A RESTAURANT has bowed to pressure from animal rights campaigners and removed foie gras from its menu.
Brown’s Wine Bar in Quay Street, Worcester, caused a stir with members of the Worcestershire Vegans and Veggies group when it started advertising Christmas menus offering the controversial dish – described by critics as “torture in a tin”.
The group lobbied the riverside venue with letters and e-mails, as well as calling in the support of global animal rights campaigner PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which contacted the restaurant directly asking it to consider removing the dish.
Foie gras is made from the liver of a goose or duck that has been specially fattened. It is controversial because of the force-feeding methods commonly used in its production.
Leading stores, including Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, refuse to stock it while celebrities including Kate Winslet, Ricky Gervais and Sir Roger Moore have backed PETA’s campaign against foie gras – the latter calling it “torture in a tin”.
Nic Walsh Gibbons, head chef at Brown’s, said he had no hesitation in pulling foie gras from the Christmas menu as soon as local people expressed their concerns.
He has pledged that it will not appear on any Browns menu again as long as he is in charge.
“We work with the local community, these people live here and they are our customer base,” he said.
“Once I became aware of concerns I had a chat with the manager and we both decided that it was the right thing to do and we took it off the menu straight away.
“It will not appear again in any menu that I produce while I am head chef at Brown’s.”
Yvonne Taylor, senior programmes manager at PETA, praised Brown’s for its quick, decisive action and for setting a “compassionate example” to other restaurants.
“Brown’s’ decision to stop selling foie gras respects the wishes of the vast majority of the public, who want to see an end to the violent practice of force-feeding geese and ducks,” she said.
“PETA hopes any remaining pubs and restaurants in the area still profiting from the abuse of birds will follow Brown’s’ example.”