Report: Wolfgang Puck still buys and sells foie gras, please send sample letter
BACKGROUND | SOURCE INSIDE SCOOP SF
California’s top chefs are walking the halls at the State Capitol this afternoon, asking lawmakers to repeal the state foie gras ban. Sunday’s big Chronicle story has more on the chefs’ petition to overturn the ban.
Not all chefs are aboard, of course, most prominently Wolfgang Puck. He has made it known that he is in favor of the looming California foie gras ban, and wrote a very strongly worded letter earlier this year, saying how much he hates foie gras and how he hasn’t served it since 2007. However, it’s long been rumored that Puck’s restaurants still offer foie gras, particularly if specifically asked for as an off-menu item. Urban legend no longer.
Turns out Puck is more of a talker than a doer, as Carolyn Jung gets the confirmation that Puck still serves foie gras. (Puck’s people have denied that same question from Scoop in recent weeks. He also denied to be interviewed in the Sunday article.)
But here’s the smoking gun: Rick Bishop, Hudson Valley Foie Gras’ director of marketing, tells Jung in Food Arts that Wolfgang Puck has continued to buy from Hudson Valley Foie Gras since early 2010.
And then Wolfgang Puck PR machine admitted it. As reported by Jung:
“We do, unfortunately, have private events where people want foie gras on their menu,” says Stephanie Davis, director of communications for the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. “We do our best to steer them in a different direction, but sometimes people just want it.”
UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter for pointing out that foie gras is still on the menu at Wolfgang Puck’s Singapore branch of CUT. Actually, as of today, it’s on the menu twice.
The below screenshots are from the menus presented on the website for the restaurant’s resort, Marina Bay Sands; interestingly, there’s no foie gras on CUT Singapore menu on Puck’s own website. Guess someone’s going to have to check it out first hand to see which one’s true. Either way, CUT Singapore opened just last year, so Puck’s claim of a 2007 foie gras strike doesn’t appear to hold water. For what it’s worth, there are even various user reviews that refer to foie gras at CUT in recent months.
Here are the screenshots taken this afternoon, preserved for posterity:
WHOM TO CONTACT
Please click HERE for webform
To Whom It Concerns,
Despite a commitment to discontinue offering it since 2007, Wolfgang Puck, I am greatly disturbed to learn, is still selling foie gras, the production of which inflicts incredible suffering and cruelty upon sentient animals. As such, I respectfully request you take immediate steps to eliminate foie gras from your product list.
Foie gras, French for “fatty liver,” is made from the grotesquely enlarged livers of male ducks and geese. The birds are kept in tiny wire cages or packed into sheds. Pipes are repeatedly shoved down the birds’ throats, and up to 4 pounds of grain and fat are pumped into their stomachs two or three times every day. The pipes puncture many birds’ throats, sometimes causing the animals to bleed to death. This cruel procedure causes the birds’ livers to become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Many birds become too sick to stand up. The birds who survive the force-feeding are killed, and their livers are sold for foie gras.
Globally, people have spoken out against the cruelty of foie gras. In 2004, as you know, California passed a law banning the sale and production of foie gras, effective this year; his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI denounced foie gras, the force-feeding as being in violation of Biblical principles; and foie gras production has been outlawed in the U.K., Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Israel.
As such, I respectfully request you please reconsider and make the compassionate and ethical decision to ban foie gras. You may be interested to know in addition to those people and places indicated above, many regional chefs and colleagues have recently removed foie gras from their menus, and I would love to inform my friends and acquaintances that Wolfgang Puck has joined them by also rejecting this torture and eliminating foie gras. Until such a time, however, I maintain the only ethical decision is to promote a boycott of your establishment and visiting instead the ones that do not sell foie gras.
I look forward to a positive response, however, so that I may visit your establishment again.
Please feel free to watch the following video illustrating in disturbing detail the inherent cruelty of foie gras production:
Thank you for your attention to this urgent issue.
what the f*ck
would you like to
be treated the way
foie gross treats
force fed geese
Karen Lyons Kalmenson