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The Wolf of Wall Street - Leo’s Cheeks

Sunday 2 March 2014, by James Skipp

By James Skipp

There was one thought that kept gnawing at my brain during a recent trip to see Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street: was it possible to cook a three-course meal inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s cheeks?

It was a question I resolved to answer as soon as I returned to my flagship restaurant in Maidstone, Kent. With the assistance of my good friends Donald Chegwin (the poet) and Charlton Bloom (the critically-acclaimed film critic), I crafted three lifesize replicas of Leo’s cheeks from beef marrow.

Into the first ‘Leo’s Cheeks’, I poured a hot pea soup (the starter). Into the second, I placed a plain jacket potato (also known as a JP) to act as the main. And inside the third Leo’s Cheek I placed an unwrapped Boost Bar – the dessert.

It’s worth pointing out that unlike so many other experimental contemporary chefs, I pride myself on inventing dishes that are as tasty and accessible as they are innovative. And so to test out the recipe’s success, I invited several of my most loyal customers to my restaurant to enjoy ‘Leo’s Cheeks’.

Feedback proved to be somewhat mixed. The actor Daniel Radcliffe found the concept behind the dish “truly thrilling”, but felt the jacket potato (or JP) “might have benefitted from cheese”. For the four members of the pop band Little Mix, the problem lay in the Boost Bar, which they all deemed to have been left “languishing” in the fridge too long (a pertinent point). Two members also felt that the meal was overpriced at £35. However, the group was unanimous in describing the JP “cooked close to perfection”.

Home Secretary Theresa May, on the other hand, said she had “absolutely no complaints at all”.

So while the dish wasn’t perhaps an unqualified success, everyone present agreed that it had been an experiment worth undertaking. After a few minor tweaks to the recipe, the three-course meal shall be rolled out across all my restaurants later this year, priced at £35.

Dir: Martin Scorsese, 2013

James Skipp is an award-winning restaurateur and food critic. He owns over 900 restaurants worldwide.

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