A novel new cook­book, Feed­ing Han­ni­bal, de­tails the iconic TV can­ni­bal’s mean culi­nary skills...

Crime Scene - - CASE NOTES - By AN­DRE PAINE


Han­ni­bal pos­sesses im­pres­sive butch­ery and cook­ery skills, which star Mads Mikkelsen had to learn from mas­ter chef Jan­ice Poon. In the book’s fore­word, he re­veals that those culi­nary tech­niques in­cluded, “pre­sent­ing a hu­man leg as if it was a pork loin dec­o­rated with toma­toes cut into tiny roses”.


Han­ni­bal gets to in­dulge in two of his favourite things dur­ing the Se­ries 1 episode “Sor­bet” – opera and cook­ery. With sev­eral guests to cater for, he needs to source plenty of ‘spe­cial stuff’ (as The League Of Gen­tle­men put it). But there are veg­gie op­tions, in­clud­ing the tomato brain bar­quette canapes.


In the first sea­son, Han­ni­bal served foie gras to spe­cial agent Jack Craw­ford (Lau­rence Fish­burne) and his wife Bella, but she (and ac­tress Gina Tor­res) turned down the con­tro­ver­sial dish, de­spite Han­ni­bal’s in­sis­tance that he’s com­pletely op­posed to an­i­mal cru­elty. Mikkelsen ad­mits he would fluff a line in or­der to eat more of this del­i­cacy.


In Sea­son 2’s “Fu­ta­mono”, Han­ni­bal serves up the clay-baked thigh of quite a well-known ac­tor (no spoil­ers). The dish was ac­tu­ally a last-minute change to the menu, from lasagne. “I’ve no­ticed it’s a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to get men’s thighs at the butcher shops,” writes Poon, who pro­vides read­ers with a recipe for clay-baked whole chicken in­stead.


Al­though he’s a lover of fine wines, Han­ni­bal does brew his own beer, which also has a hu­man com­po­nent. “Hannibeer” has been aged for two years in an oak Cabernet Sauvi­gnon bar­rel. Coin­ci­den­tally, a dis­em­bod­ied arm be­long­ing to a miss­ing per­son has re­cently sur­faced, and it does smell some­what oaky…


In a nice throw­back to the movie and novel of Han­ni­bal, the Se­ries 2 episode “Naka-choko” fea­tures the very creepy, in­cred­i­bly rich Ma­son Verger, as played by Michael Pitt ( Board­walk

Em­pire). Verger has been training pigs to eat peo­ple and of­fers one of the pork­ers to Han­ni­bal, who turns it into a de­li­cious gourmet meal.


Food and fin­ing din­ing is cru­cial to

Han­ni­bal, as the se­rial killer charms un­sus­pect­ing guests with his unique brand of gourmet food. Gil­lian An­der­son, who plays his psy­chi­a­trist, Bedelia Du Mau­rier, is one of the guests at his ta­ble – and maybe on the menu, if she isn’t care­ful.


Served with iced vodka, a pie of stur­geons’ heads and a caviar plat­ter, one of Han­ni­bal’s most am­bi­tious and el­e­gant dishes is the Kholodets – a “jel­lied as­pic meat thing”, as Poon de­scribes it, of boiled chicken, veal and pig trot­ters. The chef was re­quired to make 12 of them for the shoot and re­veals that the task nearly killed her.


“Much of the fun of feed­ing Han­ni­bal came from a col­lab­o­ra­tion with make-up and pros­thetic crews,” writes Poon. In Se­ries 3, the can­ni­bal even makes cured ham from a sev­ered arm. Feed­ing Han­ni­bal (Titan) is out now.

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