Three Days Until Foiemageddon: Will You Indulge or Adjust?
California's impending foie gras ban has polarized the food world in the past few months: On one side you have foie-loving chefs and proponents of small sustainable farms pushing for reform with state representatives and hosting memorial dinners. On the other there are animal rights activists staging protests and making fake reservations at restaurants serving the traditionally-French gourmet food stuff. All of the hullaballoo is about to come to halt as July 1 approaches.Some say that the ban won't make much of a difference: Chefs may still serve the fattened goose livers as a gifted, off-menu item, similar to what Chicago cooks did when their city saw a similar ban. Other cooks we've spoken to don't think the risk of a $1,000 per serve fine is worth it.
One thing is for sure: There's been a mad dash in the past few weeks to get what's left of the supply here in L.A. French food purveyor Monsiuer Marcel claims that they've sold over 40 pounds of foie in the past week. Of course, this big push doesn't do much for small fry farmer Guillermo Gonzales of Sonoma Foie Gras, who 27 year-old business will closed due to the ban.
In the last few days before the new law goes into effect, there will no doubt be more farewell to foie dinners making a statement for Gonzalez and foie gras as a whole. One of the most extravegant of note is chef David La Féau at the Royce at the Langham Hunnington Hotel, who will be hosting a foie-on-foie series of dinners from now until June 30. The three nights will feature the traditionally-French dish in 30 different ways, with an additional 5 options for those seated at the chef's table. Each item will be priced at $20. Not a bad way to get rid of the extra supplies.
Other chefs, like Perfecto Rocher of theLazy Ox, have proactively prepared for the ban by adjusting their menus. His "fuck a duck" menu (we realize that foie is made with goose liver) showcases other equally-unctuous offal items like chicken livers, monkfish, and pig parts-- none of which would make PETA happy, of course. (Regardless of their victory in this matter, they've still been disrupting service over at Animal.)
So with only 72 hours left for some foie-on-foie fun, will you be indulging in some of the city's best dishes? Or are you looking forward to Foiemageddon?