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Why Fight For Foie? Statement from Chef Greg Daniels

Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 by Mona Shah

On Monday, March 12, 2012, Haven Gastropub +Brewery will host a seven-course prix-fixe dinner ($100 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity) to support humane and ethical farming. The evening will feature esteemed chefs Greg Daniels (Haven Gastropub +Brewery), Brendan Collins (Waterloo & City, Larry’s), Jordan Toft (Eveleigh), Vartan Abgaryan (Public Kitchen & Bar), David Coleman (Michaels on Naples), and Alex Reznik (La Seine) working side-by-side. The dinner will benefit The Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (C.H.E.F.S.) with participating sponsor, Daniels Western Meatpackers.
See the indulgent degustation menu and reservation info HERE.

WHY FIGHT FOR FOIE? A Statement from Chef Greg Daniels:
Our FIGHT FOR FOIE dinner at Haven Gastropub +Brewery in Pasadena has been met with mixed responses. While many are supportive of our efforts to promote humane and ethical farming, there are those who are against this dinner.

My partners and I are excited about this dinner.  It's a chance to really get the word out there about the impending ban, and my response to those who are against foie gras is simple: don't be blinded by propaganda.

Foie gras production by responsible, artisan farmers in the U.S. is ethical and humane.  Ducks naturally overeat to fatten up for migration, and farmers have just harnessed that natural instinct.  The gavage they use to feed doesn't hurt the duck.  The fact is when you see pictures or videos of tubes being pushed down a duck's throat, it looks painful: however, ducks have no gag reflex, they breathe through their tongues, and they swallow whole fish.  It's just not true to say that this is animal cruelty.  That's where the problem lies: LIES.

If you want to go after the real criminals, go after the beef and poultry producers.  The atrocities that take place in factory farming are so clear and disgusting, but these are big enemies - they have money.  They have lobbyists.  They don't fold.

That's why we're doing this dinner: to not fold.  To not just give up and go away quietly.  This a chance to be heard, and we're taking it.  We deserve to be able to serve foie gras.  It's an ethical and humane choice that we make - right alongside the other choices of sustainable seafood and humanely raised beef and pork.  It's a decision we base on the education we obtain on a daily basis from those that are connected to our farmers, and even the farmers themselves. 

We want people to know that these good choices are out there, and that foie gras is one of them. 

Sure, it's indulgent.  It's expensive.  It's gluttonous.  I've always believed in everything in moderation - even those things.

-Greg Daniels, Executive Chef/Partner, Haven Gastropub +Brewery