Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Celebrity chef feeds celebrity turtle

At 565 pounds, Myrtle is a big eater. She grazes all day long, with lot of little meals spread out throughout the day. But this morning she had an extra special, extra large breakfast thanks to local celebrity chef Ming Tsai.

Diver Sherrie Floyd and Chef Ming Tsai prepared a smorgasbord for Myrtle's breakfast—broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and squid.

Tsai is designing the menu for the Aquarium's upcoming Wrecking Ball event on September 15, 2012, and he'll be doing a special cooking demonstration for guests. The event kicks off the transformation of Myrtle's home, the Giant Ocean Tank, and tickets are on sale now.

But this morning he put his kitchen skills to work for the tank's most famous resident—Myrtle. Diver Sherrie Floyd showed Ming how to prepare the Brussels sprouts (her favorite!), broccoli, cabbage and squid. With a big, strong beak, the big turtle is actually able to eat a head of broccoli or a whole squid. But the divers chop up the foods into sizable chunks so Myrtle thinks she's getting a little more!

Chef Tsai feeds Myrtle a lettuce leaf.

Then it was off to the dive platform where Tsai got to feed Myrtle the veggies he expertly prepared, plus a little side salad of lettuce leaves. Green sea turtles are mostly herbivores, which means they eat mostly plants. But Myrtle also gets squid for protein.

Check out this video of today's very special event!

Chef Ming Tsai is known for his famous restaurant, Blue Ginger, in Wellesley, Mass., and his "Simply Ming" cooking show on PBS TV. He is also an ambassador for the New England Aquarium as an Aquarium Overseer. Tsai has served on the board for two years.

Want to know more about Myrtle and her fellow residents? Check out the Divers Blog! Learn about another of Myrtle's close-ups, see what Myrtle's Thanksgiving feast is like, and find out how sea turtles visit the doctor.

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