This adorable lizard not only has his own scales, but a cookbook too!
Lenny, a one-year-old central bearded dragon, can be seen with tiny pots of soup, miniature biscuits and dinky cheeses in his debut book ‘Chef Lenny: Cooking for Humans’.
The cookbook was the brainchild of Lenny’s owner Valerie Musser, a chef – and lizard lover – from Redmond, Washington, USA.
Mother-of-three Valerie, 37, who ran a small catering business before the pandemic hit, said: “It was my quarantine project.
“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.”
All the miniature food in the book is real and the dishes are Valerie’s favourite comfort foods that she serves to her family.
“It’s kind of who I am as a person in lizard form,” she added.
“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.
“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 throws 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.”
Valerie said that Lenny has the perfect personality to be a chef.
She joked: “He is very pretentious. 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 colouring 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 ‘Chef Lenny: Cooking for Humans’, is available on Etsy and Amazon with the option of bespoke dietary alterations on request.
Valerie added: “I can change all the recipes to suit any different dietary requirements, because I worked in catering for special dietary needs, so I can cater for celiac’s disease, vegans, keto, whatever people need.”