Let Them Eat Foie

Animal Rights Group Won’t Allow L.A. To Enjoy Foie Gras Quietly While It Lasts

"The great thing about America is we have freedom of choice." Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

The battle rages on between foie gras prohibitionists and the fatty liver liberation movement as a protest was staged last night by the Animal Protection and Rescue League against Melisse, which took part in one of the foie-centric dinners planned simultaneously on Monday by a super-group of 23 California chefs at four different L.A. restaurants to raise funds for C.H.E.F.S. (Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards) through a fixed menu of dishes like pistachio-crusted foie gras and Maine lobster with foie.

Recalling the sparse showing of similar protests at Providence and LudoBites, last night’s rally at Melisse was only about fifteen-strong, ABC reports, with counter-protestors confronting the group and police in the middle. But the anti-foie force does have some out-of-state help from protestors like Amber Coon, a New York-based gumshoe with the organization’s intelligence arm who will be in L.A. for the next month showing you photos of ducks being force-fed every time you seek to bid foie gras a fond farewell. Here we thought they’d won, only to see a statewide ban is still not good enough.

Coon argues, “There’s still animals getting rigid metal tubes down their throats three times a day. Their livers are swelling to 10 to 12 times their normal size, they’re panting, they just can’t breathe with these enormous livers.” The news channel’s photos of giant fowl livers next to normal size organs back her claims.

On the other side, Melisse will be serving the ingredient on a changing foie tasting menu all month, a move that’s brought the restaurant undesirable attention from the league in the first place. Chef Citrin tells the news cameras, “The great thing about America is we have freedom of choice.”

In other news sure to drive foie opponents nuts, Wilshire is announcing a foie gras dinner on Sunday, June 3, that finds its chef Nyesha Arrington preparing supper in a benefit for C.H.E.F.S. alongside a few of our own favorite L.A. chefs, including Fig’s Ray Garcia, Ray’s Kris Morningstar, Mezze’s Micah Wexler, Jordan Kahn of Red Medicine, and Vartan Abgaryan of Public Kitchen. The $110 patio feast starts with a reception at 6:30 P.M. and includes an open gin bar from No. 3 London Gin. Reservations can be made with GM Nick Fielding at 310-586-1707 or via email.

Foie gras battle: restaurateurs vs. activists [ABC]

Related: D’Artagnan and David Féau Unite on Foie Front at The Royce [GS]

Animal Rights Group Won’t Allow L.A. To Enjoy Foie Gras Quietly While It Lasts