LET ME EDUCATE YOU IN THE ART OF COOKING FLAMINGOS

I guarantee nobody will ever find my blog by googling the above sentence. So anyways I was eating Peking duck for dinner the other night and (oh by the way this is gonna be a long train of thought post which should end with a story about an ancient Roman gourmet and a restaurant I once owned) I was contemplating how duck has become so popular over the past years. It used to only be chicken but these days people are just as cool eating the dark bird. Personally I love duck, so many ways to cook it, so good.

So I started to wonder what would be the next big thing in "birds for dinner", as you do. It was then that I remembered a recipe I once saw for cooking Flamingo - :pause: - yeah I said Flamingo, I know you're probably screwing your nose up right now but when did we start being so fussy with the animals we eat? People in the past have eaten swans, ostrich, cranes and even peacocks. Okay I'm probably just talking about ancient Romans and the like here but eat them they did.

apicius cover

I found the Flamingo recipe in a cookbook I own called Apicius. It's one of the oldest known cookbooks around. Supposedly written by a dude called Marcus Gavius Apicius (natch he has a wikipedia page) who was a Roman gourmet and wealthy lover of all things luxurious. He lived in Rome under the reign of Tiberius and was famous for his banquets and flamboyant lifestyle. I'm assuming he was a fat bastard. One day he realised that he was almost broke and decided that rather than die poor he would kill himself. If he couldn't live like he was accustomed to then he'd throw one last banquet and eat some poisoned food at the end of it...so he did, or at least so the legend says.

apicius
also good with Parrot

Somewhere along the way he is said to have written down his recipes for others to use and thus we have Apicius the cook book. The thing about this cook book is that there are no measurements, purely ingredients. The thinking behind this was that old Marcus didn't want the common folk to cook his dishes, so if you wanted the amounts you had to ask him and therefor you had to know him. An odd way to operate but hey it was Rome in its' heyday.

apicius kitchen

Which brings me to my restaurant. When I decide to branch out on my own I was always going to call it Apicius, not that I was really going to do any of the dishes in the book, I just wanted to pay homage to this story. It was fairly successful as a business but after 2 years of slog I decided to move on and I sold it to two of my staff who kept it going for 2-3 years more and they made an even bigger success of it all. The building is still there in Fremantle but the restaurants it now houses change names every second week or so it seems.

apicius rstaurant

Hmmm Ostrich eh? Why not? I mean we eat Emu don't we?
/end of train of thought
.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I congratulate, you were visited with simply excellent idea
Anonymous said…
You're wrong: I did find this blog while searching for flamingo recipies :-)
Stu said…
hahaha

I've checked the stats and someone actually has googled roman recipe apicius flamingo to find this lol

I stand corrected
Anonymous said…
who did you sell it to? Danni and Sylvia...don't know if they had much success with it in the end
Stu said…
Yeah sold it to them, naturally I don't know exactly how they went but they always said it was going well when we spoke. More so their relationship didn't fair well and that was the end of that, do you know them well? If so do you have any news on life after Apicius for them?
Anonymous said…
Yeah you're right it as more the non business aspects which may have led to its demise...less said the better really. Dani is in San Francisco where she has been for 10 years and is coming back to Australia soon...Sylvia is in Melbourne I believe. Look up Danielle Mason on Facebook...
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?react=1271649651%3Ab83f413ebe55d8cb14cf48cc56b0fafd#!/profile.php?id=1077876477&ref=ts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/danielle-mason/a/810/755
Dan said…
where u at Stu?
Dan x
stu said…
:) Hey Dan

I'm living in Victoria these days. If I'd known you were at Urban Coe Op I would have popped in and said hi :(

I left Perth in December
joyce said…
Why I googled "flamingo recipe" which led me to your blog:
Today some tourists went flamingo watching on my island, and while they were doing that thugs broke into their cars, as often happens at that spot. Someone put it on Facebook, everybody and their aunts had to comment, and one of the comments read: "We should just eat those @#$% flamingoes already, they bring nothing than trouble!" Which made me google some tasty recipes.
stu said…
ha, well I'm glad to be proven wrong :)
Sorry it had to be under such circumstances. Secretly I would like to try a Flamingo but I'm sure there's laws against it