Is it a good year for foie gras?
That depends on your point of view.
Martin was invited to cook at the opening gala of Winterlude, Canada’s celebration of winter that takes place each year since 1979 in Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec. He bowed out of the Feb. 4 dinner at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau in response to demands that he not serve foie gras after animal rights activist protested.
“(Picard) informed us, after we discussed with him the idea of not putting foie gras on the menu, that his preference was to bow out of the event,” NCC spokeswoman Lucie Caron told the Canadian press.
Both diners and restaurants support Martin’s bold move. The Globe and Mail reports:
Several Ottawa restaurants have decided to add foie gras to their festival menus in support of Mr. Picard, and online postings are comparing the NCC’s move to Europe’s import ban on seal products in the face of protests. By Tuesday afternoon, a day after the NCC announced Mr. Picard’s departure, 20 per cent of diners who had purchased $125 tickets to the event had asked for refunds.
More diners have to stick up for chefs, who face pressure from PETA protesters and Hollywood stars who are campaigning against foie gras, if they want to preserve their right to eat what they want (within legal limits).
Martin’s menu starts with foie gras and has a whole section devoted to the menu:
Cured Foie Gras Tart
Foie Gras ‘Tout Nu’
Foie Gras Poutine
Apple Foie Gras
Cured Foie Gras & Boudin Tart
Foie Gras Hamburger
Foie Gras Duo
Luckily, these dishes are still on the menu at Au Pied de Cochon.