Telling it like it's bean

From the cuisine section (!) of Maclean's, 5/4/92

It was all there -- the fat, the blood, the muscle. But what appeared to be part of a human leg was really 15 lb. of tofu. Vancouver chef Sam Okamoto, 44, developed the simulation for "Alive," a movie based on the true story of Uruguayan rugby players who survived for 69 days before rescue from a 1972 plane crash in the Andes by eating the flesh of their dead teammates.

At the shoot on Panorama Ridge in the Rockies, about 80 km north of Cranbrook, B.C., synthetic substitutes had proved toxic, butcher's meat turned bad -- and, anyway, some of the actors are vegetarians. The film-makers asked Okamoto to devise his tofu facsimile, and he spent more than 40 hours processing and coloring the soybean curd. He boasts that the results are economical, convincing -- and edible. ``The special-effects people thought it really was meat,'' he says.

The only potential problem: snacking on the prop between takes.

(Get it? "Snacking on the prop?" Prop forward, that is - hoo ha haaa - Wes)