It would mean that D'Artagnan, the premier supplier of foie gras and foie-gras related products for New York tri state area restaurants and retail would be forced to go out of business or move elsewhere. In addition to no more foie that means no more magret duck breasts, duck bones, confit, charcuterie, or myriad other fancy food items from that essential source. Understand that the burgeoning New York restaurant fine dining scene GREW UP around Ariane Daguin's company. That she has--since the company's inception-- been a premier supplier of all things French, European, and hard to get for chefs--and not just foie!. New York menus reflected and continue to a great extent to reflect what she could import or create for her passionately devoted and grateful clientele of virtually every name chef in the North East. As well, she has provided, guidance, support, networking and help of every kind to chefs both French and otherwise--in short: she is a personality as central and integral to the whole landscape of professional gastronomy as Julia Child was to home cooks in her day. As well, the entire Franco/American subculture in New York revolves around her and around D'Artagnan products. To do think of the New York restaurant scene without her--or her company is to contemplate the apocalypse.
It is absolutely unbelievable that opportunistic politicians would attempt to bring shame and ridicule on their state, cripple the dining standards of New York City, remove a crucial primary color from every chef's palate so as to beat up on the easy target of a small, independently owned and operated company, built up over time through the hard work of an extraordinary woman. Meanwhile not DARING to tackle the far more destructive (to human AND animals) battery chicken issue--our country's voracious appetite for crispy fried chicken From Any Source Necessary. Why try picking on the Colonel on principal when there's a small business you can ruin for a few votes?
This is not a question of whether or not the production of foie gras is "cruel" or "crueler" than other processes involving food production. About lurid videos, gag reflexes or lack of. That has been explored elsewhere--and more authoritatively. This is a question of the dining public's right to choose. This is about a vital figure central to all our lives--we who claim to love food and fine dining-- and her ability to stay in business. This is about big goverment and a few lunatic fringe attempting to crush the little guy. With every likelyhood of succeeding. It's the final barricade, the last redoubt. If the invaders breach this line than dining as we know it will surely change beyond recognition.
As a longtime Jersey boy, I am ashamed and embarrassed for my state--particularly as I recently made a show which --over-optimistically perhaps, portrayed it as a place poised to become a serious food destination. This atrocity--if passed--could be the beginning of the end. The Final Victory of the Rubes and Extremists. New Jersey, New York chefs, and the dining public deserve better.
PLEASE write the criminally misguided assemblyman and make your opinions heard. The end could well be near.
Edited by bourdain, 27 September 2006 - 02:37 PM.