At this year’s Star Wars Celebration, fans waited patiently in lines to see their favorite stars and get first-hand The Force Awakens news, but one of the longest wait lines was to see a carrot. Not just any carrot–a carrot that looked exactly like BB-8.
Japanese Chef Okitsugu Kado gained internet fame for his Star Wars banana carvings of Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and more, but his work goes beyond peelable fruit and spans all the produce in the galaxy. At Celebration, he held a panel that showcased his best vegetable carving work: all recognizable Star Wars characters, all made of vegetables.
Chef Kado practices Mukimono, the traditional Japanese art of decorative garnishing. His favored produce include daikon radish, sweet potato, cucumber, and carrot. These vegetables are sturdier than most and he often uses a dyeing technique to add color where needed.
While Chef Kado is an expert, he’s more than happy to show off his special carving tools and offer up tips to beginners. “Move the vegetable instead of your hand when carving” and “go slowly, take your time.” The art of vegetable carving or any knife wielding for that matter, should not be rushed. “Patience you must have, my young padawan,” and you too can make an orange into a tiny edible Death Star.
When taking food carving on as a hobby, one might ask, what do you do with all those excess vegetable remnants? Putting his 8 years of French cooking to use, Chef Kado suggests using the leftovers to create other useful dishes, like soups or stews. A great tip for not wasting valuable ingredients.
Kado is more than your average Star Wars fan, he’s also a dedicated member of the Jedi Order of Japan. The group meets at his restaurant and holds dinner meetings for their Jedi Council. It’s at those meetings when he pulls out all the stops and comes up with some of his most impressive work. A sweet potato Scout Trooper on a carrot speeder hovering over an Endor forest salad? If that’s the appetizer I can’t imagine what the main course would be.
The Celebration audience was captivated by Chef Kado’s enthusiastic descriptions of how he turned veggies into galactic figures with just a few slices of his precise knives. Chef Kado’s fandom is what drives him and he continues to be inspired by his love of Star Wars to create new incredible tributes out of food. You can check out more of his work in the gallery below. Follow Chef Kado on his blog and facebook — you can even visit his restaurant Minayoshy in Osaka, Japan.
What Star Wars character would you carve out of a carrot? Let us know in the comments below!