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Trotter and Tramonto square off over Foie Gras


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. . .  pointing out what may be going on in Israel (I think you exaggerate perhaps a bit here) and the Perigord (2 of the 3 largest goose foie gras producing areas in the world - the other being Hungary) doesn't prove that foie gras is populist.  When it starts showing up on a regular basis in restaurants in Peoria - then perhaps I'll change my mind

I hadn't meant to say that the way foie gras was seen in other countries were examples of it becoming populist food here, just that it doesn't always have the connotation of haute cuisine. I've never been to Israel, but Michel Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, in his book Foie Gras, A Passion says you can buy a sandwich of grilled foie gras rolled in a flat bread at a take out window of a popular restaurant in Tel Aviv.

I don't know when it will show up in Peoria, but I've read at least one article that noted the spread of it's appearance to restaurants not competing for four stars, and in cities where such restaurants don't exist. At the same time, according to the article, it's been declining in the top restaurants simply because it's been over exposed. Perhaps it's all levelled off by now, but little of this is relevant to the exchange between Trotter and Tramonto except to say that foie gras hasn't achieved populist standing quite yet as is evidenced by the Chicago articles. I'll bet that here in NY, there are more people who haven't had foie gras, than those who have. Maybe I'll start asking my friends and acquaintances and take a poll. I noted that it's populism was to a very small degree.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Thank you for sharing, Derrick. It was great that you could post all of these and I'm sure all here are extremely appreciative of your efforts in this regard. You looked cute in your shower cap...

And the duck pics made me hungry - gads, how I miss Sonoma Saveurs!

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I hadn't meant to say that the way foie gras was seen in other countries were examples of it becoming populist food here, just that it doesn't always have the connotation of haute cuisine. I've never been to Israel, but Michel Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, in his book Foie Gras, A Passion says you can buy a sandwich of grilled foie gras rolled in a flat bread at a take out window of a popular restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Or at least you could. Israel recently decided to disallow production (there was some back and forth, but I think the ban kicked in earlier this year or is about to kick in, depending on what the last decision was). That doesn't change your argument, just clarifying things.

Derrick Schneider

My blog: http://www.obsessionwithfood.com

You have to eat. You might as well enjoy it!

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But imagine, if you can, this scenario. A reporter asking you how you felt about the Ill Foie Gras situation. You tell him what you feel. He comes back with a message from Tramonto, a fellow chef, who is calling him a hypocrite followed by one of the most irrational statement("All animals are raised for slaughter") and it seems as though it is coming out of the blue. And without provocation.
Also, RT said, "*It's* a little hypocritical." He didn't even say, "CT is a hypocrite." He was passing a judgment on that particular move by CT, not on the man more generally. Small bit of wording but I think it's significant.

I believe RT's comment was "Animals are raised for slaughter." CT misquoted him by adding the woord "All." Another subtle but significant point that I think buttresses RT's more reasonable position.

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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.

In the piece Trotter says he stopped serving foie gras in his restaurant about "3 years ago" and that is the point in time I'm referencing. The recent fundraiser where foie gras was served (which benefitted Trotter's own foundation), happened on March 6, 2005.

Edited to add: This point is now moot since it's fairly clear (from Trotter via Bourdain) that the guest chefs prepared the foie gras dishes at the fundraiser at Charlie Trotter's on March 6.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I received an email from someone from an anti foie gras site (gourmetcruelty.org) not so long ago claiming that they had an "internationaly recognized" chef willing to put his weight behind their cause.  Now that I think about it, I wonder if it was Charlie.  Either way, this incident proves unequivocally--once and for all-- the Charlie Trotter is, in fact, a douchebag.  His followers claim he's just "very passionate about his line of work".  No.  Douchebag.

It seems unlikely but anything is possible. In the linked piece, chef Trotter goes out of his way to distance himself from such short-sighted lobbyists:

Farm Sanctuary members previously contacted Trotter urging him to sign a pledge that he would never serve foie gras.

"He refused," Bauston said.

"These people are idiots," Trotter said. "Understand my position: I have nothing to do with a group like that. I think they're pathetic. . . . I have nothing in common with that left-leaning kind of ideology."

Trotter isn't getting behind the Illinois bill either.

That doesn't mean that an organization coudn't or wouldn't try to claim Trotter's stance as a "signing on" to their policy. But, it would be a fairly difficult claim for such an organization to document.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.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?

Ouch, indeed! While it may be the case that Tru has eclipsed Charlie Trotter's atop the Chicago fine dining pyramid, not even that seems like enough gasoline to have fueled those personal attacks on chef Tramonto. But, there's certainly no question about where Mr. Steinberg (the author of the above comments) stands on the issue. Yowza!

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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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.

In the piece Trotter says he stopped serving foie gras in his restaurant about "3 years ago" and that is the point in time I'm referencing. The recent fundraiser where foie gras was served (which benefitted Trotter's own foundation), happened on March 6, 2005.

Edited to add: This point is now moot since it's fairly clear (from Trotter via Bourdain) that the guest chefs prepared the foie gras dishes at the fundraiser at Charlie Trotter's on March 6.

=R=

Ahh..yes..yes.. "the confirmation from Trotter via Bourdain". Obviously my words were invisible to most of you here even though I have been banging my head and screaming like a fucking banshee. I'd send bourdain to a corner to face the wall for raising storms in teacups. If Trotter is more than an acquaintance to bourdain, he definitely owes him an apology.

Now, moving on, if Mark Caro cares to drop in, I have a question or two for him.

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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.

In the piece Trotter says he stopped serving foie gras in his restaurant about "3 years ago" and that is the point in time I'm referencing. The recent fundraiser where foie gras was served (which benefitted Trotter's own foundation), happened on March 6, 2005.

Edited to add: This point is now moot since it's fairly clear (from Trotter via Bourdain) that the guest chefs prepared the foie gras dishes at the fundraiser at Charlie Trotter's on March 6.

=R=

Ahh..yes..yes.. "the confirmation from Trotter via Bourdain". Obviously my words were invisible to most of you here even though I have been banging my head and screaming like a fucking banshee. I'd send bourdain to a corner to face the wall for raising storms in teacups. If Trotter is more than an acquaintance to bourdain, he definitely owes him an apology.

Now, moving on, if Mark Caro cares to drop in, I have a question or two for him.

In the big picture, this detail changes almost nothing for me. On balance, I still disagree with Trotter's stand. Frankly, it still seems hypocritical to me regardless of the fundraiser menu or who specifically cooked the foie gras at the event.

He's also outed himself as a (probable?) fattist. I'm still less eager to dine at Trotter's now than I was before this story broke. For me, there's just no putting this cat back in its bag. I have no need nor desire to dine somewhere where the vibe doesn't feel right. Life's way too short for that. And again, as I've stated at least a few times on this thread, the issue of foie gras isn't a particularly hot one for me.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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In the big picture, this detail changes almost nothing for me.  On balance, I still disagree with Trotter's stand.

And that is? That he wont serve foie gras?

Frankly, it still seems hypocritical to me regardless of the fundraiser menu or who specifically cooked the foie gras at the event.

How utterly fascinating! You would rather Trotter instruct chefs to NOT cook foie gras? Trotter provides the restaurant and the 'manpower' for the fundraiser. Essentially, you are saying that a person can impose his preferences and decisions on others? Do you also value the opinion of rabid animal rights activists who insist that others who like foie gras be denied their pleasure.

I am asking because I want to hear it here so I can come back to this thread to pick up quotes the next time someone complains that those against animal cruelty should not stuff their views down the collective esophagi of the eating public.

You know what happened the last time someone took it upon themselves to do that, dont you? Let me refer back to the Manrique incident which bourdain will be more than willing to re-narrate.

In common parlance, this is called 'setting up the sucker'. Basically, villify every action of the person who disagrees with your own set of views giving them very narrow wigglespace.

He's also outed himself as a (probable?) fattist.

Probable, you say?

I'm still less eager to dine at Trotter's now than I was before this story broke.
For me, there's just no putting this cat back in its bag.  I have no need nor desire to dine somewhere where the vibe doesn't feel right.  Life's way too short for that.  And again, as I've stated at least a few times on this thread, the issue of foie gras isn't a particularly hot one for me.

How quick we are to throw judgements without digging deep enough! It must be an universal human characteristic. I'd still clarify the circumstances surrounding this unremarkable piece of reporting before making up my mind.

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In the big picture, this detail changes almost nothing for me.  On balance, I still disagree with Trotter's stand.

And that is? That he wont serve foie gras?

Frankly, it still seems hypocritical to me regardless of the fundraiser menu or who specifically cooked the foie gras at the event.

How utterly fascinating! You would rather Trotter instruct chefs to NOT cook foie gras? Trotter provides the restaurant and the 'manpower' for the fundraiser. Essentially, you are saying that a person can impose his preferences and decisions on others? Do you also value the opinion of rabid animal rights activists who insist that others who like foie gras be denied their pleasure.

I am asking because I want to hear it here so I can come back to this thread to pick up quotes the next time someone complains that those against animal cruelty should not stuff their views down the collective esophagi of the eating public.

You know what happened the last time someone took it upon themselves to do that, dont you? Let me refer back to the Manrique incident which bourdain will be more than willing to re-narrate.

In common parlance, this is called 'setting up the sucker'. Basically, villify every action of the person who disagrees with your own set of views giving them very narrow wigglespace.

He's also outed himself as a (probable?) fattist.

Probable, you say?

I'm still less eager to dine at Trotter's now than I was before this story broke.
For me, there's just no putting this cat back in its bag.  I have no need nor desire to dine somewhere where the vibe doesn't feel right.  Life's way too short for that.   And again, as I've stated at least a few times on this thread, the issue of foie gras isn't a particularly hot one for me.

How quick we are to throw judgements without digging deep enough! It must be an universal human characteristic. I'd still clarify the circumstances surrounding this unremarkable piece of reporting before making up my mind.

If you'd like clarification of any of my thoughts on this, feel free to go back and reread them. I've been quite clear.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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If you'd like clarification of any of my thoughts on this, feel free to go back and reread them.  I've been quite clear.

Ok. Gotcha. I take it that you will be stand behind and will not criticise chefs who prevent other chefs from cooking with ingredients that they think are derived from animal cruelty. By extension, you also support those anti-foie gras people who take it upon themselves to prevent others from obtaining, distributing and consuming foie gras. Violence, barring, of course.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columni...ll=chi-news-col

It gets curiouser and curiouser.

Yet another Trotter bashing article from the same Chicago Tribune.

I asked noted Chicago Chef Paul Sfikas, of La Maison Cambridge, if he'd let me spend about $1,000 to bring my friends into his kitchen for a meal on Saturday night.

"What for?" Chef Paul said. "It's hot in there."

He doesn't know that the trendy rich of Chicago have eagerly been spending that kind of cash for years to sit in fancy restaurant kitchens like Charlie Trotter's.

I told him that when the meal is served we'll clap and say "Bravo!" and smile tight little smiles, and clap some more, as I'm told customers do at Trotter's.

"I bring you the food, and you clap like babies and say, `Bravo?'" Chef Paul said.

Yes, Chef Paul, and we'll pay at least $1,000.

"Are you all right? You'll pay $1,000 for food and you'll clap? Are you crazy?" asked the agitated chef. "It's stupid. What kind of food? Diamond food? Gold food?"

Edited by FaustianBargain (log)
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Obviously my words were invisible to most of you here even though I have been banging my head and screaming like a fucking banshee.

Well, yes, at least for me, the meanings of words are indeed often hard to comprehend in the context of head-banging and fucking-banshee-screaming.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Obviously my words were invisible to most of you here even though I have been banging my head and screaming like a fucking banshee.

Well, yes, at least for me, the meanings of words are indeed often hard to comprehend in the context of head-banging and fucking-banshee-screaming.

Something stronger is in order then.

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If you'd like clarification of any of my thoughts on this, feel free to go back and reread them.  I've been quite clear.

Ok. Gotcha. I take it that you will be stand behind and will not criticise chefs who prevent other chefs from cooking with ingredients that they think are derived from animal cruelty. By extension, you also support those anti-foie gras people who take it upon themselves to prevent others from obtaining, distributing and consuming foie gras. Violence, barring, of course.

I'm not sure how you extracted those positions from what I wrote, but I don't feel like repeating myself . . . again. Continuing our little sub-debate will only derail this thread so, let's just agree to disagree, ok?

Bottom line for me is that I'm more concerned with how chefs treat other people -- including their peers -- than what they think about foie gras. And while I don't trust the Chicago Tribune unconditionally, I do trust it in this particular situation.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Perhaps it might be helpful to sum up the pertinent elements as we understand them:

What did Trotter say? To my mind, there are several important things:

"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."

Trotter said he stopped including foie gras on his menus about three years ago but only is talking about the decision now.

This is a big public statement in the Chicago Tribune, one of the leading newspapers in the country. He's solidly coming out against all foie gras here. There is no way Trotter isn't acutely aware of the fact that different farmers treat their animals differently. He certainly could have said that he refused to buy foie gras from farmers who didn't conform to his expectations as to ethical and humane treatment. Presumably this is what he does when he purchases beef, lamb, chicken, fish, etc. So, by denouncing foie gras in its entirety, he is saying that animal cruelty is an inherrent part of the foie gras production process. If this is not what he is saying, then coming out against foie gras across the board is like saying, "I went to several Tyson locations and several Purdue locations, and I think raising chickens this way is cruel -- so I am no longer going to serve chicken at my restaurants" and ignoring the fact that other people are raising chickens in a different way.

What did Tramonto say?

"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."

He further explains his point, saying:

"Look how much veal this country goes through with all the Italian restaurants and the scallopinis," Tramonto said. "Yes, there are certain farms that are going to treat those veal better than others, but still at the end of the day it's killing those babies, right?"

This makes good sense to me and makes the same point I made above. Certain farms do treat animals better than others. So, unless Trotter is saying that foie gras production is inherrently cruel, in making his blanket statement about foie gras he is ignoring this fact.

Trotter responds:

"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."

First off, there is no way the argument can be made that these statements aren't ill-advised and unprofessional. You simply don't make ad hominem remarks to a reporter from the Chicago Tribune to the effect that a colleague is "not the smartest guy on the block," "can't be that dumb," has made an "idiot comment" and has a liver that is "certainly fat enough." This is a basic issue of professionalism and, for example, it's something we would probably delete if it were posted in the eG Forums. In a debate you attack your opponent's arguments, not your opponent.

The only argument he makes in this response is that animals that are raised to be slaughtered don't need to be raised in a way that makes them suffer. This is significant for a few reasons. First, it reinforces my earlier observation that he is arguing that foie gras production is inherrently cruel. He could easily (and professionally) have answered Tramonto by saying that some foie gras producers do treat their animals acceptably, or at least that it was hypothetically possible. Second, it raises a question as to the meaning of "suffering." Some people, such as those affiliated with PETA, would argue that the mere act of domesticating animals and raising them to be slaughtered necessarily causes suffering. Other people, needless to say, have different ideas. From what I have been able to understand about gavage, there is nothing about it that I would consider inherrently cruel. Everything else comes down to regular animal management practices, and as far as I have been able to determine, foie gras producers are among the cream of the crop when it comes to non-gavage treatment of their animals. Ladies and gentlemen of good will may be permitted to differ.

Some of Trotter's statements make me wonder what foie gras producers he visited and whether he has been listening to too much anti-foie gras propaganda.

Trotter said foie gras ducks spend two weeks running around as chicks before being "bloated up as quickly as possible."

"You're talking about chipped beaks and broken beaks," he said. "You're talking about broken webbed feet and birds that are panting because they're so overweight and kept in a 1-foot-by-2-foot wire penned boxes."

Hudson Valley Foie Gras produces something like 80% of the American product, and this is absolutely not descriptive of their methods, nor of the methods of the other major American foie gras producers.

As to whether it constitutes rank hypocricy to have made this statement so soon after having apparently allowed foie gras to be served at a special event in his restaurant is harder to say. I don't accept for a minute the argument that Trotter was somehow forced by economic, professional or personal considerations into allowing this product into his restaurant. If anything, Trotter's prickley personality demonstrates that he is not one to be forced into anything. If Blumenthal et al. had proposed to serve an animal that was an endangered species, for example, I am quite sure Trotter would have vetoed that without a second thought.

On the other hand, despite his blanket pronouncements, he also had the following to say about anti foie gras legislation:

"I would never go so far as to say we should stop these people from doing it," he said.

This suggests to me that, despite his public and at times ill-considered statements, he views the foie gras issue at the moment more as a personal one for him and doesn't seek to tell others what to do or what to serve. This is more congruent with his decision to allow Blumenthal et al. to serve foie gras in his restaurant -- it's his personal choice not to cook it in his kitchen, but he's not to the point of proclaiming that others shouldn't cook it (or produce it). On the other hand, if I thought foie gras was so inherrently cruel that I banned it from my kitchen, I don't think I'd allow anyone else to serve it in my restaurant either.

--

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Well, it doesn't look like this is going away anytime soon. From the NY Post's Page Six

Word was buzzing at the Food & Wine Best New Chefs party Tuesday night at Skylight Studio about a dinner Trotter hosted with Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda and England's Heston Blumenthal just two weeks ago. Trotter served three courses featuring foie gras.

Attending the $450 prix fixe event were "friends of the house including honchos from Dom Perignon, Fiji water and Geoffrey Zakarian, the chef at Town."

One Food & Wine attendee said, "What a hypocrite! He talks the talk but can't walk the walk. What — he can't serve foie gras to the masses, but will to his snooty friends?"

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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I'm not sure how you extracted those positions from what I wrote, but I don't feel like repeating myself . . . again.  Continuing our little sub-debate will only derail this thread so, let's just agree to disagree, ok?

I think I owe you an apology for being snappy.

My interpretation of the situation is that if you dont approve of someone doing something, then it automatically means that you dont disapprove if they do the opposite of what they did.

But, let us move on.

Bottom line for me is that I'm more concerned with how chefs treat other people -- including their peers -- than what they think about foie gras.  And while I don't trust the Chicago Tribune unconditionally, I do trust it in this particular situation.

There seems to be a major rift me and the majority of egulleters here. To me, this follows the same pattern as with another thread, Defensive Chefs.

What *is* the relationship between a chef and a dining customer? It doesnt have to be anything more than what is between the person who is providing a service, in this case, providing food prepared with a high degree of skill, and one who is paying for the service.

This aspect of chefs and customers socialising is completely baffling to me. Like any relationship, it is bound to become sour when expectations clash. In a way, chefs become slaves to the extremely fickle customer opinion.

I am utterly blown away by your statement that you are less bothered about what a chef feels his raw materials/ingredient and the sourcing of said product and how his personal interactions with a fellow chef and his personal reaction to a collegue's comments is of much more importance than the basic professional contract between a chef and a customer.

Our diametrically opposite viewpoints only confirms to me that we come from different worlds.

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Sadly, it wont. It is not very uncommon either.

First there is a sensational 'breaking news' item with a lot of holes(lack of details like time, place, situation etc). It is very convenient that an entertainment reporter picked this piece. Everything that follows in the media will be based on this parent piece. They will keep borrowing from this original item and every story that develops will be hinged to this parent piece. As long as nobody questions the Big Mother Item, the story grows. Like a tree, it will branch out. When the motives and methods of the parent story is checked for any weak spots and a few weaknesses are revealed, the entire story collapses. But this rarely happens because the reading public is usually happy to be swept away by sensationalism.

The NY Post article is once again based on the Chicago Tribune quote by Trotter and reactions to it at the Food and Wine Best News Chefs party. It is very interesting that they were talking about the March 6th fundraiser dinner. One they would have probably never discussed without the Chicago Tribune article. The hypocrisy comment, the fat comment and the complete omission of the fact that Tetsuya and Heston cooked and served the foie gras dishes makes me wonder if the NYPost page 6 are egullet members.

Gossip is more infectious than information.

Well, it doesn't look like this is going away anytime soon.  From the NY Post's Page Six
Word was buzzing at the Food & Wine Best New Chefs party Tuesday night at Skylight Studio about a dinner Trotter hosted with Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda and England's Heston Blumenthal just two weeks ago. Trotter served three courses featuring foie gras.

Attending the $450 prix fixe event were "friends of the house including honchos from Dom Perignon, Fiji water and Geoffrey Zakarian, the chef at Town."

One Food & Wine attendee said, "What a hypocrite! He talks the talk but can't walk the walk. What — he can't serve foie gras to the masses, but will to his snooty friends?"

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Perhaps it might be helpful to sum up the pertinent elements as we understand them:

What did Trotter say?  To my mind, there are several important things:

"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."

Trotter said he stopped including foie gras on his menus about three years ago but only is talking about the decision now.

This is a big public statement in the Chicago Tribune, one of the leading newspapers in the country.

Ahh..this one bothers me. Did Trotter really stop serving foie gras around March 2002? I dug around a bit and I dont see any significant detail in the animal activists against foie gras timeline during that time. Maybe, I am guessing, a couple of weeks/months before July 2003, he stopped serving foie gras.

Edited by FaustianBargain (log)
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I think there are a couple of threads here. The foie gras debate and the chef debate. I am inclined to agree with Ronnie S. that the most alarming thing was Charlie's lashing out and calling everybody an idiot and other names.

I could care less about his position on foie gras; but I just got this impression of mean-spiritedness. It made me uncomfortable.

As to the article being written by the entertainment editor, why not. He probably has as good of journalistic credentials and anyone else. And it's not like he was reviewing food or anything. Besides, if we have to wait around for Phil V. to criticize ANYONE in Chicago it's going to be too long of a wait.

"the only thing we knew for sure about henry porter was that his name wasn't henry porter" : bob

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