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Home / World News / South American Chef stopped at Los Angeles airport with 40 frozen vacuum-chilled piranhas

South American Chef stopped at Los Angeles airport with 40 frozen vacuum-chilled piranhas

Virgilio Martinez, chef-owner of Central restaurant in Peru, said that he hoped to serve the predatory, sharp-toothed fish during an LA food festival.

world Updated: May 10, 2019 08:26 IST
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Los Angeles
Virgilio Martinez, chef-owner of a restaurant in Peru said he hoped to serve the predatory, sharp-toothed fish at an LA food festival.
Virgilio Martinez, chef-owner of a restaurant in Peru said he hoped to serve the predatory, sharp-toothed fish at an LA food festival.(Representative Image)
         

A famous South American chef says he was stopped as he brought 40 piranhas in a duffel bag through Los Angeles International Airport.

Virgilio Martinez, chef-owner of Central restaurant in Peru, tells the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that he hoped to serve the predatory, sharp-toothed fish during an LA food festival.

Martinez was featured in the third season of the Netflix show “Chef’s Table.” He says customs agents pulled him into an interrogation room last week when they found the cache of frozen, vacuum-sealed piranhas.

After five hours, the agents let Martinez through with the fish. He used them that night on a salad. The newspaper says the following night he dried the piranha skins and served them inside the piranha heads.

Piranhas are common in South American rivers.