The Foie Gras T-Shirt
Stop Tofu Abuse – Eat Foie Gras
The infamous foie T was born of the attempts animal rights thugs to censure local chefs by bullying chefs, destroying property and intimidating their families. In a heated discussion over a nice bottle of Barrolo, two chefs and I decided to we would like to take a stand. After discarding one ill considered call for a bumper sticker, we collaborated with a group of chefs and Food and Beverage Pros for moral support and our favorite T Shirt maker, Roger of Creative Origins, to create the must have fashion accessory of the season. We printed twenty for a few friends, but as we delivered those to San Francisco’s top kitchens, cooks came streaming out demanding their on. The next day the phone would not stop ringing.
We realized that we had had a tiger by the tail, so we printed up another batch of several hundred and arranged to donate the profits to Slow Food, as foie is one of the traditional foods the movement advocates. Slow Food first consented, then however, called to insist that the Slow Food Logo be removed from the several hundred T’s piled high on the Chefs’ Professional floor. (Quote: Umhhh..my neighbor is a vegan, and tofo is like her mantra.) (Reply: Great. You come down here with a can of turpentine and an eraser and have at it.)
After months packing the shirts in envelopes and walking them to the Post office every day, we got out of the fashion business. Slow Food San Francisco had enough seed money to launch Lorenzo Scarpone’s fabulous Golden Glass fundraising event, and we needed to focus on our clients and chefs. We ceded all rights to Roger.
The shirt is now sold by and the sole property of the highly evolved crew of Creative Origins, one of the nicest companies ever to silk screen jersey. They will add your logo to it for a small price. We never made or intended to make a cent. We just don’t like bullies and people who are not our mothers telling us what we can and cannot eat, buy or cook.
The history after the history
Proving what we already know about politicians, California passed a ban on Foie which was caught up by pandering pols in other locations. The arguments are old and can be googled, but the end is that Chicago unanimously repealed the ban, which proves what we in California have long suspected: The Mid West got an unfair advantage on common sense.
We are often asked, "What do you have against tofu." The answer is actually nothing, except that it is disturbingly healthy and usually doesn’t taste like much. In fact, we argue against the abuse of soy and tofu. Moreover, we argue for the right of anyone including vegans and vegetarians, who are in our experience exquisitely lovely people, to eat whatever they like.
We get less hate mail these days, and frankly we miss it. We generally share it with local chefs, all of whom have a good laugh before returning to their job of making your life more pleasant. We send the really nasty ones to Dan Scherotter, who passes the threats along to the FBI. (Dan’s hate mail should be sent directly to chefdan @ paliodasti.com.) Better yet, stop by Palio D’Asti, have some delicious pasta and tell him directly. Dan loves a good argument, and he makes a mean baby veal chop.
Back to the T-Shirt and Roger of Creative Origins who is a highly evolved gentleman and a scholar as well as a great help if you ever need a T-shirt:
Roger now sells the T-Shirt. We ceded all rights with a sigh of relief. We buy a few now and then as gifts, some of which we take back to New York for the great gatherings of the Chef Tribes, but Roger is your man for T-s. Here is the secret: One shirt costs $18 each. Twenty do not. If your entire staff wants to go duck elegant, then consider a bulk order. Even better, think up a better shirt and let us know.