Beside the beaming smile and stream of chatter coming from partner and Top Chef Master Susan Feniger, we somehow got the impression that Mary Sue Milliken was the meeker of the Too Hot Tamales, the Border Grill founders and two of T.V.’s first celeb chefs. Wow, were we wrong on that one. In a Q&A; with L.A. Weekly, Milliken details her recent bloody adventures in Mongolia where she learned to kill and butcher her own beasts. She helped gun down a roebuck and slit a lamb’s throat during a hunting expedition, then after narrowly missing a boar, she returned home, satiating her newfound bloodlust by purchasing live squabs for her backyard. Starting with two, the birds multiplied until, “I had to harvest, because it was becoming like an Alfred Hitchcock movie every morning.” But back to that lamb and our shattered misconceptions of Mary Sue Killagain Milliken.
She describes the Mongolian method of snuffing the animal as “very gentle,” before going on to detail a gory, though sustainable feast. The chef says, “The Mongolians have this thing where they don’t drop a single drop of blood on the earth. So they just make a little slit, like a 3-inch slit, and then they stick their hand inside the cavity and the sheep just sort of expires in a very peaceful way. And then you wait a little while, like five minutes, and then you can open up the stomach and get all the blood out. We made blood sausage. We salvaged and made a soup from the bones; we ate the heart, we ate the kidneys, we ate the lungs, we hung the loins and the legs up.”
Hardcore. Mary Sue also suggests that all carnivores make at least one kill in their lives,” If everybody had to kill one chicken and eat it, I think the whole idea of, you know, taking meat away from the center of the plate and eating 80% plant-based and 20 protein-based [food] would become a lot more logical. If everyone just had to kill one chicken.” We’ll think about it, Mary Sue, but probably think even longer now before we slam the food at Border Grill.
Q & A With Mary Sue Milliken: Adventures In the Alaskan Surfing Capital, Chasing Boar in Mongolia + Her Hitchcock Squab Experiment [L.A. Weekly]