The UK government hopes to show that high-profile chefs can make plant-based “faux gras” options to fill the consequent gap in the market after the upcoming UK import ban becomes law.
The UK government has called on vegan chefs to create plant-based “faux gras” options
The move comes after members of Parliament for the UK came together to call for a ban on trading foie gras in March this year.
Translated to ‘fatty liver’, the controversial delicacy is achieved after ducks and geese are ‘force-fed several times a day until their livers become diseased and swell to around 10 times their natural size’.
While production of the liver-based spread is already illegal in the country on animal cruelty grounds, around 180 to 200 tonnes of foie gras is still shipped in from abroad annually.
Vegan foie gras
The UK government hopes to show that high-profile chefs who are willing to produce alternatives can fill the expected gap in the market once the upcoming UK import ban is passed into law.
Officials have accordingly emailed restaurants known to serve vegan foie gras.
According to one email seen by The Guardian, the government has requested French chef Alexis Gauthier, who runs fine-dining restaurant Gauthier Soho and plant-based restaurant 123V in Bond Street to share his faux gras recipe ( made of mushrooms, lentils, walnuts and cognac), as well as meet policy advisers to see if a gap in the market caused by a ban could be filled by his creation.
“I understand your restaurant serves an alternative to foie gras. We would appreciate the chance to arrange a virtual meeting with the chef or someone else from the team to discuss a few questions in this area,” the email reads.
“These would be questions about your views on foie gras and the challenges and opportunities associated with ‘ethical’ alternatives.”
Foie Gras ban
Gauthier isn’t the only top restaurant to have ditched serving foie gras in his establishments.
A growing number of retailers and restaurants are phasing out the vile dish.
Earlier this year, high-end department store Fortnum & Mason banned the sale of foie gras.
At the same time, foie gras trade bodies are dping their best to stop UK’s foie gras import ban
Eric Dumas, the president of the foie gras trade body, Cifog, said the industry has received high-profile support to combat any future attempts to limit sales.
“We are working through the French ambassador and trade representatives to try to lobby the government so the measure is not introduced,” Dumas told The Connexion.
“Foie gras is being unfairly picked on and we invite [UK Prime Minister] Boris Johnson and his advisers to come and visit us to see for themselves what happens.”
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