You may not be prepared to hear this, but there is no part on the human body that couldn’t be eaten.
During a conference call with Bryan Fuller and Hugh Dancy to promote Hannibal (NBC) I poked around to see what Fuller would tell us about one of the “juiciest”….and grossest, parts of the show. The, er, food. (BRAAAAINZ.)
And while it seems like such a squeamish topic, Fuller (a self-proclaimed foodie and “adventurous eater”) found a chef to approach the topic in a very no-nonsense, rational way. That chef? Jose Andres.
“…The idea of working with Jose Andres as our culinary consultant on the show was one that I had very early on in the process almost – before I had even written the script.”
In fact, Andres was on his mind from the very beginning. Fuller said, “…one of the first calls I made to my agent was ‘how do I get in contact with Jose Andres?’ because I want(ed) the food world of Hannibal Lecter to be very specific and distinct and respectful to someone as a chef.”
As luck would have it, his agency actually also represented Andres. The chef had just won the prestigious James Beard award, and was having a reception. So Fuller went to meet him there. (That’s some serious fanboying! I totally approve.)
After doing some Anthony Hopkins impressions, what Andres asked next surprised Fuller. “He’s like, ‘Please, can I be your consultant?’ And I was like, ‘Well I was actually just about to ask you or beg or whatever I needed to do to get you to do the job….'”
Suffice to say, it was a match made in TV heaven.
Fuller gushes, “He was so enthusiastic and, you know, like the lungs in the pilot, those were his ideas. … One of my first questions was like, you know, what are – what can you eat on the human body and he’s – he said, ‘Everything. You can eat everything. You can grind the bones into gelatin to use in Jell-O molds.'”
So. Yea. Jell-o, guys. … Kind of… wiggly in all the wrong ways now.
But back to the topic on hand! (Great, now I’m thinking of human hands…) Fuller continued to explain about Andres: “He had specific suggestions on what body parts to use and how to prepare them in a way that had no judgment whatsoever in terms of ‘this is a human being we’re talking about’ as opposed to a pig or a cow or a duck… Which I have great respect for because as an animal lover and as somebody who mainly eats fish and rice, I appreciated that he was treating human beings as equally as animals in that – and without any kind of preciousness of oh, it’s a human being so we have to, you know, be, you know, acknowledge that cannibalism is bad.” (Editor’s note: We all acknowledge this.)
Of course, neither Fuller nor Andres are actual cannibals. (I mean, to MY knowledge. I didn’t steal their diaries to double-check. But, c’mon. Who even has diaries anymore?)
At the end of the conversation, this charming anecdote surfaced from Fuller:
“He was just talking about preparing a fantastic dish with meat products and there was no kind of concern about where the meat came from, which I thought was sort of a wonderful thing about him because he was an equal opportunity eater.”
Realizing his potential gaffe, what with the topic at hand, he quickly amended his sentence. “Not necessarily an equal opportunity eater but an – in terms of planning a menu he was equal opportunity.”
So, who’s up for a dinner party?
Hannibal premieres Thursday, April 4 on NBC.