Let Them Eat Foie

Foie Gras Update: Judge Denies Temporary Injunction; Acquerello Plays With ‘Faux Gras’

A federal judge in Los Angeles has denied a request from a coalition of plaintiffs to temporarily halt the statewide ban on foie gras while a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality proceeds. The plaintiffs — which include one of the only foie producers left in the U.S., Hudson Valley Foie Gras — argued that they are suffering undue financial harm from the law, collectively losing $11,000 a day. The judge was not moved by the figure, but said the lawsuit may proceed, saying the new law should get hashed out fully in court.

In other news, a San Francisco restaurant has figured out a way to use regular, non-gras duck liver to recreate an iconic dish they couldn’t bear to take off the menu.

The restaurant is Acquerello, and chef de cuisine Mark Pensa is using what he’s calling “faux gras” to replace the foie gras in the restaurant’s famed rigatoni dish with a sauce of foie gras, black truffles, and Marsala. Pensa is just soaking the duck livers overnight in milk, blending them with cream, butter, and Marsala as if he’s making a mousse, baking the mixture, and then making the pasta sauce as he usually would. We haven’t yet tried it ourselves, but Pensa and chef Suzette Gresham-Tognetti (who created the dish) say the difference is “undetectable.”

We expect more news of chefs getting creative during the prohibition (or just outright flouting it) in the weeks to come.

Earlier: Where to Find Foie Gras In San Francisco
Where to Find Foie Gras in Southern California
French Snub Their Noses at the Foie Gras Ban; S.F. Restaurant Starts Serving It Legally, on Federal Land
Now That Foie Gras Is Illegal, Here’s What California Chefs Are Still Charging the Big Bucks For
Lawsuit Seeking to Stop Foie Gras Ban Filed in Los Angeles Court

Foie Gras Update: Judge Denies Temporary Injunction; Acquerello Plays With