This morning we learned that 100 chefs are uniting to take a stand for their beloved foie gras, which is due to be banned in California come July. Whether the group claims the final victory or loss, L.A. will be a big winner in May when the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (C.H.E.F.S) stages a battle pitting a huge crew of famous chefs against each other with simultaneous foie gras tasting menus as their weapons at Melisse, The Royce at The Langham, Lemon Moon, and Animal, full of big name guest chefs from both Southern and Northern California restaurants. Who is participating in this self-styled “battle for foie gras?”
The line-ups are pretty insane in the membrane, thick with talents both legendary and buzzing. At Melisse in Santa Monica, owner-chef Josiah Citrin will prepare his six-course tasting menu with buddy Raphel Lunetta of Jiraffe and Waterloo & City chef Brendan Collins, with additional help from Bay Area-chefs including Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani of Terra, One Market’s Mark Dommen, and Justin Wangler of Kendall Jackson.
At the same time, Citrin’s and Lunetta’s faster, more casual Lemon Moon will bring Patina’s Tony Esnault together with former Patina and Palate chef Octavio Becerra, along with team members Joey Elentario of Chez TJ, Marc Zimmerman of San Fran’s Alexander’s Steakhouse, and Dustin Valette of Charlie Palmer’s Dry Kitchen in Healdsburg. While all the menus are priced at $200 per person, the option at Lemon Moon will be just $150. All proceeds from each of the dinners go the support C.H.E.F.S.
One of the most exciting teams comprises the two chefs from Animal, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, hosting Ludo Lefebvre and Michael Voltaggio, along with La Folie’s Roland Passant. This young chefs’ collaborative will also take on six courses of foie, though the promising partnership has already sold out of seats for obvious reasons.
The fourth battle will be fought that night at The Royce at The Langham by chef David Feau, Michael Cimarusti of Providence, and Mezze’s Micah Wexler, teamed with Doug Kean of Cyrus in Sonoma, Victor Scargle from Napa’s Lucy at Bardessono, and Peter Armellino of Saratgoa’s Plumed Horse.
Each restaurant/team is working on a different menu on May 14, which we have links to below, including dishes like Santa Barbara spot prawn with cured and poached foie gras and a foie gras sautee with grilled and partially dehydrated strawberries. Either way, if you’ve got the dough to spend, any one of these mighty teams would make a dream dinner come true. Check out the dishes, below.
Menus and Reservations: