Let Them Eat Foie

Now That Foie Gras Is Illegal, Here’s What California Chefs Are Still Charging the Big Bucks For

Foie, lobster, whatever.
Foie, lobster, whatever. Photo: Courtesy of Fleur de Lys

While we wait to see if California’s foie gras ban is even constitutional — a judge could issue an injunction to halt the law any day now — we’ve been curious to see how various law-abiding chefs have been dealing with it. Some have decided to replace the foie on their menus with something equally luxurious, or at least something they can charge an equally luxurious price for. Below, a few examples of what chefs in L.A and San Francisco are serving in lieu of that ultra-fatty liver.

Thomas Keller, French Laundry
As we heard last week via The Price Hike, TKel and company have replaced what was a foie gras dish with a black-truffle dish — one that comes with a $75 supplement, up from the $30 supplement charged for the foie. Keller already has a $100 surcharge for truffles at Per Se in New York, so we suppose that’s some kind of deal?

Michael Cimarusti, Providence
At his Los Angeles restaurant, Cimarusti is voicing his protest to the ban by leaving a space on his menu formerly occupied by a foie gras dish, and labeling it, “Formerly a foie gras dish.”

Gary Danko, Restaurant Gary Danko
San Francisco chef Gary Danko has taken his two foie gras dishes off the menu (including this foie-stuffed quail) and replaced them with pistachio-crusted sweetbreads. Because it’s part of a prix fixe, there’s no price change.

Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys and Burger Bar
As of last week, Keller had a signature Alsatian dish on his menu which was a baekeoffe (like a Dutch-oven casserole) of foie gras, truffles, and fingerling potatoes. That has now become a baekeoffe of escargots and truffles, as part of the same prix fixe.

Over at Burger Bar at Macy’s Union Square, he’s taken the foie gras off his Rossini burger (arguably the ingredient that would be required to keep the dish name of Rossini on there) and replaced it with lobster, calling it the Remixed Rossini Burger. It still costs $60.

Michael Mina, Restaurant Michael Mina
In place of the foie gras “cherry” on his hors d’oeuvre list, Mina has added a sturgeon and caviar dish.

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal
Up until last week, the Animal boys had three foie gras dishes on their menu (a foie gras biscuit with maple-sausage gravy, a terrine, and their signature foie gras loco moco), and for all of which they were donating $1 of the purchase price to CHEFS, the California coaltion of chefs who are lobbying to get the ban repealed. Their foie gras poutine is gone, replaced a while ago with a simpler version with oxtail gravy, but, like Danko, they’ve added sweetbreads to the menu to fill the void, in this case chicken-fried.

Earlier: Lawsuit Seeking to Stop Foie Gras Ban Filed in Los Angeles Court
Foie Ban Starts Sunday; Foie Will Still Be Easy to Find on Monday

Now That Foie Gras Is Illegal, Here’s What California Chefs Are Still