With the 1 July foie gras ban in California looming, local gourmands are scrambling to get their last tastes of the controversial delicacy, created by force-feeding geese or ducks to fatten up their liver.
The upcoming ban, which has angered foodies but won
the praise of animal rights activists, will fine any restaurant found serving
the food up to $1,000. Until it goes into effect on Sunday, a number of restaurants
are bidding it a “foie farewell” with
specially themed menus.
In Pasadena, about 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles,
Royce at Langham’s “30
Ways in 3 Days: Foie Gras Farewell” dinner showcases foie gras prepared in 30
different ways by chef David Féau from 28 to 30 June. Unique dishes like pan-seared
foie gras served with Maine lobster and foie gras royale with
a buckwheat galette (cake) are
available a la carte starting at $20 per dish with a minimum of three dishes
Beverly Hills in LA is currently
hosting the “Au Revoir Foie Gras Food Fair” until 30 June. The dinner features
six foie gras dishes, ranging from $16 to $49, by chef Shigefuni Tachibe.
Choose from a shaved foie gras parfait with wild arugula, strawberries, aged
balsamic and olive oil, or a decadent grilled prime filet mignon with seared
foie gras in a black truffle beef jus.
Michelin-star restaurant Melisse in Santa Monica kicked off its nightly “Foie for All” menu back in April, much to the delight of cashed-up
gourmands. In advance of the impending ban, Chef Josiah Citrin created a
special $185 eight-course menu with dishes like truffled foie gras agnolotti and
duck breast with cured and whipped foie gras.
Beer Belly bar and restaurant in LA’s Koreatown neighbourhood
will host a more approachable one-night foie gras event on 30 June, featuring the
delicacy in a variety of bar snacks. Indulge in the “Protester Fries” with foie
gras hollandaise and spicy truffle ketchup, or try the “Foie-Q You” -- seared
foie gras sliders with quail eggs and housemade spicy apple beer mustard. For
dessert, have the deep-fried FoieGoreos (Oreos with foie gras icing), of
Foodies who miss these specials need not fret,
however. Apparently, many Californian
chefs are planning to get around the ban by offering foie gras as a free side or by
charging “foie-kage fees” for diners who bring in their own foie gras from
another state to be prepared at the restaurant.
Pardilla is the Los Angeles Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes Carolineoncrack.com.