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Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern Brings Culinary Expertise To Road Kill Cook Off
(2011-10-03)
(wvmr) - On Saturday September 24th, thousand of people converged on Marlinton WV for the Annual Autumn Harvest Festival and Road Kill Cook Off. The streets were packed to overflowing with crafters and artisans of all types, community service agencies, and 4 different bands that played throughout the day. There was truly something for everyone.

The highlight of the Road Kill was one of the judges: Andrew Zimmern. If you don't know him, he's the host of Travel Channels Bizarre Foods. On his show he goes around the world seeking out what some call bizarre but others just call food. And he had his television production crew with him. This years' Cook Off featured several alligator dishes, crawfish, venison, squirrels and other things that were a little harder to identify; all right up Mr. Zimmern's alley.

After the Judging was complete, I managed to corner Andrew and I asked him what he thought of the Road Kill Cook Off. His answer was much more than I expected.

"Well the Road Kill Cook Off is unbelievable but I'm just, I'm more in love with West Virginia than I ever thought I could be," he says. "This is one of my favorite places in the world. I started coming down here for the first time 4 years ago. And I've been down here every year since."

"And I've now been to every corner of the state, and I've done just about everything there is to do. I've not met everybody or been every place, but done just about everything there is to do; and this is just one of the great spots in the world. It's truly God's Country; I wish more people would come here and understand that. The people are amazing and welcoming; the food's awesome. You get to see a piece of America that's been bulldozed over in the other 49 states. I think this is the most real place in the whole world, I just love it here."

I invited him to come back without his film crew and really get to enjoy our beautiful little patch of heaven.

"Next year, we're actually going to do a little family vacation here in September so I'm really excited about it."

I asked him if he be interested in having squirrel fixed country style and he surprised with his response.

"I've had so much squirrel this week and we had it the real way and boy I'll tell you it's just fantastic."

I told him to have good squirrel, you have to have a wood stove involved and once again he surprised me with his response.

"Not only was there a wood stove involved but we were out hunting our own squirrels."

Andrew Zimmer is the real deal and I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him.

As to the Road Kill Cook Off, The Winners are:

1st Place - The Ridge Runners from Cass
2nd Place - Go Marlinton
3rd Place - Pocahontas County Roadkill Grill
People Choice - Pocahontas County Roadkill Grill
Showmanship- Go Marlinton
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