The Bizarre Foods host‘s first line in this above-average episode of VICE’s “Munchies” foreshadows the eye-opening stories to come: “The theme of tonight’s episode is people that have fired me or wouldn’t hire me. I was such a drug-addled mess.”
ZImmern and his posse start their dinner crawl at Michael White and Bill Dorrler’s Osteria Morini, where they order lamb brains, veal sweetbreads, 120 day-aged beef carpaccio, and two bowls of cappelletti. They leave Soho and head to Restaurant Marc Forgione for some crazy mint-wasabi clouds, then to Barbuto, where Zimmern cooks “Chinese grandmother food” for chef Jonathan Waxman.
In addition to eating some awesome stuff, Zimmern really bares all in this one. Here are some revelations from Zimmern’s booze-and drug-fueled past:
- Thomas Keller and a couple of other guys found Zimmern drunk, passed out on the floor in the liquor room of Keller’s restaurant, Raquel. Needless to say, he was fired.
- When Keller saw Zimmern for the first time a few years later, the French Laundry chef walked across the room, gave him a hug, and whispered in his ear, “I thought you were dead.”
- On being fired by Marc Forgione’s dad while working at his restaurant An American Place some 30 years ago: “I was a mess. I deserved to be fired one hour after I went in the door. It was a miracle I lasted half a shift there.”
- Zimmern’s account of the 70’s: “The 70’s were a very exciting time for some of us. Pot got you really high and it wasn’t expensive. It was very simple. Life was so easy.”