Andrew Zimmern, the four-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, executive producer and host of Travel Channel's “Bizarre Foods” and “The Zimmern List,” is the latest talent to join forces with the International Rescue Committee to raise awareness for refugees and people who have been displaced by war domestically and internationally.

Zimmern will adopt the IRC Voice title, using his influence, network, and generosity to stand up for and with the world’s most vulnerable people, especially focusing on nutrition and food security. “The importance of the mission of the International Rescue Committee cannot be overstated,” said Andrew Zimmern. “I am honored to lend my voice to raise awareness of the vital and lifesaving work they are doing, especially when it comes to food security and nutrition.”

A long-time supporter of the IRC, Zimmern recently visited the IRC’s New Roots Community Farm in the Bronx, New York City to meet with program participants from the POWER (Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Resilience) program focused on food and agriculture. The POWER Food & Agriculture program engages female refugees, asylees and other immigrants and is designed to enhance transferable job skills, financial literacy, individual leadership and language skills while building on the agricultural knowledge and experiences clients have brought from their home countries. The program fosters a sense of community and friendship amongst the participating women. This program also exposes participants to employment opportunities within the food and agriculture industries in and around NYC. 

“We’re thankful for Andrew’s support of the IRC and are excited to welcome him to the IRC Voice family,” said David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. “Now, more than ever before, it’s important that individuals get involved and use their voice to enact positive change.” 

Andrew Zimmern at the New Roots Community Farm in the Bronx with Estela, Malado, and Caroline, past participants in IRC’s POWER Food & Agriculture program.

At the New Roots Community Farm in the Bronx, Andrew met with Estela, Malado and Caroline – all three of whom came to New York in search of safety and opportunity for themselves and their families. Hailing from Mexico, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo respectively, the three women found common ground as participants in the IRC’s POWER Food & Agriculture program. Malado and Caroline are focused on developing their culinary skills in order to match their experiential knowledge with the bustling food industry in New York City. Estela is a home chef and an experienced prep cook. Malado and Estela share their recipes through cooking demonstrations at IRC’s weekly farmers’ market, and Caroline has aspirations of starting her own restaurant. Food was the common language during Andrew’s visit, and food is the foundation for this IRC programming that builds skills, honors traditional knowledge and allows the women to dream again.

In addition to tending personal plots, gardeners collectively care for native plant gardens, engage in honey harvest from the resident beehives, and grow crops for donation and sale. One such crop is the hot peppers harvested as ingredients for Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce. During his visit, Andrew was treated to taste samples of three different hot sauces, which were complimented by the natural sweet honey collected from the Bronx hives.

Plans are already in the works for Zimmern to visit the New Roots Community Farm again during the growing season to support community education and cooking events, as well as enjoy the garden’s bounty at the height of the season.  

B-Roll and Photos from Andrew Zimmern’s New Roots Community Farm Bronx visit here.