A few days ago I posted my reaction to a new cookbook by Canadian chef Martin Picard, in particular on his recipe for "squirrel sushi" in which the squirrel meat is served in a grotesque presentation with the squirrel's head, paws and tail. In the post, I noted Picard's statement that he is "very respectful of animals" and that this statement seems at odds with the hideous spectacle of the squirrel and beaver dishes in the new cookbook.
So I was not the least bit surprised today to see this quote by Mr. Picard in a review of his new book:
“Squirrels are all over the place here. But squirrels also eat all the pipes and tubing in the forest used to pipe in the sap. It’s terrible. They’re a nuisance, just a f---ing rat with a fur coat on. But it’s also great meat.”
I'm not a chef, but it seems self-evident to me that one of the characteristics of a world-class chef is respect (real respect, not just self-serving lip service) for the ingredients, especially the animals, that make up the dishes that one prepares. I have never tried any of Picard's concoctions, and I guarantee that I never will, even if I am ever able to afford to dine at his restaurant, because I have no desire to eat the food of a chef who has nothing but contempt for his ingredients.