Thursday, August 31, 2006

First Chef Warned for Violating Foie Gras Ban

In a situation that seems more surreal all the time, Rick Spiros of Block 44 in Lincoln Park has been the first chef "busted" for violating Chicago's foie gras ban. The ban went into effect last week.

Did he do it defiantly? No. From the Sun Times:

Rick Spiros, the chef at Block 44, acknowledged that he served "about eight orders" of foie gras on Friday night even though he knew the liver delicacy is illegal in Chicago. It wasn't an act of defiance, so much as a desperate effort to avoid wasting expensive food, he said.

"I had a couple pieces left over, and I just got rid of it. I just did it. I'm a bad chef, I guess. People loved it. People bought it. One person complained? I'll take the slap on the wrist. I'm not in fourth grade. I had the decision to make, and I served it. Whatever the repercussions are, I'll deal with it," Spiros said.

I realize it's the law, but to me, the strangest part of this was that -- smacking of days of informers and furtive enforcement -- police were tipped off by an anonymous caller. (Can you imagine? "911, what's your emergency" "I just thought you guys should know, there's a guy selling foie gras! I just ate some! Quick arrest him!") (Maybe it was another chef!)

Actually, reports say the caller tipped off authorities using the city's 311 complaint line and officials issued a warning to Chef Spiros. Next offense is a $250 fine.

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