Nyotaimori Dinner: “serving food on the female body”

Catered a 25 guest birthday party, serving the cold courses on a female body. Client wanted “dinner as transgressive art.” She proposed nyotaimori (serving food on female body).  My job was to decorate the body and feed mostly artsy guests with a memorable meal.

 

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Not a mannequin. Chicken feet cover the nipples. Seaweed salad in savoy cabbage cup. Spicy black bean noodles in savoy cabbage cup. Clams litter the torso. Sprouted radish over genitalia.

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Yellowtail sashimi on leg.

Nyomaitori Today
While Japanese in origin, Nyomaitori is most popular in Europe, rare in Japan, illegal in China, and growing in popularity in the US. Client didn’t know that Nyomaitori originated in Japan, she came up with idea on her own.  (So let’s not bring her into a discussion about Orientalism).

Menu

Cold courses:
Yellowtail sashimi w/wasabi soy dip
Noodles in spicy black bean sauce w/carrots, cucumber, and red caviar
Seaweed salad
Creminelli hand cured salami
Clams cooled in sesame and ginger broth
Burrata salad w/basil and tomato
Redneck juice drunken chicken liver pate.

Hot courses:
Beef tongue seared in olive oil and sea salt
Duck breast seared in mustard oil and sea salt
Mussels w/garlic, onion, tomato, and nearest bottle of booze marinara.  Olive baguette to dip.

Dessert:
Bacon milkshake w/red and black caviar sprinkles and bourbon.

Forgot to take photo of milkshake. Used flying fish roe.

Forgot to take photo of milkshake. Added above flying fish roe to milkshake for a hint of saltiness and snappy texture.

Rules
Guests cannot talk to the model/human platter as she needs to remain still so food doesn’t bounce up and down or off.  No poking and only those adept with chopsticks can take food off her body. No forks and knives.

Considerations
Body temperature and the contours and taste of the body were considered while developing the menu and preparing and presenting the meal.For instance, the yellowtail sashimi was served colder than usual because the body temperature will heat it faster than usual. Sashimi was chosen because it drapes the legs nicely, won’t fall off easily.

A week prior to event, ph level of model’s sweat measured 5.2, which is mildly acidic. We wanted to infuse the sashimi with a certain flavor, so we had the model change her diet to increase ph level to around 7.0 and drink 12 oz. of whiskey each day to infuse the sashimi with a woody flavor.

Summary
After enough drinks, model was ready to be transformed into human platter. Didn’t want to overdecorate, kept it simple so food blended with body instead of overwhelming it.  The chicken feet fell off the breasts at first plating but managed to stay on (as garnish) when served because model was able to remain still. Everything else stayed on fine.  Guests were able to pick up sashimi with chopsticks without hurting the model.