Sunday, 13 April 2014

Episode 7 Yakimoto

Stumbling down blind alleys

Bloodless tears stain your cheek,


Looking too close

You cannot see.

Twins in the dark.

Killer be killed.

Be free and bleed.

This episode of Hannibal is named Yakimono -- the course in Kaiseki dinner that is grilled meat, often marinated and skewered then seared over hot coals.  Pretty much describes everyone in this episode after they each have a run-in with Hannibal.

     When I get the script, I use the search function to get a quick idea of what food I will be required to make in the new episode. In Scene 51, Hannibal is taking a roast coming out of the oven. And that’s all. What, no smart dinner parties this week? I have a little anxiety attack -- the only thing worse than being overworked is not working.

There must be more food scenes somewhere...  

     I read through the whole script. It’s a jaw-dropping page-turner. I see the plot is thickening and boiling on so many burners it’s not surprising that Hannibal has no time to make dinner this week. I know how I feel after a week of having a lot of people over for a big party. Finding their cigarette butts in the herb wall. And he had to make that clay roast dinner too. Plus have a big sleep-over. And laundering that plastic suit. Really, sometimes all I can do is shove a roast in the oven and I don’t have half the things to do that Hannibal does WTHOUT HELP!!!! My advice to him is get a cleaning lady. OK, he may have a few things in the basement to hide – don’t we all. But you are who you are and as they say, no man is a hero to his valet. Hannibal, get help.

     As I contemplate this episode's food styling duties, I wonder if it’s a people roast in the cannibal’s oven. Bryan Fuller, font of all that is Hannibal, emails to say he’d like it to be a nice roast beef. Hmmmm. Beef. This tells me that Hannibal is being very very careful. He knows people are beginning to talk so he should lay off the people-snacks for a while. I will make the most ostentatiously obviously-not-people  beef ever roasted. Like a billboard in the oven that says “Move along…no people-eating to see here folks.”
the unseen giant roast beef

     I imagine a full rib rack of beef on long bones. Frenched like a rack of lamb. My regular butcher doesn’t have the cut I want so I have to go to his competition. The new butcher is shocked at my request. I have to re-explain the whole ‘It’s for Hannibal” thing. I say, OK, like those dinosaur rib steaks you have – like that only the whole rib roast and don’t cut them into steaks. How many ribs asks the butcher, unsure of my sanity. Nine, I say, no, ten. Or twelve. What’s the maximum you can give me? (cows have 13 pairs) Nine, he says, getting used to the idea and starting to loosen up. Anything else is illegal because it would be from a deformed cow, he jokes. When it’s ready, John, my assistant, goes to get it and when he lugs it back to the studio, we gather around in awe of the sheer size of this giant thing of flesh.

     OK it’s big. But big is not enough. It has to be Hannibalized. I think about Chris Hardagon, our wonderful wardrobe designer and I realize -- nothing says Hannibal more than a plaid suit! I can definitely make a plaid pattern on this sizable canvas of beef! 

   I score it in a diamond pattern like an Easter ham and lace the tracings with rosemary and thyme making a nice Crawford Tartan plaid. Bias-cut to be more slimming.  Reminds me of my days as a couturier draping massive ballgowns on oversized Mothers of the Bride.

     Enough of the beefing. Except to say I had to cut it down by one rib – it wouldn’t fit in the oven. That’s a big roast.

    When we go to shoot the scene, the director says, “Isn’t that roast kind of big for one person?” One person? Hannibal is not one person. He is a surgeon, an artist, a psychiatrist, a flower-arranger, a gourmet cook, an oenophile, a brew-meister, a boy who lost his sister, a man who can’t stop killing, and a god. And he gets hungry.

     Now you may be shaking your head and saying, I don’t remember seeing a big roast in this episode. Three little words: Cutting. Room. Floor. It didn’t makethe final edit.

     So here is the only place you will see my plaid roast. So I’m also posting other meals not ready for broadcast but ready for you to share in the Hannibal joy.

More of your photos of the Hannimeals you've been making

Lindsay F sent a great photo of her Blue Plate Special: Huevos High Life and homemade pork sausage.
Lindsay's Huevos High Life

Aleks and Maria made a special dinner for friends to celebrate Hannibal’s Season 2 premier: Mushroom Cappuccino to start and delicious looking Not Meat Pie. Followed by Strawberry-Apple soup and a bit of drinking.
Mushroom Cappuccino
Not People Quiche

Marina & Alicia have Friday Foodie Hannibal dinners and sent photos. Roasted leg of lamb with gremolata, rosemary and garlic redskin potatoes, and asparagus.
Roasted Leg for Friday Foodies

Alex S says “I gave Hannibal's non-people silkie chicken soup a whirl last spring! I managed not to mess it up despite being a novice cook and it gave me the opportunity to check out the many Asian supermarkets near my home.”
Alex's Adventures in an Asian soupbowl

Katie and Aaron wrote: We'd been planning to do a dinner plus Hannibal night for a few weeks and finally pulled it off last night, to great success. 2 pix of Osso Buco
Osso Buco with Katie and Aaron

Shanks simmering on the stove 

Jens wrote: Tried my hand at a variation of the tandoori liver. added fava beans (because liver and fava beans)and substituting risotto for couscous while adding honey for some sweetness to the match the liver and spices. 
Jen's gorgeous results: Tandoori liver on couscous with fava beans
roast hearts

Hannichefs, thank you for sharing! 

Next week: Will and Jack plan to go fishing but Hannibal has bigger fish to fry: Truite au Bleue.

. Except where noted, all content copyright Janice Poon 2014


  1. Janice, I want to learn how to catch an egg on a spatula. What spatula do I use and where do I buy it please.

    1. The one that Mads used was just an ordinary short stainless steel spatula that one of the Japanese chefs brought. I think if you use a lightweight one that is not too big it will be easier. Maybe you could wear a plastic coverall like Hannibal's kill suit to keep all the egg spatter off your shirt!
      Good luck!

  2. I"m so sorry your roast was cut, it was beautiful! <3

    1. Me too but you can't imagine how many things are prepared and shot but don't make it past the final cut. Actors get their scenes cut regularly, whole room sets get made up then never get used. Film-making is the craziest business that way.

  3. Thanks! Such is way the movie-making. And why it's fun for me to do this blog and get reactions like yours - so much of what I do goes unseen and this blog is like a big blooper reel of stuff that doesn't get past the editors.

  4. I love the snails! Is there a story there?

    1. Yes! That was John Kruusi's idea - he's my assistant. It's based on Filet de boeuf pique d'ail aux escargots from one of his favourite chefs: Stephane Reynaud. Basically, you roast a garlic-studded eye filet of beef and serve the slices covered in a sauce you make by deglazing the roasting pan with white wine, tossing in snails, chopped shallots, chopped garlic, parsley, walnut oil and butter and flambeeing with pastis. Sounds pretty great to me! And I love the visual of an army of snails crawling all over the helpless beef.

    2. It's a brilliant visual! And that sauce sounds amazing, might have to try it!

    3. I would try it with Roast Pork instead of Beef with sauce made with Clams instead of Snails, using the same technique. In North America, I think good clams are way easier to get than good snails.

  5. Hi, as Hannibal would say: "I love your work", although I am not sure if you would be save by hearing him saying this to you. But then, a chef wouldn't fry a fellow artist, wouldn't he?

    Anyway, it may come as a surprise to you but I am vegan. Nonetheless I think of re-crafting omnivorian ideas to the vegan side of life. And hence I like to honour your work by sharing with you some of mine. Osso Bucco plus whole Lamb Leg made from eggplant and stuffed cannelloni. Please enjoy.

    Best from Germany. Tataaa JR

    My full work is at

    1. Wonderful visual puns! Thank you for sharing your ideas and lovely photographs. I'll post them next - in Episode 8!

    2. I am deeply honoured. Thank you.

    3. I'm the one who is honoured. Thank you for taking the time to send your lovely photos. I have been reviewing how to slaughter a pig and frankly, I'm beginning to consider vegetarianism. Bryan Fuller, our brilliant writer is a vegetarian.