I would like to dedicate this post to my good friend Daddyforever, who has nominated me for the inaugural Thinking Booger Award, which is celebrating blogs that make you think of boogers. The other distinguished recipient even designed a graphic:
On with the nasty:
There are certain shows I watch to get ideas for
ruining dinner my menu for next week. Iron Chef is not one of them. Iron Chef is the show that I sit back and watch, in reverence and awe, chefs who know what they’re doing. It was my friend Mario Batali against challenger Chris Cosentino in Battle Garlic. Chef Cosentino started things off by butchering a sqab. What is a squab? I’m glad you asked, and I am here to enlighten you with my superior knowledge. I’ll put it in SAT terms. Veal is to lamb as squab is to…pigeon.
He took the head and the legs (feet still attached) and fried them in olive oil before then roasting them in the oven. For plating he put a roasted clove of garlic in the talon of the squab (I thought that was cool) and split the heads in half. When presenting to the judges he instructed them to grasp the squab by the back of the head and suck the brains out.
Pause. Let that sink in. NO! Wait! I said pause. Let that sink in.
He actually said the words “suck the brains out.” Twice. Ted Allen did a double take and asked for clarification but no, he heard it right the first time. All three judges did as instructed and Ted Allen even mentioned how the brains had a “wonderful flavor.”
Now I am a small town boy. I didn’t grow up in the big city or in the country, so I’ve never even thought about eating brains. I was never privy to fine dining, nor did I ever eat roadkill. Call me a Philistine if you want to, I will accept the label. I suppose I’m not a true “foodie,” although I like to pretend to be one. But there are certain things I just won’t eat. One is rabbit kidneys & livers, and another is pigeon brains.
Chef Cosentino is very proud of his performance in Iron Chef (even though Mario won) and is even offering his entire Iron Chef menu at his restaurant. Personally I think he was robbed. The judges gave him almost no points for plating and that squab dish alone would’ve given him a perfect score in my book. Even if I think that eating brains is gross, the presentation was genius. And you could tell he really enjoyed the shock value of his dish on the judges, and apparently, America. Bravo, Chef!