HAVING FRIENDS FOR DINNER?
A novel new cookbook, Feeding Hannibal, details the iconic TV cannibal’s mean culinary skills...
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.
GUEST OF HONOUR
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.