NYC French chefs aren’t sweating the foie gras ban

They fight for their right to foie gras.

Manhattan chefs are refusing to duck and duck over the Big Apple’s impending ban on the foie gras delicacy — and are ecstatic at a recent lawsuit filed by two upstate farms, La Belle and Hudson Valley foie gras, seeking to the ban, which was passed to enforce in 2019 and is scheduled to come into force in November.

“Once the lawsuit was filed, we sent it out to all of our restaurant customers, all of our chefs who are interested in foie gras,” said Ariane Daguin, founder of D’Artagnan, a New Jersey-based national meat and game distribution company. “There were people who said to us, ‘How can I help?’ So that’s a very good sign.”

Sergio Saravia, the President of La Belle Farm
Sergio Saravia is the president of La Belle Farm, one of two farms that have filed a lawsuit against the foie gras ban.

Marco Moreira, chef and owner of French restaurant Tocqueville near Union Square, said: “We are working on a new menu and plan to have foie gras on the menu as always. We’re definitely not slowing down anytime soon.”

A type of French pie, foie gras is made from the fattened livers of ducks or geese that are force-fed. Animal rights activists behind the ban have called the use of tubes to force-feed animals inhumane and say foie gras is cruel.

“I think the sales ban will surprise a lot of NYC residents,” said attorney Edward Phillips, representing the farms in the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit. “The pandemic began shortly after the City Council enacted Local Law 202 in late 2019. Understandably, memories of this misguided law will have faded by now.”

Izzy Yanay (R), vice president and general manager of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, speaks to one of his employees at Hudson Valley Duck Farm
Izzy Yanay (right), vice president and general manager of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, speaks to one of his employees at Hudson Valley Duck Farm.
DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

According to court documents, the farms will be forced to lay off hundreds of workers if the ban goes into effect.

Moreira, whose restaurant is set to reopen in July after a refurbishment, said the chefs are urging pâté.

“Of course, everyone is very excited about what’s going to happen, especially the chefs,” Moreira said. “We hope that this will be reversed. We still have a few months.”

Foie gras
Foie gras is a type of French pie made by force-feeding ducks.
DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

“I think people love that it’s tender, rich and unparalleled in texture and flavor,” said Daniel Boulud, the celebrity restaurateur who runs seven Manhattan restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Daniel an der East 65th. He noted that chickens and cows are also subjected to “supervised feeding.”

The restaurateurs said they are waiting to see if the ban actually comes into effect. The state Department of Agriculture and Markets, which said in an early statement that the ban would violate state law, said it was still reviewing the ban and could put the brakes on it.

A spokesman for Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who supported the legislation, did not respond to a message from The Post.

An employee feeds a duck at the Hudson Valley Duck Farm
According to court documents, the farms will be forced to lay off hundreds of workers if the ban goes into effect.
DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

“Foie gras has been a delicacy for thousands of years,” Boulud said. “There are bigger issues in America to worry about than foie gras.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/28/nyc-french-chefs-not-sweating-foie-gras-ban__trashed/ NYC French chefs aren’t sweating the foie gras ban

JACLYN DIAZ

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