Today is the first Foie Friday, Philly chefs’ show of support for their culinary counterparts in California who will not have the liberty of serving the luxe liver that foodists get so gaga over once a statewide ban goes into effect there on July 1. The cause is being championed by Ela’s Jason Cichonski, who came up with the idea to help boost sales for a product and industry that’s about to take a major hit. On the West Coast, anyway. More than 20 chefs and restaurants are participating, offering special foie gras dishes on Friday nights throughout June. “Since I’m, like, this corner bar and I’m always trying to keep an eye on food costs, I only really serve it on special occasions, you know, for, like, this Founders dinner I do every year during Beer Week,” South Philadelphia Tap Room chef Scott Schroeder told Grub. “I’m doing it because all this bullshit about it, it’s all based on lies and PETA propaganda, and it makes me sick.”
For the first round of Foie Friday, he’s added a foie gras and ham Croque Madame to his specials board. Chefs as diverse as Le Virtu’s Joe Cicala to Brauhaus Schmitz’s Jeremy Nolen are also participating. Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga is getting in the action, offering a $10 foie upgrade to any dish on his menu. Still some chefs doubt pushing foie gras in Philly is going to impact losses incurred by producers in the Golden State.
“I don’t need a reason to put foie gras on the menu,” Meme chef David Katz, who stoically held his own when Hugs For Puppies protestors took aim at him back in 2008 for his use of foie gras, told us. “If it gets banned in California, I doubt Hudson Valley’s going to lose any business from it, but yeah sure, I’ll throw something on for the cause.”
Keep tabs on #FoieFridays on Twitter for the latest information of who else is participating and what they are serving.