A famous South American chef says he was stopped as he brought 40 piranhas in a duffel bag through Los Angeles International Airport.
Virgilio Martinez, chef-owner of Central restaurant in Peru, tells the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that he hoped to serve the predatory, sharp-toothed fish during an LA food festival.
Martinez was featured in the third season of the Netflix show "Chef's Table."
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He says customs agents pulled him into an interrogation room last week when they found the cache of frozen, vacuum-sealed piranhas.
After five hours, the agents let Martinez through with the fish. He used them that night on a salad. The newspaper says the following night he dried the piranha skins and served them inside the piranha heads.
Piranhas are common in South American rivers.