PETA Launches Search for Top Chef to Create Faux Foie Gras
Challenge to Find Perfect Alternative to Cruel Dish
Foie gras, French for "fatty liver," is made from the enlarged livers of male ducks and geese. Fine-dining patrons around the world have chosen to forgo real foie gras because of the cruelty to animals.
Seoul — Sir Roger Moore has condemned it and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck recently announced that he will no longer serve it in any of his 137 restaurants, but foie gras lives on in gastronomy. So, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a solution: Let top chefs vie to create the best faux foie gras (fatty duck or goose liver) in the world, with a prize and naming rights going to the winner. A 13.5 million Korean Won prize and much publicity will go to the winning chef in PETA's international Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge, announced today. The winner must produce an original, purely vegetarian faux foie gras comparable in taste and texture to the real glob of prized bird fat, and it must beat out all other entries. First and second runners-up will each receive 1 million Korean Won's worth of top-drawer kitchen equipment. The winning chef—who may choose the name of his or her creation—must also agree to offer the dish on a fine-dining menu and allow PETA to distribute the recipe to chefs and media around the world. Only the recipe should be submitted; already-prepared recipes will not be accepted. Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese until they fall ill with hepatic steatosis, which causes the liver to become painfully engorged. Investigations at foie gras farms have documented sick, dead, and dying animals. Some had holes in their necks from feeding-pipe injuries, and most were unable to walk, dragging themselves by their wings—if they moved at all. Most such birds retreat into a state of shock and fear of future feedings. Foie gras production is so cruel that it has been banned in 16 nations, including the U.K. and Israel as well as in the U.S. state of California. PETA is hoping that the competition will show chefs and businesses who currently serve foie gras—such as Seoul's Le Saint-Ex, L'Amitie, July, and Pierre Gagnaire restaurants—that there is no need to support cruelty to ducks and geese when delicious faux alternatives exist. "The goal of the Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge is to give fine diners a compassionate alternative to eating the diseased liver of a tormented bird," says PETA's Min-Hee Choi. "It's a marvelous opportunity for a chef to create a culinary first that is delicious and won't ruffle any feathers."For more information and the complete list of rules for the challenge, please visit PETA.org/FauxFoieGrasChallenge.Contact:Jason Baker +852-6200-7588 (Hong Kong); JasonB@PETAAsiaPacific.com Min-Hee Choi +852-6718-4282 (Hong Kong); MinheeC@PETAAsiaPacific.com