Photo Credit: Courtesy Lazy Bear
Calling all foie gras lovers! You rejoiced when the once-banned delicacy returned to California menus in January. Now it’s time to step up and show your support by dishing out $500 for a special foie gras dinner on May 12 at Lazy Bear, hosted in partnership with Hudson Valley Foie Gras. Lazy Bear, one of the hautest restaurants to hit the San Francisco scene in the past year, is known for its hyper-seasonal, multi-course dinners and communal dining format. As unique as Lazy Bear is, next week’s dinner will be even more distinct.
The evening will consist of a 15+ course dinner incorporating donated Hudson Valley foie gras or related duck products into every dish, plus additional take-home treats from Lazy Bear and Hudson Valley Foie Gras. A number of California guest chefs will join Lazy Bear Chef David Barzelay and Pastry Chef Maya Erickson in designing the menu and hosting the meal, including: Evan Allumbaugh (flour + water); Michael Black (formerly of Sebo); Val Cantu (Californios); Joey Elenterio (of the upcoming restaurant Cadence); Ken Frank (La Toque); Douglas Keane (Cyrus Restaurant); and Roland Passot (La Folie).
All proceeds from the meal will go to the CHEFS Legal Defense Fund, which supports chef access to foie gras. The fundraising dinner will benefit defense efforts for Ken Frank, the Michelin-starred chef of La Toque in Napa Valley, who is being sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund. La Toque and Chef Frank have petitioned the California Supreme Court to take up the case, and a select number of tickets to the dinner will be auctioned off to raise further funds.
Thirty tickets will go on sale for $500/each at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 on the Lazy Bear website, and an additional 10 tickets will be available via auction. The price includes beverage pairings.
As you may recall, in March 2013, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit against the Michelin-starred La Toque restaurant and Frank, executive chef and partner. The complaint alleged the business’ ownership, LT Napa Partners LLC, and Frank were circumventing the 2012 law and selling foie gras in spite of the rule banning the sale of foie gras that took effect in 2012—but much to the delight of foie gras fans was overturned by a federal judge in January 2015. For years animal activists have claimed that force-fed foie gras amounts to animal cruelty; Frank and many others strongly disagree and say there are humane ways to produce foie gras.
Frank’s lawyers denied the allegations and tried to have the complaint dismissed, arguing that his client was giving free foie gras to customers under his constitutional right of petition and free speech. The customers reportedly received foie gras along with a card protesting the then-in-effect law. Two months ago, a California appeals court judge refused to dismiss the lawsuit.