In protest of California's rapidly approaching foie gras ban, C.H.E.F.S. (the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards), an organization that sounds like a maniacal conglomerate out of a James Bond film, or perhaps a culinary-slanted take on the Avengers, announced yesterday that it will be undertaking a massive four-restaurants-in-one-night series of dinners loaded with 23 star chefs — enough toque power to be worthy of big-screen adaptation. Melisse, the Royce at the Langham, Lemon Moon and Animal will host simultaneous dinners on May 14, with each assembling a team of guest chefs from all across California. Turn the page for the lineup so far.
Melisse: Chef Josiah Citrin, Raphel Lunetta of JiRaffe, Waterloo & City's Brendan Collins, Bay Area chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani of Terra, Justin Wangler of Kendall Jackson, One Market's Mark Dommen
Lemon Moon: Patina's Tony Esnault, Palate's Octavio Becerra, Joey Elentario of Chez TJ, Dustin Valette of Charlie Palmer's Dry Kitchen in Healdsburg, Marc Zimmerman of San Francisco's Alexander's Steakhouse
Animal: Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Ludo Lefebvre, Michael Voltaggio and La Folie's Roland Passot
The Royce at the Langham: Chef David Feau, Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Micah Wexler of Mezze, Doug Kean of Cyrus in Sonoma, Victor Scargle from Lucy at Bardessono in Napa, Peter Armellino of Saratgoa's Plumed Horse
The dinners are all priced at $200 per person, except Lemon Moon, a tad cheaper at $150 per person. Each team will produce a different menu, likely with an emphasis on the ingredient that they're cooking to defend. You can check out some of the menus here — pistachio-crusted foie gras, foie gras custard, foie gras terrine with strawberry and rhubarb — they all read like the scene in Forrest Gump where Bubba lists off his favorite ways to enjoy shrimp.
The proceeds from the dinners will go toward C.H.E.F.S.' efforts to lobby against California's impending foie ban and to instead pass a charter that would mandate regular audits by animal welfare experts.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite, though the dinner at Animal — not surprisingly — is already sold out.