How to Grill Godzilla
With a new Godzilla movie coming out May 16, we can all look forward to the usual monster-movie pleasures: the vicarious thrill of city destruction, a beloved actor (in this case, Bryan Cranston) shrieking shrilly, and, in the end, the satisfying vision of the monster lying vanquished, its enormous carcass potentially obscuring some skyline it recently damaged significantly.
But one question always lingers after the credits roll: what happens to all that fresh—and probably delicious—monster meat?
Chef Brian Jupiter is no stranger to exotic proteins. At Chicago’s Frontier, he’s cooked a menagerie of unusual animals, from alligators to racoons, roasting many of them whole in the restaurant’s capacious ovens. He seemed like just the right person to oversee our imaginary Godzilla buffet. (Even though he admitted to not having seen any of the movies.)
If he got his hands on the monster, here’s what he’d do:
Marinate. A lot.
“I’m thinking red meat, kinda tough, gamy. Like a big bear of some sort…Something like that should be like really braised, heavy spices, lots of peppers, bring some heat into. Heat and citrus to cut that gaminess.”
Learn by trial and error.
“You want to do a small run just to see how it turns out. Most of the time when it’s the crazy stuff, the first time is pretty bad. You go back to the drawing board and you tweak things.” (Jupiter’s worst test run ever was a beaver, whose meat he said was beyond gamy: “It really tastes like outside.”)
Cook it piece by piece.
“I can cook about nine whole animals at a time. That’s pigs, goats, lambs, alligators…So I guess that would equate to about 800 pounds. If we get something that’s more broken down, we could fit 1,500 pounds of meat at a time, just smoking.” (According to the weight figures on Wikizilla, the Godzilla wiki, 1,500 pounds is about 1/80,000th of a Godzilla.) “We’ve done some really big chunks of buffalo. [With something that big,] we’ve gotta kind of quarter that and cook it in sections, as opposed to the whole animal.”
Stay on time.
“There’s no making up time when you’re dealing with large chunks of meat like that. We’ve got a whole short rib in the oven right now, a really nice piece of meat. And if you’re late with that, then you’re late when the customers get here, and there’s nothing you can do.”
Illustration by Jen Jackson, Groupon. Photo of Brian Jupiter courtesy of Frontier.