Restaurant hosts foie gras dinner to protest ban

March 3, 2012 1:15:08 AM PST
Dinner doesn't normally come with a message, but at San Francisco's Alexander's Steakhouse Friday, the restaurant served up a statement: They don't want the state's ban on foie gras to go into effect this summer.

Foie gras was delicately plated for guests of Alexander's Steakhouse. The dinner was in protest of a ban on the controversial goose liver delicacy that takes effect in California in July.

"All the profits will be donated to the chefs' coalition to pretty much try to counter act the bill that is currently in place," Alexander's Steakhouse general manager Josh Rousseu said.

But the restaurant's protest was met with a protest from the Animal Protection and Rescue League.

"We're here in opposition of their foie gras dinner to try to educate consumers about the cruelty behind foie gras and to educate the restaurant that they shouldn't be serving this cruel, barbaric product," protester Dana Portnoy said.

Geese are force fed to produce the rich livers, which the restaurant says is natural.

"Geese actually engorge their livers naturally to migrate; it's a natural process of any bird," Rousseu said. "Also on top of that, that is actually how they feed their young, so it's mimicking everything they do naturally in the wild."

Edward Baker was at Alexander's Steakhouse specifically for the foie gras.

"I've got to admit, I like it so much that I'm tending toward one side of the story and trying to make that fit into my reality," Baker said.

The protesters gave the restaurant a petition to get foie gras taken off the menu, which management politely accepted.

The foie gras protest dinner came on the same day that celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck was urging his colleagues to reconsider their opposition to the ban. In a letter online, Puck wrote, "We chefs have the ability to create delicious and original dishes...without tormenting animals."


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