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Boston Chefs on the Most Unusual Meats They've Eaten

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In honor of The Five Days of Meat, we've asked Boston food and drink personnel a variety of meat-related questions, and we'll share their responses throughout the week. Now, here are a bunch of Boston chefs on the most unusual or rare meats they've ever eaten, from colt and whale to turtle and mountain lion. (Previously: Boston chefs on the meatiest dish they've ever eaten.)

Josh Lewin - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"The meat itself wasn't unusual, but the preparation was. A family from Laos served me what was essentially pork shoulder carpaccio. Pounded out real thin, stringy with connective tissue, and raw raw raw. The meat was of questionable origin, maybe a little freezer-burnt. It was wrapped around cottage cheese, and dressed with something sweet and acidic. Not my favorite meal." — Joshua Lewin, chef of Bread and Salt Hospitality
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

John Delpha - Provided.jpg"The most unusual meat I've ever eaten was on a trip to the Seychelles Islands with Ken Oringer. We happened to be at a "restaurant" serving bat on the menu, and he challenged me to eat it. It tasted like really badly overcooked squirrel. Not good." — John Delpha, chef/partner of Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar (opening summer 2014)
[Photo: Provided]

Jesse Hassinger - Chris Coe.jpg"When I was in Italy, I had cow udder, and it was fantastic. I would have it again in a heartbeat. It was presented very plainly on the plate, three or four circular slices. It was at this little cafe in Florence that was just one of the most fabulous places that I've eaten at. I don't know if it was braised; it probably was. It certainly wasn't seared, and it wasn't really crispy, so I don't think they roasted it. It was very soft, and it had a beefy flavor but without having that muscle-y chew to it. If that's the only place I could get it, I would definitely fly back there in a heartbeat if I had the opportunity to." — Jesse Hassinger, butcher at M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats
[Photo: Chris Coe]

Robert Sisca - Official Site.jpg"I did an event in Las Vegas two years ago, and South African chef Rudi Liebenberg made an outstanding dish with ostrich filet. He served it cured with lentil salad and sweet-and-sour pickled beetroot. I am also a big hunter, so I love all types of wild game, but particularly bear, moose, and elk. My most recent hunting trip was black bear hunting in New Brunswick, Canada last year with my father. Bear is a very lean meat, and my go-to preparation is to marinate the shoulder for two days and slow cook it for 12 hours." — Robert Sisca, executive chef of Bistro du Midi
[Photo: Official Site]

Dante de Magistris - Official Site.jpg"Whale meat in Iceland. While visiting there we sliced huge chunks of it and ate it with just salt and olive oil. It had a similar flavor to venison." — Dante de Magistris, chef/owner of Restaurant dante and il Casale
[Photo: Official Site]

Matt Foley - Official Site.jpg"Either calf brains or duck testicles." — Matt Foley, executive chef of The Merchant
[Photo: Official Site]

Michael Schlow - Sophia Tsakmaklis.jpg"Young colt at a restaurant with three Michelin stars in Spain, Sant Pau. I was there with Mario Batali, and we had a tasting menu, so we didn't know what we were getting. For the last course, the meat came out, and there were slices of medium rare colt. I had never had that before, and it was delicious. It tasted like if you were to combine venison, sirloin, and delicious but tender beef heart. It was very lean, but it was good." — Michael Schlow, chef/owner of Via Matta, Tico, and Alta Strada
[Photo: Sophia Tsakmaklis]

Samuel Monsour - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Probably reindeer jerky in Sweden. It' acquired taste. It is very potent, very gamey. They make jerky in big blocks there, so you kind of have to shave it yourself. You just have this rock-hard black piece of meat that somebody's uncle shot during hunting season and then salted. It's good. It's eaten with butter on toast as a little canape with red wine before a meal, but alone it's very tough to palate for someone who's never had it." — Samuel Monsour of The Future of Junk Food pop-up and more
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Brian Poe - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"It's coming up next — python." — Brian Poe, chef/owner of The Tip Tap Room and Estelle's
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Irene Li - Katie Chudy.jpg"Mountain Lion. Also, we love brains." — Irene Li, co-owner of Mei Mei
[Photo: Katie Chudy]

Michael Lombardi - Provided.jpg"When I was studying at Boston University, I spent a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia. Kangaroo is a more common meat option in Australia, and I wanted to experience the culture when I was there, so I tried kangaroo meat." — Michael Lombardi, executive sous chef of The Salty Pig
[Photo: Provided]

Dennis Wilson - Provided.jpg"Alligator, turtle, elk." — Dennis Wilson, chef of Gather
[Photo: Official Site]

Samuel Jackson - Callaway Photography.jpg"Turtle. I spent a few years down island in the Bahamas and Caribbean, and for some reason there are a few places that really get into the (legal) eating of turtle. I had to try it to really see what the fuss was about." — Samuel Jackson, owner of KO Catering and Pies
[Photo: Callaway Photography]

Peter D'Antonio - Facebook.jpg"Alligator." — Peter D'Antonio, executive chef of The Westin Waltham-Boston
[Photo: Facebook]

Chris Coombs - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Kangaroo saddle." — Chris Coombs, executive chef and co-owner of Boston Chops and Deuxave
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Tim Wiechmann - Official Site.jpg"Ortolan from the Basque country, France." — Tim Wiechmann, chef/owner of Bronwyn and T.W. Food
[Photo: Official Site]

Kyle Ketchum - Official Site.jpg"Growing up in Texas, I ate a ton of wild game, such as venison, elk, caribou, zebra, black bear, kangaroo, possum, and buffalo." — Kyle Ketchum, executive chef of Bostonia Public House
[Photo: Official Site]

Tony Maws - Cal Bingham.jpg"I've had my fair share of meat in this world, but two things stand out: (1) The row of goat's head stalls in the Jemaa al Fnaa market in Marrakech — literally stall after stall with heads on sticks. Quite a sight. You pick out the one you want and go to town. (2) Real deal andouillette sausage in Lyons, France. That's a sausage (intestine casing) stuffed with more intestines and left to ripen before it gets cooked. I grew to love it, but it was the only thing I can remember that made me pause when I first ate it." — Tony Maws, owner of Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter
[Photo: Cal Bingham]

Joshua Smith - Rachel Leah Blumenthal.jpg"Zebra (would not do it again) from a game preserve in Texas." — Joshua Smith, owner of Moody's Delicatessen & Provisions
[Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

Leo Asaro - Chris Coe.jpg"Kangaroo. It was prosciutto-style. I had it in Perth when I was backpacking in Australia for six months." — Leo Asaro, executive chef of Tico
[Photo: Chris Coe]

"I have eaten alligator in New Orleans, ostrich, lots of goat...nothing crazy though." — Dan Schroeder, chef of Forum

"Raw lamb kidneys (still warm) from a freshly slaughtered spring lamb." — Paul Booras, Director of Culinary Operations of Tavern in the Square

"Alligator. I used to live near the Everglades in Florida, and we went on an airboat tour as a class when I was younger. I was able to sample it fried; it kind of tastes like fishy chicken." — Carey Dobies, executive chef of Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

· All coverage of The Five Days of Meat on Eater [~EBOS~]

Bistro du Midi

272 Boylston Street, , MA 02116 (617) 426-7878 Visit Website


371 Commonwealth Avenue, , MA 02115 (617) 517-5915 Visit Website

Forum Restaurant

755 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 857 991 1831 Visit Website

Mei Mei (Boston)

506 Park Dr., Boston, MA 02215 (857) 250-4959 Visit Website

The Merchant Kitchen & Drink

60 Franklin St, Boston, MA 02110 617-482-6060 Visit Website

Il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar

1727 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420 (781) 538-5846 Visit Website


1926 14th Street Northwest, , DC 20009 (202) 319-1400 Visit Website


16901 Wright Plaza, , NE 68130 (402) 932-3078 Visit Website

Bostonia Public House

131 State Street, , MA 02109 (617) 948-9800 Visit Website

Craigie On Main

853 Main Street, , MA 02139 (617) 497-5511 Visit Website

The Salty Pig

130 Dartmouth Street, , MA 02116 (617) 536-6200 Visit Website


75 Northern Avenue, , MA 02210 (617) 982-7220 Visit Website

T.W. Food

377 Walden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 617 864 4745 Visit Website

Boston Chops

1375 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 617 227 5011 Visit Website

Via Matta

79 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 617 422 0008 Visit Website

The Tip Tap Room

138 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 857 263 7614 Visit Website


255 Washington Street, , MA 02143 (617) 776-9900 Visit Website

Savvor Restaurant and Lounge

180 Lincoln St, Boston, MA 02111 (857) 250-2165 Visit Website