While you’re ordering in and heating up frozen pizzas, Lenny the lizard has brought out his very own cookbook.
Yes, an actual lizard. A one-year-old central bearded dragon, to be exact.
Lenny has brought out his very own cookbook, titled Chef Lenny: Cooking For Humans.
As the name suggests, this isn’t a book full of recipes only lizards will enjoy, but meal ideas for us humans to inspire us to get in the kitchen.
Inside, Lenny can be see with tiny pots of soup, miniature biscuits, and tiny cheeses.
The cookbook was the brainchild of Lenny’s owner Valerie Musser, a chef and lizard lover from Redmond, Washington.
‘It was my quarantine project,’ said Valerie, 37, a mom-of-three who ran a small catering business before the pandemic hit.
‘I’d been writing a cookbook for about 10 years but never really had the time to sit down and sort through it.
‘With quarantine I found myself with a surplus of time.
‘The idea to make it about Lenny came because I’d bought him a little chef’s hat from Etsy and he actually loves wearing hats and posing for photos so I started making miniature food for him to show off with.
‘He loves to be in the kitchen, it’s his favourite room in the house, so it worked out.’
Every miniature meal in the book is real food, inspired by Valerie’s favourite comforting dishes.
‘It’s kind of who I am as a person in lizard form,’ she said.
‘It’s authentic recipes like you would eat at your grandma’s house. Good, quality, wholesome food like chicken pot pie, blueberry muffins and tacos.’
Valerie continued: ‘Initially I posted a few pictures of Lenny cooking on Instagram and the feedback was so positive, people were writing things like, “this made my day” and “this really cheered me up”. So I realized that people actually needed this.
‘During the throes of Covid everything was so negative and scary, so I wanted to make something truly funny and uplifting.
‘I wanted to use the time for good, instead of becoming lazy and overweight, slumped in front of Netflix all day.’
It turns out that Lenny is perfectly suited to being a chef.
‘He is very pretentious’ said Valerie.
‘His body language is kind of crazy, he wants what he wants, he’s very demanding and he’s kind of a snob about food, very fussy, so this project fits him very well.
‘If he doesn’t like something he’ll glare at you, he likes to be hand fed, he will not eat out of a dish.
‘We have another lizard with a totally different personality, he’s very chill, but Lenny is a very haughty and spoiled little lizard man!
‘They are very expressive creatures, they can dream and have nightmares and they use their body language to convey their feelings, they’ll change their coloring if they are angry or cold and if the tips of their scales go orange it means they are super happy.
‘So we can always tell when Lenny is pleased to be in the kitchen.’
The 134-page cookbook – complete with alterations for different dietary needs – is available on Etsy and Amazon now.
The 134 page cookbook is available on Etsy with the option of bespoke dietary alterations on request.
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