By Keith Stewart
When waiters refer to a chef with no balls, they usually mean one who is not prepared to stand up to stroppy customers or an irascible mâitre d'. However, in the case of Mao Sugiyama, the chef literally has no balls, although he does have plenty of spirit.
Sugiyama, who claims he has no need for his genitals because of his "asexuality", had his testicles, scrotum and penis taken off surgically. He then auctioned them online, with the proviso that he cook them for the winning bidder.
At ¥100,000 (NZ$1,650) the price hardly represented what a red blooded male chef is likely to value his balls at, but it did provide Japan with one of the most bizarre meals in its long culinary history. 5 people showed up for the $330 a head dinner, 2 women and 3 men, all around 30 years old.
Served with button mushrooms and garnished with Italian parsley, the meal was somewhat underwhelming, although, being described by the guests as "tasteless and rubbery". Memorable, though.
No beverage has been reported accompanying the meal, neither wine nor sake.
There was no legal challenge to the meal, as Japan has no law against cannibalism.