LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A world-famous chef was stopped at LAX recently trying to bring dozens of piranhas through customs.

Customs officers were shocked to find 40 frozen piranhas in the luggage of Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez. The chef said he planned to cook traditional Peruvian dishes at the Los Angeles Times’ month-long food festival Food Bowl.

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Martinez has been featured in the popular Netflix cooking show “Chef’s Table.”

It took hours of questioning, but Martinez was able to walk out with his piranhas and serve them up the following day, according to the Times.

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Piranhas are an omnivorous freshwater fish found in South American rivers. Live piranhas are illegal to import or possess without a permit in California.