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I recently made a big score in fattened duck liver in an attempt to demonstrate how easy it is to flout Joe Moore's foie gras ban. I wanted to credit my purveyor for his flagrant disregard for the law, but he wanted to remain anonymous, not because he was worried about the city cracking down but because he learned a lesson when Didier Durand's place was trashed in October.
"If it continues to become a debatable item in the press I think that the anticruelty people feel they've won some kind of battle," said my man. "If it's being shoved in their faces like, 'Eh, you might have won the battle but you didn't win the war,' type of thing, then they're gonna look for targets. Last thing I need to do in this weather is come in and find out I don't have a front window."
Still, all it took was one phone call and the livers were mine. No questions asked. Reader contributors Rob Lopata and Kristina Meyer helped with the preparations pictured here. (Click on the thumbnails for descriptions.)
Meanwhile, in a hint at how our international humiliation may reap benefits, last week in the New York Times, Montreal chef Martin Picard of Au Pied de Cochon threatened to come to town to promote his new cookbook, L'Album. Registration is required but here's what he said:
"Maybe I come down and make some cooking . . . . What’s the city where they make illegal foie gras?” Chicago, he was told. “OK, so maybe we take some foie gras, and we go there.”
Chef, you need a place to crash? Ride from the airport? Bodyguards? Give me a call.