Jason Cichonski, chef and owner of Ela, is celebrating foie gras throughout the month of June with Foie Friday, his response to Meatless Monday. Cichonski told Eater he's also giving a nod to the chefs in California who will soon lose their right to use the decadent ingredient, when the foie gras ban goes into effect next month.
"I think that America has never done well with the idea of taking away rights or prohibiting things in our past, as a country," said Cichonski. "I think that we always have a choice to not eat foie, or not serve foie in our restaurants. But, I don't think it should be a government issue, or should require this kind of action."
Cichonski added that many of the specialty meat purveyors out west will suffer a big hit financially, and people will lose their jobs, as foie gras is used in almost every high-end restaurant.
He also drove home the fact that this isn't a stand against the idea of Meatless Monday or the vegetarian movement, but a celebration of being a carnivore. "I've had one of the best meals I've ever eaten at Vedge recently," said Cichonski. He added, laughing, "Just to clarify. I love vegetables."
Cichonski will serve a foie dish at Ela for $10 every Friday in June, and is rallying other local chefs to join in his Foie Friday celebration. So far, Pierre Calmels (Bibou), David Katz (Meme), Peter Woolsey (Bistrot La Minette), Ben Puchowitz (Matyson) and Jeremy Nolen (Brauhaus Schmitz) are participating, with a few more soon to join in.
Cichonski mentioned that if any other chefs want to be a part of Foie Friday, email him, or call Ela at (267) 687-8512.
[Photo: Jason Varney]
· 12 Foie Gras Dishes You Need to Try Before You Die [~EPHI~]
· Foie Gras Fight Coverage [~EN~]
· All Ela Coverage [~EPHI~]