California's Attorney General's to Appeal Lift on Foie Gras Ban

Photo by Kate Hopkins

We sort of knew this was going to happen: California Attorney General Kamala Harris will be appealing the strike down of the foie gras ban. Her office filed papers with the Ninth Circuit Court of appeal earlier this week stating their intention to challenge the January decision that re-legalized foie gras in California (It's currently legal to import but illegal to produce in the state).

California restaurants can continue to serve foie as the appeal goes through the courts as no stay has been requested.

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UCI Scientists (And One Aussie), Discover a Way to Unboil Eggs

Photo by Edsel Little
Doesn't this look delicious?

Overcooked boiled eggs are horrible. The whites get rubbery, the yolk develops that little green sulfur ring, everything smells off, don't you wish you could just.. unboil them sometimes? No? Okay, good, because despite what the headline says, you still can't actually unboil eggs.

What's really cool though, is that a team of scientists at UC Irvine have now developed a way to re-nature (nature? un-de-nature?) proteins that have folded incorrectly so they can be reused. How'd they test their process out? By renaturing an egg protein that had been cooked for 20 minutes in near boiling water.

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Foie Watch 2015: You Can Eat a Foie Burger at Slater's 50/50

Categories: Food Politics

This one was made a little over an hour after the first shipment arrived

So, now that restaurants have more or less gotten new stores of foie gras into the pantries, the new dishes have started to come out. Here's another dish for you in addition to the ones I wrote about last week. Slater's 50/50, one of Orange County's most beloved home-grown chains, will be selling a foie gras burger as their burger of the month for January.

They were already planning on serving a "faux gras" burger when the ban was repealed. What a lucky random happenstance. Read more about the burger after the jump.

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Yes, Foie Gras Is Back; This Is Where You Can Eat It in OC

Categories: Food Politics

Photo by Kate Hopkins
It's backkkk

Foie gras became legal in California again yesterday (at least, for now) when a Federal judge in Los Angeles decided that the law overstepped the powers afforded to the state of California. That means that, starting yesterday, foie gras has started to show back up on Orange County menus.

You don't have to drive to Vegas anymore, because here's where you can eat it...NOW.

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Irvine Screening of Food Chains Brings Struggle of Florida Immokalee Workers Back to OC

Categories: Food Politics


The rebellion in Florida fields by Immakolee workers chronicled in the new documentary Food Chains partially started in Irvine. Tomato pickers, toiling under exploitative conditions, took their fight to Taco Bell's Irvine headquarters during a four-year "Boycott the Bell" campaign that ended in 2005.

The fast food chain finally agreed to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes harvested in a victory for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). It propelled their Fair Food Program--one of the most powerful examples of labor organizing in the 21st century--to take on other companies with the same demand. The story of their struggle is set to return to Irvine by way of a special Food Chains screening on November 24 along with a protest action against Wendy's!

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Man Sues Cha Cha's in Brea For Discrimination Over "Señorita Thursday", Fails Miserably

Categories: Food Politics

Dave Lieberman
Deny deny deny

So this guy walks into a bar . . . Actually, it was Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen in Brea. So this guy walked into Cha Cha's during Señorita Night and wasn't treated like a señorita. Wait, that came out wrong. Basically, he was denied the same specials being offered to the ladies. That's what he told California Superior Court. Cha Cha's called bullshit.

One Steve Frye claimed (on two separate occasions in January and May of last year) that he was the victim of sexual discrimination when requesting the food and beverage offers made available to female clientele during the restaurant's themed night. However, attorneys for the establishment state Frye was the one who opted out when he declined their offer to serve the Thursday specials to him. Twice.

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Where Your "Craft" Whiskey Is Distilled Is Essentially Unimportant: A Rebuttal to The Daily Beast's Eric Felten

Colin Smith, CC-BY-SA 2.0
Stills at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland
Eric Felten, writing for the Daily Beast, has stumbled upon the worst-kept secret in the liquor industry: much of the craft whiskey, especially rye, that commands high prices comes from a giant, intensely ugly building ten miles west of the Cincinnati airport. Cue the clutching of pearls, the shattering of dropped tulip glasses, the rending of lapels, the wailing of women. How could we all fall for this?

He is correct on the facts: a former Seagram's distillery called MGP, located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, furnishes much of the American whiskey we see on our shelves. Bourbon and rye flow from the industrial stills. He is correct that when you see a whiskey older than the company selling it, those barrels were bought from elsewhere.

Here is the entire reason MGP exists, in ten words: Our thirst for whiskey has overwhelmed the number of distilleries.

Does it matter? Not really.

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Cody Storts Discusses Hopscotch Departure, Walkout of His Culinary Militia

Categories: Food Politics

Nieuport 17 FB
Short rib stroganoff at Nieuport 17. Doesn't suck.

Rumors. Really awesome rumors have been circulating as of late regarding a group known as the Culinary Militia and one chef associated with Hopscotch in Fullerton. Like a game of Telephone, the facts have been stretched enough to where I asked the one person who could set the record straight. Was there a falling out? Stealing? Blackmail? Walkout? Cody Storts and I met over fish tacos to discuss what was going on.

Cody trusted me enough to want to share what's been happening for the last month or so. And that's what this is about. If you'd like to know how Tustin's Nieuport 17 factors into all of this, keep going. Otherwise, there's always my chef interview.

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Will Long Beach Get a Cooperative Grocery Store?

Categories: Food Politics

The September 2012 closing of an Albertsons grocery store in central Long Beach inadvertently opened the door to a new idea. Residents began soliciting chains like Trader Joe's and Sprouts to come in, only to have their letter-writing campaigns rebuffed on the grounds that the area didn't fit demographic needs (aka not white enough). Out of the frustrating experience, neighbors began wondering if a co-op grocery store might better serve the community and its needs.

"If nobody is going to open a market, maybe we should open it ourselves," says Damon Lawrence, a founding board member of Long Beach Grocery Co-op.

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Irwindale City Council Unanimously Declares Sriracha Fumes a Public Nuisance

Willy Blackmore
Remember, Huy Fong's the one

Just when you thought you were safe from Huy Fong Sriracha shortages for a little while, the city of Irwindale just has to show up and ruin the party.

The Irwindale City Council voted 4-0 last night to to declare the spicy scent that leeches from the Huy Fond factory during production time an official "public nuisance," nevermind that a judge had already granted the city a preliminary injunction back in November and that the company is already working to reduce the spicy, spicy aroma.

Irwindale just wanted Huy Fong to be on double secret probation.

"The City Council is determined to assert its authority regardless of the status of the odor remediation efforts," Huy Fond Attorney John Tate told the LA Times.

So what's next for Huy Fong?

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