Eaters of Soon-To-Be Forbidden Foie Gras Sneak In Last Suppers

Lovers of foie gras are stuffing their faces before the ban goes into effect July 1.

By Chris Roberts
|  Saturday, Mar 31, 2012  |  Updated 10:41 AM PDT
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New Small Plates at Russell House Tavern

Andronico's won't be selling anymore foie gras like this.

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Six Courses of Foie Gras

A San Francisco Restaurant reignites the debate over foie gras by hosting a dinner featuring the fatty goose and duck livers. California is officially banning the sale of foie gras starting in July. Chefs have had 8 years to come up with a humane way to make the delicacy, where the foul are force-fed corn and grains to make their livers fatty. Chef Marc Zimmerman of Alexander's Steakhouse in San Francisco argues he only orders from humane farms, but animal rights activist Dana Portnoy says it's not possible. NBC Bay Area's Brent Cannon talks to them both.
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A new era of Prohibition is upon us, but before the July 1 doomsday, enjoyers of a soon-to-be forbidden delicacy are eating their fill, sometimes surreptitiously.

It's the era of foie gras speakeasies.

The sale of fattened duck and goose liver will be banned in California as of July 1, and so diners are joining for last meals, sometimes in secret, sometimes on the sort-of-sly, and sometimes in the wide open, according to the San Jose Mercury News -- which is drawing protesters to disrupt some diners.

In Oakland, the Bay Wolf restaurant canceled its plans for foie gras feasts after "very, very disruptive" protesters showed up to crash the party, according to chef-owner Michael Wild, who told the newspaper he couldn't "ensure the safety" of eaters and staff.

Chef Russell Jackson, at Lafitte restaurant on San Francisco's Embarcadero, is taking a different tact: he's hosting "FU Foie Gras" dinners, which are always protested.

Other diners are responding to private and semi-private invitations to dine with other foie gras-lovers in the last 100 days the delicacy will be allowed in California, the newspaper reported.

The ban is praised by animal-rights groups.  

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