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Trotter and Tramonto square off over Foie Gras


Osnav
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Serving foie gras at a fundraiser, after you've essentially sworn it off, seems even more exploitative than cooking it discretely for a VIP or favored customer -- or even for yourself.  Apparently, if the end justifies the means, the "suffering" endured isn't quite as big a deal.

=R=

i would agree, but take note (as stated) that (if it were so) being forced to use certain substances because of contractual obligations might ameliorate this for some.

that being said, it is not a path that i would choose, given a choice. i think (if this is what happened) it sends a mixed message.

cheers :)

hc

Edited by halloweencat (log)
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Serving foie gras at a fundraiser, after you've essentially sworn it off, seems even more exploitative than cooking it discretely for a VIP or favored customer -- or even for yourself.  Apparently, if the end justifies the means, the "suffering" endured isn't quite as big a deal.

=R=

Once again, we dont know. The fundraiser was on the sixth of march. The Chicago Tribune is dated march 29th. It is one of the most shoddy pieces of reporting I have seen with no details as to when the quotes were obtained etc.

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We may have another "data point" in a few weeks, when CT hosts a Beard Foundation benefit at the restaurant.  Info here

This whole thing makes the menu at this upcoming event all the more interesting.

Yes..yes..bourdin obviously expects Trotter to instruct all of those chefs to cook without foie gras because he doesnt want to...

If the Tribune article hadnt appeared(with the unfortunate verbal lashing soundbyte) and instead the news was that Charlie Trotter BANNED the guest chefs from including foie gras in their menus for the James Beard fundraiser..then..guess what?? people here would still be screaming bloody murder and calling Trotter a hypocrite, douchebag etc.. Trotter is damned either way. Hmm..is this an example of 'irony'?

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If the Tribune article hadnt appeared(with the unfortunate verbal lashing soundbyte) and instead the news was that Charlie Trotter BANNED the guest chefs from including foie gras in their menus for the James Beard fundraiser..then..guess what?? people here would still be screaming bloody murder and calling Trotter a hypocrite, douchebag etc.. Trotter is damned either way. Hmm..is this an example of 'irony'?

And how exactly would this situation be considered hypocritical? That he actually would hew to his alleged beliefs would seem to be quite the opposite of hypocritical. Instead we have the reality, as we currently understand it, that he has talked trash about another local and high profile chef in defense of his alleged beliefs, but that some more-than-anecdotal evidence indicates he tolerates the same ghastly behavior in others, and the object of his high dudgeon is sold in a market that bears his very name, some THREE YEARS after he's banned it from his kitchen.

I'm quite curious how it is that you're the only one in this forum who seems to think there's something fishy in the article itself. If Trotter's quotes were fabricated as you've insinuated upthread, don't you imagine that there'd have been a major retraction in the Trib by now? Perhaps this is all part and parcel of the vast left-wing media conspiracy. Or perhaps, just perhaps, he really *did* say what was reported.

Christopher

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Trotter is good friends with both Blumenthal and Wakuda. And it is no more imaginable that Trotter would be "contractually obliged" to provide 3 courses of foie gras dishes for a meal in his restaurant than it would be for Martin Scorcese to find himself "contractually obliged" to make a XXX Anal Rampage Trilogy or a Vin Deisel vehicle.

Ludicrous. Trotter is a big boy. And a master of his own destiny. He made a decision to serve foie gras in his restaurant. And now he'll have to live with that decision--as we all do.

abourdain

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Anyone know who this "Osnav" guy is? What a trouble maker! Everyone was getting along so well until he came along. :hmmm:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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thank you for passing along your insight, as i was hoping for some feedback.

with your expertise it may indeed be ludicrous to have considered the possibility, but to those who are not in the industry, these are areas for legitimate questions. i'm happy to be informed by someone knowledgeable, yet i do not think it was illogical to ask.

cheers :)

hc

Edited by halloweencat (log)
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P.S. I'd look into how Mark Caro got those quotes and the circumstances surrounding it. It doesnt ring right to me.

Why not? I was under the impression that both Chefs were interviewed for the article. If this is not the case, we will certainly find out soon...but I don't understand exactly why you would think that this is not the case.

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Trotter is good friends  with both Blumenthal and Wakuda. And it is no more imaginable that Trotter would be "contractually obliged" to provide 3 courses of foie gras dishes for a meal in his restaurant than it would be for Martin Scorcese to find himself "contractually obliged" to make a XXX Anal Rampage Trilogy or a Vin Deisel vehicle.

Ludicrous. Trotter is a big boy. And a master of his own destiny. He made a decision to serve foie gras in his restaurant. And now he'll have to live with that decision--as we all do.

I suppose this means that you couldnt find out whose dishes those were..or maybe you did...I know for a fact that #1 and #3 are Heston.B's signature dishes. I am sure you have met Heston and ordering Heston not to show off his film, gels and..err..equipment... is like ordering a child not to have his icecream. But, I digress.

There is no 'contract'. Why are you bringing up terms that have nothing to do with this discussion. The two chefs who are good friends of Trotter acted as guest chefs for a fundraiser. Earlier on, you suggested, and wrongly, that Trotter lashed out at the culinary community for their decision to use foie gras. You can scroll back if you forgot your own words. Now, you are saying that Trotter should have stopped two guest chefs from preparing what *they* have come to offer for a fundraiser.

Do I need to waste more time on this? I think not.

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This is a bit off-topic, but I'm soooo curious!

I understand why people (including myself) are criticizing Trotter. But I have a sincere question for FaustianBargain: why are you seeking to defend Trotter in this situation?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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P.S. I'd look into how Mark Caro got those quotes and the circumstances surrounding it. It doesnt ring right to me.

Why not? I was under the impression that both Chefs were interviewed for the article. If this is not the case, we will certainly find out soon...but I don't understand exactly why you would think that this is not the case.

Reply also to 'plattetude':

Ok. Go back to the Chicago Tribune article. See the sequence of quotes. It begins with Trotter.

"I just said, `Enough is enough here. I can't really justify this,'" Trotter said. "What I have seen, it's just inappropriate. There are too many great things to eat out there that I don't believe that any animal would have to go through that for our benefit."

followed by Tramonto

"It's a little hypocritical because animals are raised to be slaughtered and eaten every day," Tramonto said. "I think certain farms treat animals better than others. Either you eat animals or you don't eat animals."
"Rick Tramonto's not the smartest guy on the block," Trotter retorted. "Yeah, animals are raised to be slaughtered, but are they raised in a way where they need to suffer? He can't be that dumb, is he? It's like an idiot comment. `All animals are raised to be slaughtered.' Oh, OK. Maybe we ought to have Rick's liver for a little treat. It's certainly fat enough."

Upon being told Trotter's comments, Tramonto would say only, "Charlie's in my prayers."

It looks as though(and I might as well be wrong. At worse, Mark Caro's sin may only be bad reporting) the the reporter was passing along information from one chef to the other. What questions were asked that invited the quotable answers that were published in the article? Were the two chefs in the same room when the conversation took place? Or did they hear second hand comments? Was there an audience? Why hasnt Trotter 'announced' this to the other papers/media? Did Chicago Tribune have an exclusive? Did they approach Trotter first? If they did, why did they send their entertainment correspondent? Caro must be an up and coming reporter in the Tribune. A few weeks ago, he was commenting in Eric Zorn's CT blog as a guest bloger on public policy and politics and now he is branching out into food journalism.

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This is a bit off-topic, but I'm soooo curious!

I understand why people (including myself) are criticizing Trotter. But I have a sincere question for FaustianBargain: why are you seeking to defend Trotter in this situation?

Purely for principle. Because everyone should have a right to their opinion. I am not defending 'Trotter', the chef. I am defending the right to hold an opinion without being judged.

As a chef, I have given some serious thoughts about the issue of foie gras. It is deeply disturbing to me. However, I cannot afford to NOT cook foie gras because of my beliefs. It is simply a matter of doing one's job without letting personal feelings interfere with the work. However, I can appreciate the freedom wealth and power can offer a person in order to put his beliefs into practice. This is rare. If I can afford to stand by my beliefs without any impact on my earnings, I'd do that same.

In a way, I am not defending Trotter. I am defending myself. A future ME, perhaps?

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This is a bit off-topic, but I'm soooo curious!

I understand why people (including myself) are criticizing Trotter. But I have a sincere question for FaustianBargain: why are you seeking to defend Trotter in this situation?

Purely for principle. Because everyone should have a right to their opinion. I am not defending 'Trotter', the chef. I am defending the right to hold an opinion without being judged.

As a chef, I have given some serious thoughts about the issue of foie gras. It is deeply disturbing to me. However, I cannot afford to NOT cook foie gras because of my beliefs. It is simply a matter of doing one's job without letting personal feelings interfere with the work. However, I can appreciate the freedom wealth and power can offer a person in order to put his beliefs into practice. This is rare. If I can afford to stand by my beliefs without any impact on my earnings, I'd do that same.

In a way, I am not defending Trotter. I am defending myself. A future ME, perhaps?

Thanks. I appreciate your honesty. Seeing your own professional entanglements helps me understand your posts.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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This is a bit off-topic, but I'm soooo curious!

I understand why people (including myself) are criticizing Trotter. But I have a sincere question for FaustianBargain: why are you seeking to defend Trotter in this situation?

Purely for principle. Because everyone should have a right to their opinion. I am not defending 'Trotter', the chef. I am defending the right to hold an opinion without being judged.

As a chef, I have given some serious thoughts about the issue of foie gras. It is deeply disturbing to me. However, I cannot afford to NOT cook foie gras because of my beliefs. It is simply a matter of doing one's job without letting personal feelings interfere with the work. However, I can appreciate the freedom wealth and power can offer a person in order to put his beliefs into practice. This is rare. If I can afford to stand by my beliefs without any impact on my earnings, I'd do that same.

In a way, I am not defending Trotter. I am defending myself. A future ME, perhaps?

Sir, you ARE defending Trotter. We are not saying he should serve fg, we are simply stating using logic that he is a littleover the top with his comments AND he is being too self rightous, by stating such strong beliefs and serving fg at a dinner not too long ago. I am sure Blumenthal and Tetsuya would have been more than understanding if he simply asked them not to use the damn thing.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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If Trotter's comments seem surprisingly shrill and unhinged, there is a subtext left out of the Trib story that explains them: Tramonto's restaurant, Tru, long ago eclipsed Trotter's place as the premiere four-star eatery in the city, and having dined at both, I can tell you the difference: Tru is about customers better appreciating the glory and wonder of fabulously prepared food -- including foie gras -- while Charlie Trotter's is about customers better appreciating the glory and wonder of Charlie Trotter.

Yee-ouch. Does this subtext make sense to those of you in the know?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Great quote from the Tribune story -

"You never make it personal, especially when it comes to sausage."

Words to live by...

I like this, too:
Do you have to force-feed pigs to fatten their livers?

"I don't think so," Zicha said. "Pigs are pigs. They eat pretty good on their own."

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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For posterity, here's a choice quote:

If Trotter's comments seem surprisingly shrill and unhinged, there is a subtext left out of the Trib story that explains them: Tramonto's restaurant, Tru, long ago eclipsed Trotter's place as the premiere four-star eatery in the city, and having dined at both, I can tell you the difference: Tru is about customers better appreciating the glory and wonder of fabulously prepared food -- including foie gras -- while Charlie Trotter's is about customers better appreciating the glory and wonder of Charlie Trotter.
Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Does anyone wonder whether CT has taken some sort of pay to make those statements(About the inhumane raising)? Because the silly ass comment about RT just don't add up. Especially---especially--after his little Charity Shindig. Don't tell me a chef of his importance can't make the menu. Or was it just some asinine screwup that coincided with the article. It just smacks weird all over it.

By the way--Rotator cuff surgery is very painful, and the dude's gonna have his arm trussed up next to his chest like one of Jacques Pepin's fowl for at least a month. My sympathy to him.

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