As Lisa Abend writes on Gourmet.com, it isn’t every day that a Michelin chef gets thrown in jail for something besides “routine debauchery like snorting coke off the coat-check girl’s cleavage.” But that’s where Spanish chef Toñi Vicente ended up—jail, not cleavage—after police caught her buying bad scallops. Really bad scallops. Scallops taken from a local contaminated estuary that the Spanish government thinks may have enough toxins to cause amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), a benign little illness that makes you forget things and drives you crazy. Oh, and potentially kills you.
Vicente’s eponymous restaurant is the most famous in Galicia, a region that loves its shellfish. The scallops are prized enough to seemingly be worth a substantial black-market trade: When Vicente, who insists that she’s innocent, was arrested, the local police also took in a half dozen fishermen, a distributor, and 4,000 kilos of shellfish.