His new hero: I am a private chef who just moved from New York. Although I found a secure and interesting position as chef in Paradise Valley, I was in search of a culinary scene in Phoenix until I read about Kaz Yamamoto. Very, very interesting!

I empathize with his frustration, as I, too, have worked for some very famous (and infamous) people in the NYC scene and have never had my name out there. Now, at least, I don't feel so bad about living in Anthem!
Name withheld by request

She didn't read to the end: Great article! But I found myself wondering if this was another New Times hoax, like the one about human taxidermy published a couple Halloweens ago ("Forever Yours," Esteban Sauer, October 28, 2004). My husband and I sometimes wish there was more to our diet than beef, chicken and pork. However, there truly is a creepiness about this "Xtreme" menu, especially when the main dish is an endangered or illegal creature.

What next? Braised tenderloin of milk-fed yearling Homo sapiens? Get out the black napkins for that one!
Corrie Collins, Tempe

How about a Pulazzie?: Around paragraph four, I checked the calendar to see if it was April Fool's Day. I feel like running against Phil Gordon next time . . . can you imagine the campaign posters we could conjure up? Kaz better watch out for that dick Joe Arpaio. He'll be all over this one.

I'm not sure if you guys deserve a Pulitzer or a Razzie, but it was one hell of an article. That Kaz is a character and a half. Good job!
David Smith, Carefree

Barrio cuisine: This type of cuisine is nothing new. People living in poverty all over the world do it all the time. I live in a barrio, and folks in my area eat like this often.

They just don't pay thousands of dollars or cover their heads with black napkins. Now that would be stupid!

I would like to invite Mr. Yamamoto to my neighborhood as dinner, but he comes across in his photos like he'd be a little stringy!
Rosie Coyote, Sunnyslope

Don't believe everything you read: You're probably getting a whole lot of hate mail about the "Xtreme Cuisine" article. But I think it was great! The people who're getting so mad about it that they're about to have heart attacks are just numb-nuts who believe everything that's printed in a paper is the gospel truth.

When a co-worker sent this piece over to me, I thought . . . pictures of a guy carving up a penguin head? Who really in good conscience could eat a spotted owl? And who would expose this to the media and not expect to be hunted, carved up and served for dinner themselves?

You just exposed a lot of people's blind belief in journalism. You may have been spoofing extreme animal-rights activists, but you also outed the large numbers of sheep in our midst. It's been a long time since I've seen people this shocked about something. I think it's funny!
Nicole Rund, Phoenix

He gets it: Brilliant work! My mouth was watering from the first sentence.

I was surprised that your chef did not go a bit further. One of the high points of my own culinary career came a few years back when, in New Zealand for a jazz didgeridoo convention, I ended up in the Murdoch compound, supping on econguin (that's emu stuffed with condor stuffed with one of those little South African penguins). Deelishus, I tell you!
Edward Ericson, Baltimore, Maryland

All that glitters is not gold: Having written more than a few hoaxes in my time for New Times, I really relished "Xtreme Cuisine."

Congrats to author Stephen Lemons, and please notify his next of kin I really enjoyed the meal Chef Yamamoto just prepared for me -- Lemons Meringue Thigh. Seriously, I thought the article was in excellent taste.
Barry Friedman, Phoenix

We had him at "hufu": You had me. You had me fooled for at least half of the article. That is, until it got completely ridiculous. Hufu, the human flesh alternative? This piece was kind of like the human taxidermy one or arming the homeless ("Give Piece a Chance," Inda House, April 1, 1999), eh? What gives, though? April Fool's was last month.
Shane Watson, Phoenix

The idiot factor: I am writing to you people about your lack of ethics in your parody article. Your newspaper has the legal right to publish such funny spoof articles. But how are you going to feel when some idiot who doesn't have better than a fourth-grade education burns down the Wrigley Mansion because, in their warped perception of reality, they think they're saving animals?

What you don't realize is that the attention span of your average American is about as long as his dick. Did you think that some idiot who makes bombs in the bathroom of his mom's trailer is going to read all the way to the end and realize that it's phony? Of course not! These fanatics we have out here can't tell the difference between a PBS documentary on PETA and an episode of South Park where Stan visits PETA.

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