Caroline Kepnes
February 16, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

What is it about Survivor contestants’ food fixation? On Pulau Tiga, it was roasted rat. In the Australian Outback, it boils down to pasty rice and raw cow brain. Here, the dish on Survivor 2‘s meatiest mysteries.

Q Why was Ogakor’s Keith Famie, an award-winning chef, unable to prepare a decent bowl of rice?

”For a chef, making rice is practically day one, hour one,” says Tyler Florence, host of the Food Network’s Food 911. ”From what I understand, Keith didn’t utilize the two-for-one method. He had three parts water to one part rice, which makes it soupy.” Of course, most chefs wouldn’t trade their Jenn-Airs for a makeshift campfire.

Q Is Kel Gleason really a beef-jerky-chomping jerk?

The U.S. Army intelligence officer, booted after tribemates accused him of secretly noshing on beef jerky, proclaimed his innocence to David Letterman, insisting he was chewing bark. But Kathryn Hardess of Outward Bound’s Australian division has her doubts. ”Bark is quite fibrous and would have [few] nutrients,” she says. ”It would be in the same league as eating grass.” Bark or no bark, CBS publicist Colleen Sullivan swears Kel could not have smuggled in food: ”Jerri says she saw him … but we searched everyone’s bags [before the show].”

Q Are cow brains and worms really all that nasty to eat?

While viewers were squeamish about the second immunity challenge, Sullivan says the mystery-meal roulette was 100 percent approved by medics. ”That crazy-looking larva bug — in Borneo … that’s considered high-end caviar.” And to some, it’s good grub. ”I wouldn’t like the brains, but almost any insect would be tasty,” says Louis Sorkin of the New York Entomological Society, who recalls eating the large, squirming Kurajong beetle larva at a 1992 banquet. ”We grilled it. It tasted like bacon.” All it needs is a nice glass of Chianti.

You May Like