José Andrés Fell for the Turkey-in-the-Microwave Prank

published Nov 20, 2018
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(Image credit: From Left to Right: Rostislav_Sedlacek/Shutterstock; Joe Lingeman)

“How long does it take to microwave a 25lb turkey?” Carlota Andrés messaged to the family WhatsApp. Her famous father, chef, and humanitarian José Andrés, responded, aghast, in a mixture of English and Spanish that encompasses a horror perhaps not able to be contained in just one language. In fact, the younger Andrés was simply enacting the same prank that other young adults around the country have been all week.

The idea is, because nobody is stressed out enough this week, that they text their parents the question, then see how long they can string their parents along convincing them they have zero knowledge of either cooking or foodborne illnesses. Then, once the jig is up, they screenshot the conversation and post to social media.

In José’s case, he posted it to Twitter himself, with his response, which begins with telling her to just go to a good restaurant, then moves onto broader declarations including, but not limited to: “Microwaves are the end of humankind,” “Is better that you by tofu and eat it cold [sic],” and, roughly translated, “Cook like God commanded!” Finally, he suggests maybe she should just make a Caesar salad and top it with turkey cold cuts.

But even as parents around the country wonder how their children survive a day outside their homes and a celebrity chef wonders where he went wrong in raising his daughter, it turns out that a few years ago, the tech site Mashable decided to actually do it. The USDA approves of cooking a turkey in the microwave, they say, and that it works for a smaller bird — not, for example, the 25-pound bird that Carlota and others mention. They have an entire GIF recipe, and claim that, despite their low expectations for it, “the end result was a moist and flavorful bird.” Umm, we’re just going to trust them on that and go back to debating brine or no-brine.