PETA launches search for top chef to create faux foie gras
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, 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 more than P475,000 ($10,000) prize and much publicity will go to the winning chef in PETA's international Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge.
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 P47,595 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, French for "fatty liver," is made from the enlarged livers of male ducks and geese. Birds used for foie gras are kept in tiny wire cages or packed into sheds. Two or three times every day, up to two kilograms of grain and fat are pumped into the birds' stomachs through pipes that are shoved down their throats.
This force-feeding causes the birds' livers to become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Many birds become too sick to stand. The pipes sometimes puncture birds' throats, and the massive amount of food sometimes ruptures their stomachs and other internal organs.
Female hatchlings, who are useless to foie gras farmers, are often drowned in scalding water, suffocated in plastic bags, or shredded alive in macerators.
Foie gras production is so cruel that it has been banned in 16 nations, including the UK and Israel as well as in the US state of California.
PETA is hoping that the competition will show restaurants that currently serve foie gras—like Manila’s Nuvo, Kai, Sala and Aubergine—that there is no need to support cruelty to ducks and geese when delicious faux alternatives exist.
"The goal of our 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 Rochelle Regodon. "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.