Chefs fight foie gras ban, plan simultaneous blow-out dinners
More than 100 California chefs have formed a group called the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (yes, the acronym spells CHEFS) to fight California's pending ban on foie gras. The ban on fattened duck or goose liver is set to take effect July 1.
The chefs -- including Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group, Charles Phan of the Slanted Door and Vinny Dotolo of Animal -- have signed a charter to promote a proposed Humane and Ethical Foie Gras Act that would mandate regular audits by certified animal welfare experts; cage-free birds; trained caretakers; feeding methods that do not harm the animal in any way; and reasonable limits on fattening.
The charter is being submitted to state Assembly Speaker John Pérez, urging California's Legislature to reconsider the ban.
On Monday, May 14, the CHEFS coalition and four Los Angeles-area restaurants will simultaneously host a six-course prix fixe dinner to support efforts to nix the ban.
At Mélisse, chef-owner Josiah Citrin will be joined by Brendan Collins of Waterloo and City, Raphael Lunetta of Jiraffe, Hiro and Lissa of Terra in Napa and Ame in San Francisco, Mark Dommen of One Market in San Francisco and Justin Wangler of Kendall Jackson in Sonoma.
At the Royce at the Langham, chef David Féau is cooking with Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Micah Wexler of Mezze, Doug Kean of Cyrus in Sonoma, Victor Scargle of Lucy at Bardessono in Napa and Peter Armellino of Plumed Horse in Saratoga.
At Lemon Moon, Tony Esnault of Patina, Octavio Becerra, Joey Elentario of Chez TJ in Mountain View, Marc Zimmerman of Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco and Dustin Valette of Charlie Palmer’s Dry Kitchen in Healdsburg will prepare dinner.
And at Animal, chef-owner Vinny Dotolo gets together with Ludo Lefebvre of LudoBites, Michael Voltaggio of Ink and Roland Passot of La Folie in San Francisco.
Dinners are $200 ($150 at Lemon Moon); tickets are on sale online at Eventbrite. (The dinner at Animal is sold out.)
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Guinea hen with foie gras at Robuchon at The Mansion. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times.