UK restaurateurs defend their right to serve foie gras

01 May 2008 by
UK restaurateurs defend their right to serve foie gras

Restaurateurs are hitting back in the foie gras debate, refusing to bow to pressure from animal rights activists who are continuing to target them over the sale of the controversial delicacy.

A recent surge in threats and violent attacks on restaurants serving foie gras has forced a number of them to remove it from their menus altogether.

But while restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Midsummer House in Cambridge have stopped selling foie gras, other operators are now refusing to give in to threats, and have even changed their minds.

Steve Bowen, proprietor of the Waterfront restaurant in Plymouth, received an e-mail from Chris Deacon of the Plymouth Environment Centre, urging him to stop selling foie gras or face "a co-ordinated campaign" against the restaurant.

"I do recommend you take this seriously," the e-mail warned.

But Bowen insisted he would not bow to the pressure and turned the tables on Deacon, revealing that he changed his mind about taking the delicacy off the menu after being angered by the tone of the e-mail, which has been passed on to the police.

"I aim to source most of the produce I serve on my menu locally, within 30 miles of Plymouth, and since foie gras isn't a local product, I decided to take it off the menu," he said. "But I will not be intimidated or threatened. Foie gras will remain on my menu until such time as I see fit to remove it."

Another leading chef, who preferred to remain anonymous because of ongoing threats, told Caterer: "We've had activists outside the restaurant but refuse to take foie gras off the menu. If we stopped serving foie gras we would lose part of our identity."

Read more news on foie gras at

Jaundiced view of liver pâté? >>

Operators fear for future of foie gras >>

Michelin-starred restaurant forced to take foie gras off the menu >>

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

The Caterer Blog]( Catch up with more news and gossip on the Caterer Blog here
[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking