Ryan Poli and the Case of the Escaping Eel



Ducasse, Bocuse, and Ferran Adria
We've had plenty of strange ingredients for the Key Ingredient challenge over the last couple years, but Ryan Poli of Tavernita was the first to get one that he had to kill himself. Eels are usually sold live, and that's exactly how the ones that Poli ordered arrived: slimy and slippery and full of life. He discovered just how lively they were when one—I think it was the one he'd dubbed Bocuse—slithered right out of its shallow container and fell on the kitchen floor. ("Relax, man!" he admonished it after he finally managed to pick it up.) You can see the whole thing below—and to see what he made with the eels, check out Michael Gebert's video for this week's Key Ingredient. You might also see eel on the menu at Tavernita eventually, but only if a Poli can find a source that will deliver them already filleted. "How much can you take of coming in every morning knowing you have to kill four or five eel?" he said. "It would really weigh on a man's soul, I think."

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