Foie Gras Battle Heats Up in Los Angeles

As the California foie gras ban date draws closer, activists and chefs alike are ramping up their use of it

Foie Gras

According to an article by Eater, protestors have not only been writing false reviews on Yelp and other websites, but they’ve also been making false reservations to foie gras, French for “fatty liver,” fixe prix menu dinners.

Son of a Gun’s chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo hosted a seven-course foie gras dinner, featuring foie gras in every course in protest or as a farewell to the delicacy. 

The foie gras protestors called or emailed in securing reservations for the event, but all were no-shows.
Other restaurants, such as Mélisse, have been experiencing the same problems, said Helen Johannesen from Son of a Gun. 

Son of a Gun’s sister restaurant, Animal, has also hosted foie gras dinners. Animal will be very affected by the ban, as well. 

The ban comes from a 2004 law that was passed banning the use of inhumane practices to force-feed the ducks to become fatty. The law will finally go into effect July 1. 

Chef Anthony Bourdain is upset about the protestors, as well. 

"[Foie gras opponents] got there by calling up chefs at home calling up their families, threatening their children, sending them photographs of their kids playing in their backyard, threatening their customers, burning down their businesses, breaking into their businesses and vandalizing them," Bourdain said. "So I'm one of those assholes who's actually pretty bored with foie gras, eat a lot of it. I would eat it for the rest of my life out of sheer spite."

More California-based restaurants plan to have similar events before the ban goes into effect.

I think anytime animal activists call up chefs' families and threaten their kids over an issue like veal or foie gras, someone somewhere should skin a panda."

Wilshire Restaurant will host its Foie Festival on June 3 in opposition of the ban, according to the LA Times. Chef Nyesha Arrington and other guest chefs will participate in the festival. Tickets are $110, and part of the proceeds will go to C.H.E.F.S., Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards, which protests the foie gras ban. 

Do you think foie gras should be banned? Let us know in the comments below!