Takeshi Yasuge, chef at the two Michelin starred Tokyo restaurant Fugu Fukuji, has had his license to serve pufferfish removed after a woman who ate at his restaurant was hospitalized.
According to the AFP, the woman suffered a "headache and numbness in her lips." A health official said, "The chef served a liver, knowing that it is toxic, even if it was a request from the customer. It should warrant punitive actions." Yasuge faces hefty fines and possible jail time. Also, his restaurant can't serve its namesake dish anymore, but don't worry: Michelin does not plan on taking back the restaurant's stars.
The liver of the fish is highly toxic, and the delicacy — called fugu in Japan — requires special preparation for consumption. For an explanation of why pufferfish is dangerous, and a demonstration of how to prepare it properly, check out Andrew Zimmern and Masaharu Morimoto flirting with danger at Morimoto in Philadelphia. For a less successful preparation, check out the Simpsons.
· Michelin Two-Star Restaurant in Ginza in Trouble Over Fugu Poisoning [AFP]
Fuku Fukuji, Tokyo. [Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno]