June 29, 2024 – “Bizarre Foods” TV host Andrew Zimmern has been sober for 32 and a half years, and often uses his platform to talk about mental health; he’s vocal about his experience online and eager to share his perspective in interviews. “Sobriety was my route to happiness and wellness, and saving my own life,” Zimmern told Aspen Public Radio during the Classic on Saturday.

Zimmern has been coming to this event for more than a decade, with the experience of a “longtime sober guy,” but he also knows just how hard it could be for someone to show up at the Classic if they only recently gave up alcohol.

“If you’re newly sober and you’re coming into an environment like this, you better have a plan, and that plan better include going to meetings, calling other recovering folks, because there’s so many things that are going to be triggering,” Zimmern said.

Zimmern attends meetings during the festival, too, and he likes to talk to some people he mentors. He’s actually met lots of sober people here at the festival in Aspen — in part, because he’s so open about his own experience.

“I’ve probably had 25 people in the last two days come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got five years,’ ‘I’ve got 10 years,’ ‘My kid just celebrated four years,’” he said.