.

MARTIE I don't know, what do I call it?

ANDREW Interesting.

MARTIE Um. 

ANDREW Tables have turned.

MARTIE Yes, the tables have turned. The interviewer.

ANDREW The interviewee.

MARTIE Has become. Yes.

ANDREW Yes.

MARTIE Yes had become the interviewer. 

ANDREW Think about it. You should have, I mean, there is a nomenclature that exists in different parts of our country...

MARTIE Absolutely.

ANDREW That I find just fantastic.

MARTIE My favorite thing.

ANDREW Yet, as a born and bred New Yorker, I have I have cousins that never left, you know, the Bronx and they're just, the have the greatest names. And my kid comes home from school and words like Flex and Bootleg.

MARTIE Yes.

ANDREW Bootleg came back. I tried to explain to him. When I was growing up saying that was bootleg, I said when Pop Pop was growing up, bootleg was, you know, bad, bad booze was bootleg.

MARTIE Bad booze. Yeah.

ANDREW You know?

MARTIE It still is around there. 

ANDREW Yeah. And then everything is bootleg was, you know_Well, I've tasted a lot of homemade booze from the West. That's far from bootleg.

MARTIE Yeah.

ANDREW But the you know, and he's like, yeah, but Dad bootleg is like that's like fake. It's not good. It's not. And I'm like, right, exactly. And he just couldn't accept a word from my generation was one of his and his grandfather's, which was hysterical, um, he corrects me.

He corrects me for me when I use the word, uh, flex. He says I don't use that properly, uh, which is hysterical. So I, I love words. I love vocabulary and crossword puzzles and all the rest of that. So there's got to be a good name.

MARTIE I don't know. I need to think about it.

ANDREW A good Southern nickname for smooching and a huggin' and knockin boots or whatever is.

MARTIE Yeah.

ANDREW Anyway. The world should all smooch and hug 10 percent more.

MARTIE Or more than that.

ANDREW If everyone does smooched and hugged 10 percent more, I think we wouldn't have time for other things.

MARTIE Yeah. Put those phones down and do more of that. Listen, I've had a just a joy talking to you. You're a treasure. You're a national treasure, and, uh, you're not just an icon on our TV. You're really an icon who in the truest sense of the word walks the walk. And talks the talk.

ANDREW Oh, thank you Martie. I appreciate that. 

MARTIE Thank you.

ANDREW Thank you very, very much. You have a great rest of your day.