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Foie Gras

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Animal's foie gras loco moco - DJJEWELZ/FLICKR
  • djjewelz/flickr
  • Animal's foie gras loco moco
It's been two years since California banned the sale and production of foie gras, and it seemed to be a done deal. But a group of attorneys, as well as 13 states outside of California, are hoping to raise the issue again. In fact, they're hoping to take it all the way to the Supreme Court. 

The issue at stake is how the ban impacts interstate commerce. The 13 states (including South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas and Georgia) argue that the ban unconstitutionally interferes with interstate commerce by dictating the farming practices of producers outside the state.

By banning a certain product in California, the attorneys argue, the legislature here is actually restricting production in other states, ones that never agreed to such a ban. California may have the right to bar farmers here from techniques that produce foie gras, the argument goes. But by barring foie gras produced legally in other states, it's also hurting out-of-state farmers. 

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Terrine of fois gras - DARIN DINES/FLICKR
Way back on July 1, when the weather here was actually nice and pleasant, California's ban on foie gras went into effect, making the production and sale of the French delicacy illegal in California. Very promptly thereafter, a lawsuit was filed alleging, among other issues, that the law is unconstitutionally vague. As part of their suit, the plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of the law until the case is decided. According to the Associated Press, however, that request was denied by the district court judge yesterday.

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Foie Gras

Lawsuit Claims Foie Gras Ban Is Unconstitutional

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Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Foie gras terrine at Mezze - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Foie gras terrine at Mezze
On July 1, the countdown clock hit zero and California's ban on foie gras went into effect. But, as one might predict, the law barely lasted one full business day before a lawsuit was filed against it. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a complaint filed in federal district court on Monday alleges that the ban, which prohibits the sale of any product that results from force-feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging its liver beyond its "normal size," is vague and unconstitutional.

Three plaintiffs filed the lawsuit, including a New York producer of duck products, a Canadian nonprofit organization that represents the interests of foie gras producers and exporters in Quebec, and Hot's Restaurant Group, which operates Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach and Hot's Cantina in Northridge.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SCREENSHOT FROM CBS NEWS
  • Screenshot from CBS News
As California's foie gras ban rapidly approaches, more and more media outlets are starting to pay attention. This morning, CBS ran a story about diners, protesters and the chefs in L.A. They interviewed chefs Michael Voltaggio (ink.) and Josiah Citrin (Melisse), and captured the tensions between diners and protesters outside Citrin's restaurant, where, the story claims, Citrin is struggling to keep up with demand for foie gras even as demonstrators outside harangue customers as they enter.

Reporter Ben Tracy also visits Guillermo Gonzalez, the only California foie gras farmer, as he shuts down his farm.

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FROM THE LUDOBITES COOKBOOK
  • from the LudoBites cookbook
For all of you who constantly check Los Angeles chef Ludo Lefebvre's Twitter feed and LudoBites website for updates on his latest pop-up, who surf the Sundance Channel and drive by Gram & Papa's to check for rooster paraphernalia, who DM the chef and his wife offers of babysitting, soon you can thumb through the LudoBites cookbook instead. Cook some of Ludo's recipes. It's even more fun than stalking!

Ecco won't publish LudoBites: Recipes and Stories From the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre until early October, but you can pre-order the book on Amazon if it'll make you feel better.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Foie Gras

10 Best Foie Gras Dishes in Los Angeles

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Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Foie gras loco moco - FLICKR/DJJEWELZ
On July 1, the boom finally drops: The country's first statewide ban on foie gras goes into effect in California, making it illegal to serve or sell. For more on this, check out our critic Besha Rodell's consideration of the Last Days of Foie Gras.

In honor of the work by chefs and kitchen staff done over the past months to create some of the most innovative and sumptuous foie dishes in existence, as well as to provide you with a chance to sample the goods in the scant two weeks before they're snatched off menus, we've highlighted some of our favorite foie gras dishes in Los Angeles. Turn the page.

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Foie gras terrine at Mezze - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Foie gras terrine at Mezze
If you're the sort of person who has a foie gras countdown clock -- 16 days and counting, as calibrated by some NASA engineer hiding out in a Périgord bunker -- you will be interested in today's feature food story, in which Besha Rodell considers the Last Days of Foie Gras. If you're a committed vegetarian, it's still an fascinating issue, since the upcoming ban is not simply about ducks and Sacramento, but a serious culinary tradition.

So, for the moment, let's put aside the politics of the thing. I know it's hard. For some, it's impossible -- to true believers, the very existence of an article that talks about foie in anything less than horrific terms is an abomination. But as someone who spends her life invested in the experience and flavor of things, what interests me is how chefs view foie as an ingredient and what they -- and we, as an extension -- lose when it goes away.

Read the story.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Events

Foie Gras Apathy: Lazy Ox Canteen's 'Forget Foie' Menu

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Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Lazy Ox Burger (Imagine this plus a slice of beef liver) - FLICKR USER DJJEWELZ
  • Flickr user djjewelz
  • Lazy Ox Burger (Imagine this plus a slice of beef liver)
Chef Perfecto Rocher wants to help take your mind off the upcoming foie gras ban by reminding you that there are tons of other tasty animal livers that make for perfectly suitable ingredients. While many other restaurants are hosting all-out foie feasts, Lazy Ox Canteen is planning a "Forget Foie" menu -- intended to "celebrate [their] apathy" with the foie gras issue -- set to run as an a la carte menu. On June 29-30, the menu will feature alternatives to foie like braised octopus with monkfish liver (known as the "foie gras of the sea"), beef liver cooked "a la plancha" with roasted yams, and a Lazy Ox burger topped off with lamb's liver. Remember what your mother said about eating liver. Turn the page for the full menu.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Melisse - DJJEWELZ/FLICKR
Tonight, Melisse will take part in the "Northern California vs. Southern California Foie Battle," a six-course, $200 per person foie gras dinner that supports the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards and its efforts to repeal the upcoming statewide ban on the delicacy. But this will be a two-front war, as the restaurant also will have to contend with a protest led by the Animal Protection and Rescue League. According to the Santa Monica Mirror, the League will be outside Melisse to essentially protest the restaurant's protest of the ban, a scene, we're guessing, that will be played and replayed until the ban takes effect on July 1. Protesters will be at the restaurant by 7:30 p.m.

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