Chef Andrew Zimmern Finds More Freedom in New YouTube Series

November 20, 2017

Chef Andrew Zimmern is back with the second season of "The Navigator's Table." The original YouTube series follows special guests through culinary adventures across the globe. The series is produced in partnership with Renaissance Hotels, a part of Marriott International.

Zimmern is known for his work on the Travel Channel series "Bizarre Foods." He says the YouTube series allows him to do what his previous shows haven't: test new content. Special guests this season include Masaharu Morimoto, Adam Richman, and Christian Siriano.

Each episode is defined by the city it highlights, exploring with locals, and ultimately cooking up one dish in each location. Zimmern says this is the ultimate travel experience. The series debuted on October 17th, 2017.


MALE_1: What are some of the differences between the two different formats? Are you given more freedom with, uh, with a format doesn't, doesn't actually have to be essentially 22 minutes or conform to, to some- to some sort of restriction?

MALE_2: You know, it's a great question and something that I think, uh, content makers have been wrestling with for a while and are going to continue to wrestle with. Um. You know, I have my foot in both, uh, worlds right now. I'm-- you know, I do Navigator's Table and other series, uh, digitally we also have launched a digital series at called The Easy Cooks. And within these, uh, formats, we're constantly testing because every single year you hear, "Oh, people are watching with the sound of- Oh, people only want three minutes. Oh, now they want longer form and they want five to 10 minutes." So it seems that as we-we forget how relatively new these platforms are and so they're changing all the time. What we call traditional linear commercial TV, what we know of from the big networks and in cable, they're commercial based, they're half hours and hours or 22 and 42 minutes respectively. Um. And yes, there are a lot more rules. However, sometimes those kind of rules help define the sandbox a little better so you can be really effective. And I think that's why so much branded content today doesn't really work either as an entertainment vehicle for the viewer or for the brand. Um. We've been, We've- you know my company [NOISE] intuited content as the production company on this series and and our biggest challenge, and I think we navigated it successfully the first year of, uh, Navigator's Table [NOISE] won a whole bunch of awards in- uh, within a lot of different categories. Right. The, the, the idea is you, you still no matter what, need to entertain and if you're going to be doing branded content, you need to reinforce the brand. And I think people are still playing around and trying to discover what that is.