…to serve sushi? I jest not. Today’s New York Times has a story — “Fish and Hips” — describing the practice. According to the Times,
JILLIAN TALBOT, a 26-year-old Californian, lay very still on a long, elegant table draped with a red tablecloth in the basement wine cellar of Ambassador Wines and Spirits at Second Avenue and 54th Street. Except for the fresh sushi, the big tropical leaves and the pink sea shells that covered her willowy six-foot frame, Ms. Talbot was nude.
On each side of the table sat a well-dressed couple engaged in lively conversation with the store’s owner, a professed sake geek named Leonard Phillips. Although Mr. Phillips’s specialty is sake, he has another claim to fame: His store is one of the few places in the city that serve up sushi models.***
Hirosaki Koko, the 37-year-old freelance caterer who organized the event at [Ambassador Wines and Spirits] shop, sees body sushi as an art form with a growing audience.
“What I’m doing with this,”Ms. Koko said,”is combining catering, body art and a little bit of eroticism.”
Her company, Nyotaimori, which means”female body arrangement”in Japanese, provides sushi along with male and female sushi models who are paid $100 an hour and perform at private events and parties throughout the city. * * *
Starting last month, the wine shop began holding weekly two-hour gatherings attended by up to 10 people, each of whom paid $125 to learn about sake and eat the sushi from the model’s body. Although the event is popular among couples, Mr. Phillips said, it is generally women who sign up for the classes.
Huh? Female Misogynist Sushi-Goers? (nod to Ariel Levy’s book here.) Is this like strip poker but strip eating (and only one person ends up nude)? Just $100 an hour?
Say it ain’t so….
P.S. The photo below is from chicagoist.com (the photo is not of Ms. Talbot, the model mentioned in the NYT story).