Just saw the Iron Chef "Battle Garlic" -- or was it "Allium"?, although it’s apparently been around a while. So you've got Mario Batali up against Chris Cosentino, the offal specialist and exec. chef at Incanto in San Francisco. Sorry I don't remember all the dishes, but there's one I really wish I could forget: Cosentino made some sort of roasted half-squab thing, that had the squab's head still attached, split lengthwise (to display the brain, I guess), and with the claw clutching a clove of beautifully roasted garlic. My GF used the words “gruesome” and “creepy”, and that pretty well covers it.
From what I’ve read about the guy, apparently Cosentino wants people to think about their food, and where it comes from. I might think about that squab, but I sure wouldn’t eat it, and might not eat much else after seeing something like that on my plate. I’m well aware that meat comes from animals, and really don’t need Chris to plate the less-attractive parts of an animal to “remind” me. What’s next, french-fried pig anus?
Chris seemed to go out of his way to make grayish, unappetizing food. On the other hand, I would have gladly eaten anything Mario served up on that show.
Don’t get me wrong – Chris seems to be a nice enough guy, and I really like some of the stuff he sells at his shop Boccalone (“Tasty Salted Pig Parts!”), although I guess I won’t ask what specific parts his products are made from. Never much liked the idea of eating filter organs.