Foie Gras Lovers, Haters, Fought for Foie Last Night at Haven Gastropub Foie Dinner

Categories: Indigestion
foie_gras_haven.jpg
Photo by Matt Oliver

Guest post by Matt Oliver!

View a picture slideshow of the food and protesters here!

In a last-ditch effort to reserve the right to serve foie gras, Haven Gastropub Chef Greg Daniels assembled an all-star cast of chefs for the Fight for Foie dinner at Haven last night. All chefs present were a part of C.H.E.F.S, the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards. "Our agenda is to push the ethical humane treatment of animals for state of California. Their agenda is to get rid of meat, " Daniels told the Weekly before the dinner.

The "their" in question was the small-but-boisterous group of protestors just outside Haven, holding graphic pictures of geese in various states of duress.

fight_for_foie.jpg
Photo by Matt Oliver
Courtney Chambers, Haven sous chef, hanging out with the protestors

Organizing the protest was Diana Kourda, advisory board chair for the Animal Protection & Rescue League. "We are protesting this restaurant for use of foie gras, and make sure people and the chefs are aware of the mistreatment of these animals," she said. She went onto say if they do not stop serving after the July 1 deadline, they will keep protesting to enforce the laws.

Each protestor had a visual sign that showed a caged duck or goose being force fed, with the saying "The reality of foie gras." As the night grew longer, the protestors voices grew louder with chants like, "There is no excuse for animal abuse," "Stop the murder, stop the pain," "All your murders, all your lies, we will never compromise," and "Raise your voices raise your fists, stop these animal terrorists."

Even with the screaming voices of all nine people on the street, no one inside Haven could hear the chants. In the defense of his chefs, Daniels said all the chefs use meats that were raised humanely and ethically; if it were from tortured ducks, he reasoned, it would be a bad product and they wouldn't use them. Indeed, Daniels pays extra to the people who sell grade A products.

foie_gras_cheesecake.jpg
Photo by Mona Shah-Anderson
Haven pastry chef Santanna Salas' Foie Gras Cheesecake & Foie Bon Bon -vanilla crumble, hibiscus gel, micro tangerine lace. YUM...

Passerbyers in the Orange Circle watching the APRL protest were bemused. "Why not protest the war, why foie gras?" one wondered? Another onlooker cracked, "At least they use their liver and just not throw it away." Someone even joked about playing duck-duck goose in front of the protestors.

Inside Fight for Foie's dinner (photos at Haven's Facebook page) many enjoyed an $80 seven-course dinner filled with foie gras. All in attendance enjoyed the styles of an all-star lineup of local chefs: Daniels, Pascal Olhats (Pascal Restaurant, Lé Brasserie), Yvon Goetz (The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar), John Cuevas (The Crow Bar and Kitchen), Tony Alcazar (The Bottle Room), Ryan Carson ('Pri-vē), and Pastry Chef Santanna Salas (Haven Gastropub) as they put their touch on the French delicacy. "It's bullshit," one of the diners said, regarding the foie gras controversy. "It's a fucking duck."

Another attendee brought up another issue, claiming the foie gras ban would put two family-owned foie gras operations out of business, businesses that treat their geese humanely.

"I think we should take the politics out of the kitchen," Olhats said. "We chefs care about what we serve and about the animals. We are professionals and Our customers have to trust us. P.E.T.A. can have good fights and I don't go against them, but this is not a good one. In France, we eat a lot of duck and it is healthy. The farmers care (about the animals). Banning is not the solution."

The dinner lasted well past 10 p.m., while the protestors left early at 9p.m. "It's as simple as this," concluded one diner. "We are still here eating, and the protestors are gone."

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Haven Gastropub

190 S. Glassell St., Orange, CA

Category: Restaurant

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53 comments
Mimi
Mimi

I think these People are Crule & so on! Mimi

Mimi
Mimi

Morning All I think it's wrong for what they do & if they don't love these Anumal then they don't love People rather I say so as my hole Family as well. Mimi

Kamil1126
Kamil1126

I was there last night protesting against foie gras . There is no humane way to produce foie gras. All these comments that foie gras is humane, and that ducks are different from us, etc. show me signs of ignorance. We are all animals and we all feel pain and fear. Also people for fois gras seem so upset by us animal activists. Obviously, when someone is upset it is because they feel guilt. Deep down they no their claims for humane foie gras are incorrect. In summary foie gras is cruel and inhumane. Bottom Line!

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Just because you don't know of a way doesn't mean there isn't one.

We are the only sentient animals. And people are upset because if they wanted chanting during dinner they'd eat in a Buddhist wat.

909Jeff
909Jeff

"Also people for fois gras seem so upset by us animal activists"You mean like how you all are upset about those of us who Enjoy Foie or Veal?

"Obviously, when someone is upset it is because they feel guilt"

Let me take something away that you enjoy and lets see if your anger is out of guilt... Such a stupid statement.  

Tigerbic1
Tigerbic1

I am an animal rights activist and a vegan. This article is highly biased and I would at least like to respond to one "on-looker" comments- Animal rights activists work to end suffering in all animals (humans are animals too after all... we are not in the plant or fungi group) In fact, I myself went to anti-war protests, volunteered in the Peace Corps, work with at risk youth etc. We must open our eyes and hearts to all suffering and realize it can exist in a human just as much as in a dog or duck. Not to mention the human rights and environmental reasons to go vegetarian.  

Starzwillshyn
Starzwillshyn

Foie gras production methods are cruel since it includes force feeding.... Specifically it includes livers swollen to many times their normal size, impaired liver function, expansion of the abdomen making it difficult for birds to walk, death if the force feeding is continued, and scarring of the throat. Whats the difference between the animals we call pets and the animals we call food? Both should not suffer needlessly esp not just for our palate 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Livers of fowl expand in order to store energy, much the same way humans store fat subcutaneously. The gavage happens for two weeks. Have you ever seen the process, or are you just going on what you read on the Internet?

Gasta Bem
Gasta Bem

How dare these people try to impose their false and twisted senses of morality on the rest of us. We're humans. Some of us domesticate and, yes, eat animals. Those of you who think that's barbaric, don't join us. I am a card-carrying lefty who will go way out of his way to protest for human rights, and I am a long-time contributor to the SPCA. I am all for protecting my fellow man and pets, but I am far more concerned about food safety than I am with the "feelings" of food. Do these protestors have any real knowledge of what a duck or a goose truly feels, or, are they just assuming and assigning human emotions to birds (animals with much smaller and less developed brains than humans - with the exception of the politicians who passed this moronic law)?

Asdf
Asdf

It's ironic how chefs are claiming to use "humane" ducks and obviously they don't agree with hurting animals but how can you care about animals and still eat them?  Would you do that to your cat or dog?

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Again, you have obviously never lived anywhere where you're responsible for your own food. Every child raised on a farm knows the difference between a pet and an animal being raised for meat. Dairy cows have names; steers do not.

You're welcome to eschew meat; I eat a lot less meat than I used to, in fact. You are not welcome to proselytize. Would you like it if I started haranguing you about following my religion? It's the same idea.

Asdf
Asdf

 Dave, I'm very responsible for my own food and have witness first hand how animals are treated on farms.

I'm not forcing you on anything how to live or even mentioned what I believe in.  I'm just giving information and asking questions to make you think critically and be open-minded.

Dina V Kourda
Dina V Kourda

Learn the facts.  Ducks an geese are force-fed non-organic, GMO corn with a metal pipe that is shoved down their throats in order to produce an enlarged diseased liver that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol.  Ducks and geese suffer severe injuries to their bills, throats, esophagi, and internal organs in order to produce foie gras.  Foie gras farmers are in business to turn a profit, not uphold or go beyond animal welfare standards.  It is impossible to both treat animals humanely/ethically and then kill them.  Additionally, I know of no restaurant or small business that has gone out of business or has been hurt after removing foie gras from the menu. Come on people, use some common sense and stop justifying your selfishness.

Matt Van Andel
Matt Van Andel

It is impossible to both treat animals humanely/ethically and then kill them.  

In other words, you are anti-meat; not just Foie Gras, but meat in general.

It's cool that you choose to live that way, and I honor and respect that. BUT, you have no right to force that lifestyle on others who don't share your anti-meat conviction.

Also, please check your facts. Water fowl naturally store their excess fat in their livers as preparation for long migrations (unlike mammals, who store it in the muscle tissue and subcutaneously)... resulting in naturally enlarged, fatty livers. This is not unusual, it is literally the way water fowl naturally store their fat in the wild. Foie Gras was first discovered by the ancient Egyptians, who realized that goose livers were largest and most flavorful during the season just before their migration. They are the ones who also invented the practice of gavage, to ensure livers were of that quality year-round.

The modern practice of gavage ("force feeding") is a painless, harmless process that ensures the animal takes in the amount of food necessary for the enlarged liver, regardless of season. Water fowl anatomy is uniquely tailored to swallowing large objects (like fish), and the feeding is performed by inserting a tube into their gullet (they do not have dual-purpose "throats" like mammals do) and pouring in a cup of feed, three times per day, for about two weeks. This is no less alarming to the animal than swallowing a large fish (their airway follows a separate path, from a hole in the tip of their tongue). Before gavage, they are completely free-range animals.

Many studies have been performed that prove conclusively that ducks and geese raised for foie gras are less stressed (see: happier) than their wild counterparts. And this is important, because stressed animals produce "off-tasting", bad livers.

So again, while I applaud you for being able to maintain such a stringent lifestyle. Please respect other's lifestyle choices as well, and please make sure you understand the subject that you are so outraged about. There is a LOT of misinformation out there, and I never cease to be shocked and amazed at how outrageously incorrect some people's information on this topic seems to be.

I highly recommend this for further reading: http://culinarypromiscuity.com...

Every point in that article can be confirmed through other sources. And if you still don't believe me, visit one of the farms for yourself. American Foie Farms are among the most humane farms of any type in the world.

Asdf
Asdf

 Matt, you should put yourself in the duck's position and see how you feel after.  Animals are exploited for selfishness and profit.  There is no reason to consume animals.

909Jeff
909Jeff

And the truth comes out... 

Asdf
Asdf

Gasta Bem - because you are incapable of putting yourself in other shoes that is why you continue to consume foie gras.  Animals and people do not want to suffer, they both feel pain, don't want to be put in a cage, want to reproduce.  We have more in common then you think.

Mo_abulljd - Unfortunately many people from Monsanto and factory farms work and give funding to political campaigns and that is why there are many problems with how animals, the environment and people are treated from factory farms and slaughterhouses.

Asdf
Asdf

 If ducks aren't sentient then why do chefs even bother in claiming their ducks are treated humanely???  You guys are very hypocritical.  Clearly people for foie gras do not view a duck as a sentient being but just a piece of meat.  Dave please look up the definition of sentient.

Asdf
Asdf

Majority of people disagree with how these ducks are treated and many places have already banned this inhumane treatment of animals.

Gasta Bem
Gasta Bem

"Matt, you should put yourself in the duck's position and see how you feel after."

This is impossible for Matt, me, you or any other human to do. 

Your side loves to take this position because, as humans, we know being fed by a tube inserted down our esophagus would be uncomfortable to us. But it is a completely false position simply because, although humans and ducks are both of the kingdom Animalia and the phylum Chordata, we are of different classes, orders, families, genera and species. We have very little in common. We don't have the same physiology as ducks. We don't have the same mentality as ducks.

To steal an idea from James Whitcomb Riley, if you honestly believe that you can feel like a duck and think like a duck, then perhaps you are a duck.

Mo_abdullajd
Mo_abdullajd

 The argument goes no further for you on an intellectual level by resorting to the "see how you like it" argument.  Of course humans wouldn't want a tube stuck down our throats to be force fed but that is because we are HUMANS and our biology doesn't allow for that without suffering, as opposed to say, oh, a duck?!

It's very worthy of respect that you live by your values.  It's also worthy of respect that you feel passionately about your value and wish to educate others with whatever facts and arguments you can make.  That's your First Amendment right.  Hopefully you will be as open minded to the counter-argument as you wish others to be towards your arguments.  The fact of the matter is that this law is flawed for several reasons:

-foie gras is an easy target as it's not widely consumed and is largely a luxury (not to get into the 1% vs. 99% debate as this law was passed many years ago, before class and income inequality was a big issue); and

-this law is another example of the silliness that makes up our state legislature as they can't pass a serious budget but can pass a law about banning foie gras, really? 

-if the government really wants to do something about treating animals humanely AND passing a law that's of benefit to all humanity, not just a small niche group of animal rights activists, then start taking on Monsanto and factory farming.  This truly is one small group telling a majority of people how to live their lives and is a slippery slope.  As demonstrated by some of the posters, to them, there is no humane way to eat meat. 

Bottom line, there are better ways to ensure humane treatment of our animals without forcing this law on people that don't believe in being vegetarians. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Ducks aren't sentient and do not have human feelings. A duck being raised on a farm is meat on two legs, not a pet.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

"Ducks an [sic] geese are force-fed non-organic, GMO corn with a metal pipe that is shoved down their throats in order to produce an enlarged diseased liver that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol."

There is no producer of goose foie gras in this country. Also, I thought your point was cruelty, not whether the food is organic. Or are you just trying to touch on all the Whole Foods and "Eat This, Not That" buzzwords here in hopes of getting someone to pay attention?

"Ducks and geese suffer severe injuries to their bills, throats, esophagi, and internal organs in order to produce foie gras."

The process of gavage has been refined so that irritation of the oesophagus is kept to a minimum. Incidentally, the hearts of ducks harvested for foie gras are amongst the best, most iron-rich, most delicious of all of them.

"Foie gras farmers are in business to turn a profit."

Gee, THANKS, Captain Obvious!

"It is impossible to both treat animals humanely/ethically and then kill them."

So why are you protesting just foie gras and not, say, all meat? Is it because you know that's trying to boil the ocean in a world full of meat-eaters?

"Additionally, I know of no restaurant or small business that has gone out of business or has been hurt after removing foie gras from the menu."

The small businesses in question are the producers of foie gras, not the restaurants. Pay attention.

And, for God's sake, get out of my kitchen. Eat whatever you like, but stay away from my food choices. I don't need a nanny state regulating my refrigerator, and your hand-wringing whining about won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-poor-ickle-ducklings won't change my mind or really anyone else's.

One thing you didn't bring up but others have: there are alternatives—for example, timing harvest of the ducks in the autumn (the traditional season for foie gras in France) when their livers are fattiest anyway, and alimentation à volonté (basically an AYCE buffet for ducks). The nice thing about California is that we are so large a population that we can pretty much create demand for things—including humanely fattened foie gras.

Asdf
Asdf

 It's not necessary to exploit animals for profit and selfishness.  Why do you need to consume foie gras?  There is no health benefit from it.  I'm guessing you just want the freedom to have taste of a fatty liver.  That's disgusting.  Get back to me when you can take away life humanely.  People shouldn't have the choice to hurt others, including people and all other sentient beings.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

How is consuming foie gras any different than consuming any other animal? Do you suppose that even hippie-stamp-of-approval meat (you know, the kind with five adjectives before the name of the meat) is completely naturally raised?

As far as taking life humanely, you are talking to the wrong person. I am an excellent marksman and trapper and for a time in the Midwest when I didn't have the money to buy meat, that was how I got animal protein on my table. One clean bullet to the neck; the animal (a deer, for example) dies instantly. I know how to remove the anus and other glands that poison the meat quickly, so that I get as much as possible from one animal, and while I don't personally know how to tan fur and leather, I bartered meat for it.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

I read the website and I'm curious about the claim that there's "no humane way to produce foie gras" -- is this correct? 

Matt Van Andel
Matt Van Andel

No. American Foie Gras farms among the most humane farms of any type in the world. The ducks live care-free, free-range lives up until the last two weeks, at which point they are fed 1 cup of feed 3 times a day by a pipe. The feeding process is no more dangerous, damaging, or uncomfortable for the animal than swallowing a fish. Also, ducks naturally store their excess fat in their liver as preparation for long migrations (mammals store it in muscle and subcutaneously, fowl store it in their livers). The livers are not diseased in any way, and their livers are naturally enlarged seasonally (as stated, in preparation for migration). The feeding process (called "gavage") simply ensures that livers are migration-quality year-round instead of seasonally. 

None of the photos being pandered by animal rights groups (like APRL) are NOT from *any* US Foie Farm. The protesters are exercising willful ignorance and spreading deliberate lies to further their anti-meat agenda.

Jack Grimshaw
Jack Grimshaw

" ... the last two weeks, they are fed (via) a pipe ... no more dangerous, damaging, or uncomfortable than swallowing a fish." I"m not on either side of this issue, merely curious as to whether the ducks told you this personally.

beaman
beaman

Brenda, where are the PEOPLE being harmed by me making a personal choice to eat duck, oh thats right. NONE

You are hurting small businesses with the ban, I say, shame on YOU

beaman
beaman

A new low?  Hmm Mia, I have to kill things in order to stay alive.  Plants animals.  They all die so that I may live.  Oh the humanity!"duck is healthy"  last time I checked, it is a really good and lean meat, so yes, healthy.  Like Brendas pointless post, all protesting stupid crap does is make people like me (vegetarian) want to eat the damn duck!!!!  

beaman
beaman

mmmmmm duck

I'm hungry now......

Mia Wheaton
Mia Wheaton

This makes me ashamed to be a human :(  We're such a selfish species.  There is NO SUCH THING as humane Foie Gras.  It's just so sad that people are not only willing, but also EXCITED to eat the product of animal torture and laugh about it.  And the person who claims that duck is healthy?  I mean, how can you even print such nonsense?  Just really baffling and disappointing.  It's a new low.

Becca
Becca

I hope you're a vegan with your reasoning stated above. 

We eat animals in our country and its widely accepted. Maybe you should start protesting beef since we "eat the product of animal torture." We should be more worried about our cows getting fed corn and hormones than ETHICAL treatment of ducks as part of the food we eat. And if you are a vegan, you should start worrying about all those chemicals in our food system. 

And to the poster above, people are doing the right thing! They are treating the animals humanely and ethically, but still using animals as FOOD, as our country chooses to do. My problem with this all is your food views being pushed on others. Let other people eat what they want to eat! 

Brenda Calvillo
Brenda Calvillo

Food views? Becca you seem like a reasonable person.  Visit http://www.stopforcefeeding.co... to further become educated on the issues.  When a choice causes harm to others, it's no longer a personal choice is it?

Becca
Becca

Oh yes. If we are going on that argument, let's stop manufacturing plants all together. They hurt the environment, and there are more workers comp claims from that. Let's worry about something more important, than forcing your views about using animals for human consumption on others. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

What "others" does it cause harm to? Are there tons of workers' compensation claims caused by acidic duck barf after inexperiences gaveurs over-feed the duck?

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,De traîtres, de rois conjurés ?Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,Ces fers dès longtemps préparés ?Gourmands, pour nous, ah ! quel outrageQuels transports il doit exciter !C'est nous qu'on ose méditerDe rendre à l'antique esclavage !

Aux armes, ô gourmands !Formez vos bataillons,Marchons, marchons,Qu'un gras impurAbreuve nos garde-manger !

Brenda Calvillo
Brenda Calvillo

Another animal hating post by OC Weekly.  Shame on you Matt.  I gave you the handout of the facts and you didn't do your homework (again). 

beaman
beaman

"facts" are funny things

Brenda Calvillo
Brenda Calvillo

Another post by animal hating OC Weekly.  You were given the hand out with written facts Matt, wrote down quotes, yet again failed to tell the truth. The truth is there is NO humane way to produce foie gras. Foie gras is the diseased live of a duck/goose produced by forcefeeding. There would be no law needed if people did the right thing. Matt I spoke with you and you seemed to understand, but you obviously didn't. Why even mention P.E.T.A.? Are you that obtuse? Did you not see the organization's name on the large banners and the flyers. You've failed the animals and any readers you may have by the misinformation printed.

Kale
Kale

 The reality is that these protesters are people that don't get along well with others.  They don't know how to show love to other people and their families.  So, they channel everything into these "causes"It's the only way they can make themselves feel like they are doing something good in the world.  But, the reality is that the chefs and patrons probably are the "better" people in the world when it comes to family and person to person love and relationships

Steve Plotkin
Steve Plotkin

Actually most people that care about animals do care about people just as much. There is a connection between the ability of people to commit atrocities on animals and the same atrocities on humans. Most animal activists understand that until all people treat animals as living creatures that are not to be abused, abuse of humans cannot end. Animals can feel fear, pain, misery, and to subject billions of those that cannot speak for themselves to such, is an atrocity. I was a meat eater my whole life and didn't understand vegans, but I've opened my eyes and made the connection between the animals we love as pets and cry when they die, and the ones that live in fear and pain that end up on my plate. There is no difference between any living creature's suffering. I've been vegan for four years now, and I'm never going back.

909Jeff
909Jeff

you did it for a chick huh?  

C'mon be honest!

Asdf
Asdf

 May I suggest you talk to the protesters and get to know them better.  And the fact isn't about the people but the issue, you are using ad hominem fallacy.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Nope the protesters are indeed self righteous assholes who foist their  opinions onto others. 

Ask yourself why else would they have showed up to protest this event? They already won.... the election is over and the ban will begin when prescribed.. 

Why else did they need to be there if not to further their agenda which is to ultimately ban all meat?

beaman
beaman

Brenda, because of your mindless dribble I will now make it a point to eat this force fed duck.  (I am a vegetarian) 

Brenda, I am not sure how to call a dumb person nice things.  Caring about a duck when we are assassinating our own citizens, bombing others, while people in our own American streets are going hungry.

And you are worried, about a duck.  Hopefully my dog catches one on our walk today so I can gut the thing myself! I will eat the still beating heart, In honor of you, Brenda.

Asdf
Asdf

Comments like this are disturbing

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

I don't hate animals. I just eat them. And, unlike many people in the world, I'm fully aware that there's more to a cow than an entrecôte.

I don't even care about foie gras—it's tasty but it's not something I crave, unless I happen to be in southwestern France—but your disappointed rant makes me want a torchon of the stuff.

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