As I read passed the parts about people pay tens and thousands of dollars to consume meat from exotic animals, it did not bother me a bit.
After all, I have had my share of jellyfish, sea cucumbers, shark fins, and variety of mystery meats.
article link or pdf
The article did take a disturbing turn towards end, it says:
Placenta pâté has long been a part of Yamamoto's repertoire, but it's not the only human flesh he's willing to prepare for customers eager to experiment with cannibalism.
Yamamoto presented me with three plates, one with a slice of human liver sautéed with onions, another with a hunk of muscle torn from a human leg that had been deep fried, and a third of a side of poached hufu, a faux human flesh product that bills itself as the "Healthy Human Flesh Alternative".
As if these revelations were not bizarre enough, Yamamoto admitted that he has an unsavory agreement with some local mortuaries to harvest kidneys and other internal organs for him from children and teenagers who have died in car accidents. But Yamamoto's ultimate desire to prepare the most unthinkable of dinners is what really sends shivers down my spine.
"One day I hope I can cook whole Mexican," sighs Yamamoto. "Maybe baby Mexican that mother sell to me. Then I make for my good friend Jon Kyl. I know Senator will like to eat Mexican. He only likes Mexican when on his dinner plate." (more)
The best part of all this? I was reading this while eating at Filiberto's, a place that is rumored to serve stray animals on diners' plates.
Update: May 14, 2006 - Is Kazuki “Kaz” Yamamoto a Hoax?
Unlike The Onion, Phoenix New Times is not known to publish many satire articles. Also Yamamoto's client list does include several well-known locals and celebrities, if the story is real, I am sure themselves or their publicists would release statements.
In the original Phoenix New Times article by Stephen Lemons, it mentioned an interesting story about Kazuki Yamamoto and why he came to US. According to the article, Kazuki Yamamoto “accidentally” killed a man named Nabu Sato in 1999 while working at an Osaka sushi restaurant by serving him fugu (puffer fish) liver.
Although Yamamoto was eventually acquitted by Japanese court with help from attorney Bennie Matsukawa, Yamamoto was blacklisted in Japanese culinary world. The Mainichi Shinbun, one of the largest dailies in Japan, printed Yamamoto's photo and called for him to commit seppuku, or ritual disembowelment, in disgrace.
Since I read the article, I have contacted several friends including one journalist in Japan asking them to look for this particular story. So far nothing has came up.
I have also called Phoenix New Times (602-271-0040) as well as sent email to Stephen Lemons (firstname.lastname@example.org) himself, no response from either.
Perhaps this is a publicity stunt to drum up business for Kazuki Yamamoto?
Update: May 21, 2006 - Stephen Lemons called and confirming this as a hoax. (Thanks to Matt Norwood for the mp3)
“[This is Stephen Lemons] just returning your call. Just want you to know that the article you have read is a spoof/satire/parody. About every year or so, Phoenix New Times does a spoof. This year, this is the spoof we did. Basically, none of the article is true, it was meant to be a satire. And you may want to let anyone to know that. Like I said, if you have any other questions, feel free to give me a buzz back at (602) 229-8426. Thanks a lot, bye bye.”