No, he is not imitating Rene Redzepi. He is actually taking dirt from the ground and putting it on a plate.
Toshio Tanabe is not the newest Grouch Muppet on Sesame Street, nor is he a Saturday Night Live spoof character or an earthworm masquerading as a man (we believe). Toshio Tanabe is a real human, according to The Guardian, and he is charging $110 for the privilege of eating mud that is “lab-tested…first-class agricultural soil from the farmlands north of Tokyo, baked, boiled, triple-filtered and mixed with gelatine to produce mud, which is then used as the basis for various dishes.”
Toshio Tanabe thinks that this is a great idea. Other great ideas on Toshio Tanabe’s menu include things like “potato and soil soup,” “soil risotto with a sautéed sea bass and burdock root,” and “soil gratin.” We don’t even want to spoil the “Soil Surprise,” because it could contain anything. (Hint: it might be soil!)
Somewhere in the world, Alice Waters is hearing about Toshio Tanabe for the very first time and gnashing her teeth, wondering why she didn’t think of this first. Truly, Toshio Tanabe is a visionary of the highest degree, to be raised up on a mountain of soil and worshipped as a culinary mud god. (Let’s put it this way, none of the Iron Chefs could ever do this challenge.)
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