Beppe Bigazzi is a top celebrity chef in Italy...or was. He has been suspended from his television show for recommending stewing cats for dinner, after soaking them in spring water for three days. Bigazzi said "casserole of cat" was a famous dish in his home region of Valdamo in Tuscany.
The live show went to a commercial break, and a young woman on the show with him, cat owner, Elisa Isoardi, and the show's producer tried to convince him to apologize. He refused.
I’ve eaten it myself and it’s a lot better than many other animals,” he told viewers. “Better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon.” He said that for optimum flavour the meat should be “soaked in spring water for three days” before being stewed.Bigazzi is now being investigated for "criminal offences" and "incitement to mistreat animals." Punishment can be as much as 18 months in jail.
He also recommended a "cat soup" recipe and then said he expected to hear from "racist" environmentalists.
He is the author of Cooking with Common Sense, and considered a "star" celebrity chef on Ready Steady Cook in Italy:
He is noted for his exuberant style and previously caused uproar by boiling lobsters live on the show. Yesterday he said that he had only been joking about the recipe, and he had been misunderstood.Venice, Italy has long been known as "magnagati" or "cat eaters," going back to the hardships of Medieval times. Cat is still considered a delicacy in South East Asia.
He added: “Mind you, I wasn’t joking all that much. In the 1930s and 1940s, when I was a boy, people certainly did eat cat.
A very sweet reader, oriana, took the time to find the video with English sub-titles. Thank you oriana!