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State to Enforce Foie Gras Ban Next Year, Some Chefs Say They'll Break the Law

A dish with foie gras at Petrossian (Photo by foodforfel via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
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California became the first state to ban foie gras back in 2004, but the law will not be enforced until next year. In July 2012, "duck liver cannot be served throughout the state if the duck was force fed, which is the method used by duck raisers for the liver to become fatty," explains AHN.

Not all chefs are on board with the ban, though, and several well-known culinarians working in California have spoken out about their plans to defy the ban.

Los Angeles-based chef Laurent Quenioux, who has been enjoying a special pop-up run at Downtown's Starry Kitchen, counts himself among the rebel forces: “When the ban comes in, we’re going to serve it every day. They can send me the foie gras police."

The ban, signed into law by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, came to be after the urgings of several animal rights groups, who are now eager for the enforcement of the law to get underway.

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Protesters frequently intervene when high-profile chefs serve foie gras locally, like in the case of Chef Ludo Lefebvre, who did a one-night LudoBites stand in Redondo Beach for his Ludo Bites America TV series and landed a glut of anti-foie gras folks on the restaurant's doorstep. (He told them basically to f-off, he loves foie gras and won't stop serving it.)

Though California enjoys pushing the edges of the culinary frontier, we also love to ban some boundary-pushing ingredients. Just this week a ban on shark fins--used in shark fin soup--was passed by the state senate and awaits Governor Jerry Brown's signature.