Beppe Bigazzi is a 77 year old Italian chef. He is also seen on the Italian television show ” La Prova del Cuoco” aka The Cooks’ Challenge, and is a co-presenter on the show that mimics
“Ready Steady Cook”.

He has now been suspended after mortifying numerous people on the show, as well as viewers, with his cat casserole comments. Italian video after the jump.

Cat Casserole in Italy: Beppe Bigazzi Cooks Cats

Beppe Bigazzi really likes cat meat, so much so that he wanted to discuss his recipe for cat casserole with the great citizens of Italy, and apparently the rest of the world. He insists it’s quite the famous dish in his hometown of Valdarno, Tuscany.

The show’s presenter, Elisa Isoardi, has a cat named Othello and tried to guide Beppe Bigazzi away from the topic but he continued praising the wonders of ‘cat meat’.

I’ve eaten it myself and it’s a lot better than many other animals,” Bigazzi told viewers. “Better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon.” He added that for maximum flavor, one needs to soak the meat in spring water for at least three days. ( Before stewing, or attempting cat casserole, I assume )

Needless to say, people were outraged and the station drew the ire of animal activists. Good on them! Bigazzi was asked to apologize but has refused. He is said to be re-thinking that, however. Reports are he is back-tracking a bit on his cat recipe’s comments.

Carla Rocchi, the head of ENPA, the Italian society for the protection of animals, said that killing cats was illegal. Francesca Martini, the Deputy Health Minister, said it was “absolutely unheard of for a public service broadcaster to tell people how delicious cats are to eat”. She called for the producers to be investigated for criminal offences involving incitement to mistreat animals.

There is more here.

Never in my life did I think I would be typing cat and recipe in the same sentence. Or cat casserole. I think I might need to throw up when this is finished…

Italy’s health under-secretary and vocal animal rights activist Francesca Martini slammed Mr Bigazzi’s comments as ”offensive to the growing number of people who care about the way we treat animals”.

Beppe Bigazzi has been employed for over ten years by the TV station, and has written a few cookbooks.
No, I am not giving the titles.

Did anyone think when they awakened today that Cat Casserole in Italy: Beppe Bigazzi Cooks Cats ( Video ) would be front page news? I know I didn’t.

I can’t wrap my mind around the idea that anyone would harm a cat, let alone eat one. Full disclosure, I and my family are cat ( and dog ) people. My cat Henry sleeps in my arms every night and has brought much joy, much happiness to me, as well as my children and grandchildren. He’s an odd little guy, and has special skills.

Many cats and dogs do. They are far more capable than humans when sensing danger. They make much better parents than today’s crop of kids having kids. In other words, at times I feel animals, especially cats and dogs, are more ‘human’ than we are.

I’d like to know what you think about Beppe Bigazzi and his cat casserole, but please don’t insult me by saying folks will eat anything when they are hungry. That is simply not true.
Many a time in my youth I thought I might starve to death; and never, ever, once had the urge to eat a cat.