Thursday, May 31, 2007
Seems James Bond III (never forget ol' George Lazenby), Roger Moore, has sent a letter to all of the British MPs asking them to support Hugh Bayley's efforts to ban Foie Gras in Great Britain.
Mr. Moore has previously appeared in a PETA-produced anti-Foie Gras video, and has been an outspoken opponent of the dish he once loved. Not long ago Gordon Ramsay publicly called Moore a hypocrite for enjoying the good life all those years ago and suddenly turning coat and telling others not to do the same. Ramsay eventually apologized after Moore said that what he did he did out of ignorance and now he knew better.
Ignorance? It's not like he was some flighty 18 year old Lindsay Lohan-type when he was a superstar. He was in his 50's at the end of his stint as Bond. Talk about bliss.
As far as FoieBlog is concerned, as entertaining as Moore's films were, Sean Connery is the only true Bond. If anyone is going to be using the star power that goes with that title it should be him. Seeing as how Connery's a Scot...mmm, Haggis...we'll assume that he enjoys all kinds of offal. Who can ever forget that scene from Never Say Never Again when Connery shuns the hospital food they serve him and breaks out his secret stash of Beluga caviar, quail’s eggs, vodka, and foie gras?
Yea, you're right, it's probably just us that would remember that. But we're sure you'll be watching for it next time the movie shows up on TNT.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
FoieBlog was sadly unable to view Gordon Ramsay's, the F-Word last night, featuring a report on Foie Gras. We were hoping someone would put the video on You Tube or something, but so far no go.
From what we've been able to find out, however, the piece was about a Foie Gras farm in France followed by a trip to Pateria de Sousa in Spain to take a look at their Foie Gras alternative, Ganso Iberico.
Unfortunately, the only comments we've been able to find on the show have been on animal activist websites - so we'll take them with a grain of salt. If anyone out there saw the program, please let us know what you thought. We'll keep an eye out for more info.
On a side note, Ramsay announced that he'd be taking Bluefin Tuna off of the menus at his restaurants because of it's increasingly endangered status. As always, FoieBlog enjoys seeing a chef with a concious supporting the consumption of Foie Gras. We haven't made it to one of his restaurant's yet, but Mrs. GrasGuy dined at Maze in London and was wholeheartedly impressed. We look forward to trying his Pressed Foie Gras and Game with Port Sauce and Pickled Mushrooms at The London in NYC when we get the chance.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
If you're a FoieBlog reader in the UK, or can get the BBC from your cable or satellite provider, tune in to Gordon Ramsay's 'The F-Word' tonight for an episode dedicated to Foie Gras.
Ratings should be high as every member of the RSPCA will be tuning in to see Janet Street Porter's report from a Foie Gras farm. The British animal activist outfit is using the program as a rallying point to call for a ban on Foie Gras sales in the UK.
Porter's reports usually focus on investigations into alternative meats, and she's been known to dust things up a bit. On a recent show she caused quite a stir as she tried to serve Horse meat burgers at a racecourse in Britain.
More to the point, she's also looked into Veal production in the UK and determined it to be cruelty-free, much to the chagrin of the RSPCA and their cohorts. FoieBlog is anxious to see where the Foie Gras farm is located as production is illegal in the UK. We're guessing it'll be France since that's were most Foie Gras is imported from into Britain, but we'd love to see her make the trip to the US to quiet down the naysayers on this side of the pond.
On a side note, while vacationing in Puglia, Italy, GrasGuy discovered that horse meat is as common there as beef steak. Entire butcher shops are dedicated to it, and it's widely featured on menus throughout the region. Unfortunately, Mrs. GrasGuy was an equestrian as a girl and forbade him from ordering it on the trip.
He hopes to make the trip solo one day.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
FoieBlog joins the folks at Hudson Valley Foie Gras in breathing a sigh of relief today as we learn that a judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the farm's receipt of a state grant to upgrade their facilities.
You'll remember that the Humane Society was arguing that the Empire State Development Corporation had irresponsibly awarded the money - in an attempt to take the cash back from the Foie Gras producer. Unfortunately for them, Justice Thomas McNamara ruled that the ESDC had "a rational basis" for their decision and that there was nothing unlawful that merited the suit.
Ironically (we think that applies here), at the time of the challenge, Hudson Valley actually noted an uptick in sales as a result of the publicity surrounding the filing of the suit, attributing increased awareness of Foie Gras among people who were otherwise unfamiliar with it.
FoieBlog would like to note that this is the first time we've had two consecutive posts with good news on the fight for Foie Gras. Dare we hope for a Threepeat?
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Seems that Chicago's Foie Gras ban may not be set in stone after all.
The Chicago Sun reports that City Alderman Ed Burke, with the support of several colleagues on the city council's Health Committee, quietly slipped a repeal of the Foie Gras ban into the agenda of this week's meeting. It wasn't brought up for a vote, but the move so angered the committee chair, Ed Smith, that he sent a letter of resignation to Mayor Richard Daley saying that he would leave his position if it ever did. Daley accepted the provisional resignation, pointing out that he believes the repeal will happen sooner or later.
To be fair, Alderman Smith is no Joe Moore, and he is apparently more upset about what amounts to an end run around his authority as chair, rather than defending the Foie Gras ban. However, he's also a long-time foe of the Mayor, so he'll be getting no support from City Hall in his efforts to preserve his vision of legislative etiquette.
FoieBlog hasn't been so happy since we discovered a restaurant serving Foie Gras stuffed Rabbit Loin near our HQ (review to come.) Kudos to our new favorite politician, Ed Burke. Chicago could have easily let this law live on the books with little enforcement like one of those wacky laws you hear about not being able to dance with a chicken in the presence of a kindergarten teacher (or something like that), but clearly there's been enough of a vocal and active opposition to the ban that city legislators now realize they need to serve the people and business of Chicago and not some whiners from Watkins Glen, NY (We're looking at you, Farm Sanctuary.)
FoieBlog urges our Windy City readers to keep up the phone calls and e-mails. The only lost cause is the one that you let be.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
FoieBlog regrets that most of the developments that we keep an eye on involve attacks on our freedom to enjoy Foie Gras, but there are those who are out there fighting the good fight, and today that fight made it to Capitol Hill.
David Martosko of the Center for Consumer Freedom spoke before a House Agriculture subcommittee today, warning of the rising influence of animal rights activists and their ultimate goal of eliminating meat from the food chain altogether. Although his was a broad counterattack against the likes of Farm Sanctuary, and not specifically in support of Foie Gras, Martosko stated:
"I have never tasted foie gras...but who are these people to decide I shouldn't have the chance to try it? When zealots ban books because of their politics, millions of people rise up. Why isn't banning food for political reasons viewed the same way?"
A bit over the top to be sure, but no more so than any of the activists' propaganda. Kudos to Martosko and the CCF for taking the time to speak up in front of our nation's legislators.
FoieBlog urges you to join them in battle by contacting members of the subcommittee .
Unfortunately, back in Chicago, things look a bit more bleak. The Daily Herald reports that while there is a mounting legal challenge to the city's Foie Gras ban, the interstate commerce grounds that it's based on aren't looking too firm.
FoieBlog sees this effort less about overturning the ban, and more about preventing similar legislation to be passed in the future. Not a bad goal, but a futile one from our perspective.
If any of our readers are in the legal profession and think you can bring anything new to the table, we urge you to contact the Illinois Restaurant Association and give them your two cents - not that you guys are known for giving away anything for free.
Please don't file a slander suit against us.
Monday, May 7, 2007
Although it was a down year for Tony Blair's Labour (yea, that's how they spell it, kids) party in last week's UK municipal elections, the City of York proved once again it is on the verge of becoming the Chicago of Britain.
FoieBlog's favorite British whipping boy, York Councilor Paul Blanchard, managed to be reelected in what turned out to be a safe haven for Labor and Liberal Democrats alike. Although he hasn't managed to update his website as of yet, we anticipate that he'll be attributing the victory to his unsuccesful campaign against Foie Gras - that's usually how these things go.
Unfortunately for Mr. Blanchard, his petition to the prime minister only managed to garner 8,500 signatories - a drop in the proverbial bucket and not one likely to be heard by the PM in his last days in office.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
FoieBlog is not known for stereotyping - except when it comes to skinny, whiny out of work political activists - but this story certainly throws us for a loop.
Rick Nelson of the The Minneapolis Star Tribune has written a review of a new restaurant that caters to the unlikely pair of lesbians and Foie Gras aficionados. Well, not specifically Foie Gras lovers, but Pi offers a burger stuffed with foie gras and topped with aged cheddar and farfalle tossed with pine nuts and lobster that has us checking Orbitz for the next flight to the Twin Cities.
FoieBlog always finds it refreshing to discover Foie Gras dishes in what would otherwise be considered liberal environments, proving that great food can bring people of all stripes together.
The more we read about Minneapolis and its cutting edge food, music and arts scene hidden away in the snowy northern regions of our great nation, the more we want to go. If we make it there, you'll be the first to hear how this magnificent-sounding creation tastes. If you beat us there, please let us be the first to hear from you.