Russell Jackson

Perhaps you’ve heard of the impending ban on foie gras in California? What, didn’t know this was going on? In 2004, Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that bans force-feeding birds, a practice associated with making foie gras, or fatted duck liver. While the bill gave chefs and producers until July 2012 to come up with more sustainable methods, it seems that not much progress has been made.  Many San Francisco chefs vehemently opposing the legislation as foie gras is a staple in many of the city’s fine dining establishments. One such chef is Russell Jackson at Lafitte, who will be hosting a five course foie gras dinner event this Sunday, October 16th, colorfully titled FU Foie Gras.

Chef Jackson is not happy about the ban. “I find it a bit distasteful and disingenuous to pick on an industry that is built on such immense tradition,” he says in an email interview.  “With this [ban], it’s going to have an impact on the restaurants and on our state. I don’t think it’s right.”

While you can often find foie gras dishes on the created-daily menu at Lafitte, Jackson is also quite the duck liver fan. He describes the taste as “heavenly” and recalls his fortieth birthday celebration, which was a restaurant hop with twenty friends where he “inhaled about five pounds of foie gras.” Jackson says any foie gras dish he’s ever had has been amazing and that each one is a “whole new surreal experience. I go full-blown Julia Childs—‘one for you, two for me.’”

The FU Foie Gras event features the delicate meat in five distinct dishes. Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Mini 19th century Foie de Canard a la mode Toulouse (Foie stewed in baked with lemon and mushrooms)
  • Escalope de Foie Gras Marechale (cured Foie Gras in Aspic)
  • Foie Gras a la Marseillaise (Foie Gras Canneloni)
  • Poissons en Champange Bouillon de Foie Gras
  • Bifteck de New York avec Foie Gras et purée de Figue

Tickets are available for $89 or $150 per person.

FU Foie Gras Dinner

Sunday, October 16th, 6:30pm


Pier 5, Embarcadero

Photo provided by Sophia Clarke