Samantha Brown & Andrew Zimmern: Live On Travel Show


I'm star-strucked again. Last year, it was Ian Wright and Megan McCormick. This time, it's Samantha Brown and Andrew Zimmern who I'm seeing and listening to as part of the New York Times Travel Show seminar series. Fortunately, their speaking engagements didn't overlap with each other so I was able to see them in between booth-hopping around the exhibit areas.

Several speakers were actually scheduled to speak but I was only keen on seeing Travel Channel's two peripatetic stars. Samantha, looking very slim, started her talk on something she acknowledges is always asked of her: how did I get this job? Apparently, her comedy sketch background in New York prepared her well for the job of television hosting. From Great Hotels to Passport to Europe to Passport to Latin America to Passport to China, Samantha has racked up so many frequent flier miles traveling almost 250 days a year - she says she has 800,000 miles with Delta. I'm so envious!

Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods is truly a hefty presence. The moment I saw that bulging belly of his, I thought about all the funky food that went down there. But as he admits, he's never been sick, not even once, from eating anything from giant flying ants to balut to raw camel kidneys. Oftentimes, it's not just the food that he enjoys but the opportunity to be somewhere remote. He specifically mentioned his Robinson Crusoe-like experience in Palawan, Philippines (and feasting on what he says is his best seafood at the Badjao Inn & Restaurant). Thanks Andrew for plugging the Philippines - several in the huge crowd were actually jotting down notes which hopefully will entice them to visit the country.

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