Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Chicago chefs celebrate foie gras while they can

Those kooks in white. Chicago is about to outlaw the sale of foie gras. So what are some of the city’s big-name chefs doing? Convening a Festival of Foie Gras, of course.

In a nose-thumbing the Chicago Seven would have loved (the political pranksters who disrupted the city’s 1968 Democratic Convention, for the sake of persons not of a certain vintage), 13 culinarians are holding a $150-a-plate event on July 11, roughly two weeks before the ban takes effect.

The baker’s dozen of cooks are all members of Chefs for Choice, a group that has already commenced a petition drive to thwart the ban. Proceeds from the Festival will be used to fund Choice’s opposition efforts.

“Many consider this food a delicacy,” the group said in its widely broadcast invitation to the July 11 bash, “but animal-rights advocates decry it as a product of inhumane treatment.

The chefs who have agreed to cook at the event include such local stars as Paul Kahan of Blackbird and Avec, and Dean Zanella of 312 Chicago. They’ll be joined by such out-of-towners as Jean-Francois Suteau of the Adophus Hotel in Dallas, and Hubert Seifert of Spagio in Columbus, Ohio. The dinner will be held at Allen’s – The New American Café.

Chicago is believed to be the first city in the nation to outlaw foie gras.

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