Eating the Unthinkable
May 13, 2006 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Chef Kazuki Yamamoto will cook just about anything. Casting aside all concern for the law, he prepares exotic dishes for celebrities and the ultra-rich. No species is off limits; his dishes have included penguin, walrus, whale, seal, dolphin, hippo, rhino, sea lion, chimpanzee, gorilla, monkey, brown bear, gazelle, giraffe, zebra, mountain lion, sea turtle, gila monster, ferruginous pygmy owl, bighorn sheep, Bichon Frise, and (it is claimed) human.
posted by Rhomboid (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The non-print version of the article is here if you prefer.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:00 PM on May 13, 2006

More with the humans and less with the animals, please.
posted by Ryvar at 7:04 PM on May 13, 2006

what did he ever do to you???
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:08 PM on May 13, 2006

"There many Mexcan immigrant need money," confides Yamamoto during my inspection of his Anthem residence. "Sometime they sell me kidney, arm or leg, or just slice of liver. Very, very expenseeve. These Mexcan never have to work for year, I tell you. And Mexcan liver with onion? Is sooo deleeshus. You must try."

This set off the BS alarm...
posted by dopamine at 7:14 PM on May 13, 2006

[+fava beans] [!]
posted by homunculus at 7:14 PM on May 13, 2006

Eating animals is truly disgusting
posted by growabrain at 7:17 PM on May 13, 2006

dopamine: you beat me to the punch.

This is a lil' OTT:

"I give the hufu to people who don't wanna eat Mexcan," claims Yamamoto. "Hufu not bad, but nothing like real Mexcan."

Well, how could it be? I mean, have you ever had a soy dog? We also learn:

I sample a bit of each, and I must admit that Yamamoto is correct. Mexican liver is exquisite, a thousand times tastier than its bovine counterpart. The leg muscle was a little chewy, sort of like gnawing on a fried chicken gizzard, but not bad.

I'm going to go ahead and stick with Mexican chocolate. Also, Yamamoto should really know that you have to marinate the shit out human leg meat.
posted by kosem at 7:21 PM on May 13, 2006

Well, livers do grow back (living liver transplant donors grow back ~80% of their original liver volume and the vast majority of maximal liver function).
posted by porpoise at 7:31 PM on May 13, 2006

"The Phoenix zoo have lot of monkey," shrugs Yamamoto. "Sometime they lose one. Maybe they think it escape. Maybe they should pay their employee better. For guard on night shift, $500 is lot of money. Same for sea lion at SeaWorld. If sea lion not perform in show, sea lion go bye-bye."

Pretty cavalier about ratting out his source(s) for meats, isn't he.
posted by cell divide at 7:40 PM on May 13, 2006

Tastes like Joey Skaggs...
posted by swell at 7:41 PM on May 13, 2006

kosem: ....
"I'm going to go ahead and stick with Mexican chocolate. Also, Yamamoto should really know that you have to marinate the shit out human leg meat."

I'd think that would apply even more to the chitterlings, no?
posted by John Smallberries at 7:42 PM on May 13, 2006

The guy should get a drive-thru for Hummers (and larger) only. Awesome!

Even if I don't believe most of it (The Nuge shot a penguin with a flaming arrow? WTF?) that's a great fucking article.
posted by fungible at 7:43 PM on May 13, 2006

I'm with swell.
posted by dobbs at 7:48 PM on May 13, 2006

And there's also the DeliciousDogs site [retch] and Roadkill Recipes. [gag]
posted by nickyskye at 7:50 PM on May 13, 2006

I hope (and expect) this is a fabrication. If it isn't, what a bunch of bourgeois dicks. After the revolution comes, I might take a hiatus from vegetarianism to enjoy some slow-roasted Yamamoto with a side of deep-fried Nugent.
posted by bcveen at 7:58 PM on May 13, 2006

As I scrolled through the pictures I couldn't help think of Ted Nugent when lo and behold...
posted by furtive at 8:01 PM on May 13, 2006

Cannibalism is totally counterrevolutionary.
posted by kosem at 8:03 PM on May 13, 2006

Hrmmm. Me thinks that combining threads might solve a few problems.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:09 PM on May 13, 2006

I'm guessing he doesn't believe in karma.
posted by parallax7d at 8:20 PM on May 13, 2006

I don't care if it's for real, that's a brilliant article.
posted by empath at 8:31 PM on May 13, 2006

His shopping list looks like a disease vector waiting to happen.
posted by SPrintF at 8:59 PM on May 13, 2006

batshitinsane tag please
posted by ioerror at 9:32 PM on May 13, 2006

He's like a Japanese Ted Nugent!
posted by Balisong at 9:47 PM on May 13, 2006

What? No manatees? They are the cows of the sea!
posted by wfrgms at 9:50 PM on May 13, 2006

I hate when the Phoenix New Times prints dumb shit like this; it hurts their credibility on important issues.

Anyone who thinks it's real, by the way, should take a gander at the penguin-hunting picture; the hunter in question would be dead of exposure in about thirty seconds.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:15 PM on May 13, 2006

I agree that the article is probably bullshit, but the weather in Antarctica on the coasts in summer isn't that extreme
posted by atrazine at 10:29 PM on May 13, 2006

I dig it, OC. No reason they can't dig into really crazy shit once in awhile. Let those Village Voice ninnies be all sad sack serious all the time... this is Phoenix. This town is filled with lunatics.

It's rad that they reproduced that Angelina Jolie autographed photo. She eats people!
posted by ph00dz at 10:35 PM on May 13, 2006

As if as though there aren't enough reasons to discredit this as blatant bs, the reference to hufu does it in.
posted by Rictic at 10:50 PM on May 13, 2006

The Freshman, with Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick.
posted by JMOZ at 10:52 PM on May 13, 2006

Sorry, I should have read the whole article first. Apparently, that movie was the inspiration. My guess is that the movie was the complete inspiration, and the secret is the same as the ending of the movie, which I refuse to give away.
posted by JMOZ at 10:59 PM on May 13, 2006

as someonewho has written several fake articles for a weekly in arizona, i must bow to the immensely superior elaborateness of this writer's premise. that said, i think lemons blew it with the bichon frise -- no way that's the tastiest of dogs. from there, it was a decidedly un-swiftian satire.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:58 AM on May 14, 2006

No chicken of the sea?
posted by Joeforking at 1:29 AM on May 14, 2006

I was starting to suspect it was fake while reading the first bit, but I knew it was fake when I got to this:

She stay with me the night and we make love for 15 hour, she love pâté so much. I love her long time. This before I have girlfriend. She say I too controversy to write about. Too controversy!"

The author is having a little too much fun there. Still a good article though.
posted by supertremendus at 1:38 AM on May 14, 2006

I find it ignorant and culturally insensitive that Yamamoto sensei is getting so much flak over his brilliant and innovative cooking methods and techniques. He has been indespensible in widening and enhancing the American palate with new and innovative foods, at a time when it is absolutely essential to do so.

Frankly, posh Americans eat too much salmon, too much tuna, too much shark fin, abalone, too much quail and wild pheasant... so many of the common dishes in highend American gastronomic cuisine simply won't be available (to most...) in twenty years, so it only makes sense to replace them with other animals, such as seals, monkeys, penguins, and individual, fresh rarities such as gila monster and bear when in season.

Yamamoto is an artist, and, above all, is eco-friendly, considerate, and not wasteful. When he hears that an exotic pet has died, he's well-known for assisting the owner through the grieving process, and for giving the loving owner a chance to not only have enough money to import another exotic to replace the old one, but to also send off the beloved pet in a way that is both respectful and succulent.

Another part of his eco-friendly approach to foods is that he not only pioneers cooking with anything available, but also tries to use the entire animal, whenever possible. When Bush banned testing with fetal tissue, it became much harder for family practice clinics to make ends meet, but Yamamoto has been extremely influential in establishing a growing restraurant supply marketplace for meats such as fetus and placenta, (which, by the way, is a beloved secret ingredient for some of the finest soups and pates.) While I can't mention the names of restaurants that sell fetus "sweetmeats", and while they obviously won't be listed on the menu in most public places, I *can* say that the rich know where to ask for the tender delicacies. They're extremely popular amongst the political elite and well-to-do in Washington, D.C., and may very well become a more popular dish in the future, if laws regarding abortions loosen up, or if importing from China is legalized.

Chinese cooking techniques are definitely reflected in Yamamoto's reportoire, with specialties from their large, active prison system flown in fresh daily. It simply makes no sense to ignore the millions of Chinese prisoners as a potential foodsource. Their prison living conditions are considerably healthier and more organic than anything you'd find in most of America's finest pastures, and that quality is apparent with every bite.
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:34 AM on May 14, 2006

Is there a particular reason that Yamamoto talks like a Chinese ESL speaker, and not a Japanese ESL speaker?
posted by Bugbread at 6:04 AM on May 14, 2006

The biggist load of shit in this article is how Yamamoto is quoted. He talks like a chinese guy in a kung fu movie, when he has a japanese last name. OMG I just noticed that Bugbread just said EXACTLY the same thing. hehe im a dork.
posted by mikojava at 8:33 AM on May 14, 2006

A deft skewering of the cultural elite, drizzled with 100-year old balsamic vinegar. Well done! J. Swift and S. Clemens are looking down and smiling.
posted by gimonca at 9:14 AM on May 14, 2006

If sea lion not perform in show, sea lion go bye-bye

"Mr. Pitt go bananas over monkey. Even lick plate. You don't believe? I show you photo Jolie give me."

I love this!

The pictures are fantastic too. Great find, Rhomboid!
posted by funambulist at 10:09 AM on May 14, 2006

I am willing to bet that, despite the chef's skill, most of those things still taste awful.

From personal experience I can tell you that you don't want to eat marmot/woodchuck/muskrat, raccoon, opossum, locust, grayling, crow and cattails.
posted by 517 at 3:17 PM on May 14, 2006

Is there a particular reason that Yamamoto talks like a Chinese ESL speaker, and not a Japanese ESL speaker?

Because broad, clumsy, and brazenly derogatory joking about Asians is totally fair game in the land of the free. But don't say the 'n' word!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:34 PM on May 14, 2006

I have to give the author props for Yamamoto's backstory. It's frighteningly believable until he becomes a coke addict.
posted by matkline at 8:55 PM on May 14, 2006

What I would like to know is what's the difference between Bishon Frise and Chicken?

I've read about his recipes in the past and to be honest based on some of the spices and methods of cooking, I don't think you'd stand much of a chance of even recognizing what you're eating.
posted by pezdacanuck at 11:57 AM on May 15, 2006

I'm with stavros. I could barely read the article with its insultingly stereotypical depiction of the way asians speak.
posted by like_neon at 1:03 PM on May 15, 2006

Despite being obvious satire, this article does propose a compelling way to deal with bishon frises.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:05 AM on May 16, 2006

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