Welcome to 2018, a year that got off to a inconceivably horrific start when a short video tutorial of a woman “cooking with her mouth” went viral.
The video practically seems engineered to make people upset. Over the course of five minutes and 55 seconds, an actress who introduces herself as “Riva Godfree” (real name Iska Lupton) swishes up produce, bread, butter, and the contents of a raw egg inside her mouth; spews the chomped-up food into a glass bowl; and molds the mixture into a stuffing that she wedges into the deep cavity of an uncooked turkey.
“I’m going to show you how to make my Christmas turkey stuffing recipe using only my mouth,” she declares plainly in the video’s opening frames. She peels the skin from an onion, bites into it, “dices” what she can with her teeth, and spits out the mushy remnants.
“It’s a bit teary,” she notes as the onion sloshes around in her mouth, her eyes welling. "I do love cooking.”
As Gizmodo reported on Tuesday, the video is actually the work of Nathan Ceddia, an Australian artist who’s based in both Berlin and London. Ceddia posted it to YouTube late last month just before Christmas.
"Everything is 100% real,” Ceddia wrote MUNCHIES over email on Wednesday when asked whether the video was a joke. He said he got the idea for the video after he’d heard countless stories of friends and family members injuring themselves while cooking.
"The kitchen is meant to be a safe environment where people can comfortably express their creativity," Ceddia told MUNCHIES. "I myself love cooking but I’m not so fond of knives, and the the thought of chopping off a finger frightens the hell out of me.”
He thus believed that the only way to relieve himself of his anxiety—and to safeguard the kitchen—was to create a new style of cooking entirely, one that would recall an earlier, simpler era before humans had access to the “fancy gadgets” you'd find in many home kitchens. He saw himself looking back to a time when people were hunters and gatherers who used their mouths to accomplish what are, today, menial kitchen tasks.
“It’s a way of channeling my inner caveman,” Ceddia told MUNCHIES. "I’ve created a foolproof concept that minimizes kitchen risks, replacing dangerous utensils with the safety of our own mouths.”
After all, Ceddia argued, the human mouth has endless capabilities. You can chop, chew, whisk, and grate with it. The mouth is an all-purpose utensil that won’t cost you a cent, and it spares you the potential casualty of slicing a vital limb.
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"I would like to see cooking with your mouth become a movement,” Ceddia insisted to MUNCHIES. "I plan to release more mouth-watering recipes and even introduce these skills into schools and prisons.”
Ceddia noted that he’d filmed two videos within the span of a day at his studio in Berlin, and he plans to release another recipe within the coming weeks. “I’m a big fan of Jamie Oliver and I love the charitable work he does with food and food awareness,” he said. “I’ve reached out to his people, as I’d like cooking with your mouth to become the next food revolution.”
Oliver did not respond to immediate request for comment from MUNCHIES regarding whether this is true.