Sacha Baron Cohen has proven one thing again and again throughout his career: no one is off limits. The legendary comedian, who creates crazy characters for his bits, has famously punked everyone from David Beckham to Dick Cheney.
In his latest show, Who is America?, Cohen has slowly worked his way through American culture, dissecting and disseminating in a way only he can. He’s convinced one Republican lawmaker to get behind a program to arm toddlers in schools, and another to take part in what can only be described as his own video resignation.
His powers of persuasion are unrivaled and he latest person to get caught up in Cohen’s charm is the food reviewer Bill Jilla who runs the website DinnerReviews.com.
In the clip below, Jilla meets Cohen’s new character, Rick Sherman, a reformed prison convict who honed his cooking skills inside a maximum security jail. Sherman presents three courses from his menu which is deeply rooted in his personal prison story.
We apologise for the third party link, it seems there has been a lot of effort to remove the original video of the food critic from YouTube.
The fact Jilla doesn’t leave at the first course of beans on toast, a single bean atop of a crispy cheddar puff, is shocking, but the fact he sits through the final two courses is what’s really weird.
In all fairness, Cohen is a master of deception and he lures Jilla in with a wonderful back story of learning to cook on the inside with limited resources and limited knowledge. However, the second course should have fired at least one warning light for the critic.
Cohen convinces Jilla that veal cooked inside condom and transported al-la-prison is the best he will ever taste, and guess what? Jilla agrees. Eyes closed at the end, “this is the best braised veal I have ever had in my entire lifetime, as soon as I cut into the prophelactic there was a juice that just burst out". We wonder if Cohen was inspired by the famous edible condom dish produced by Chinese chef, Alvin Leung.
For the final plate, in which you will surely question if this can even be real, Cohen convinces the critic he is tasting ethical, human meat - from a farm in China. Yes, that’s right, Bill Jilla, happily tucks into what he is told is a plate of 'Vegetarian-Fed Chinese Dissident with Cauliflower Puree' and even Sherman’s character looks a little shocked at just how well the bit goes.
Surely this has to highlight just how inflated the world of food criticism is now getting, where any person with a half decent following on instagram can claim to be a trusted reviewer. Cohen, in his usual style, has highlighted hypocrisy within the culinary world.