Chefs are up in arms about the ban on foie gras in California as it is one of the most delectable ingredients to many foodies.  The feel of the velvety liver accompanied with the perfect selection of accoutrements is a sure bet for a culinary delight. 

Foie gras is high in fat, soft in texture, and has a creamy finish on the palate.  That is why foie gras is important to chefs and foodies alike. 

The process of producing foie gras originated in France, which still produces over 80% of the world’s foie gras. France is not pleased with the ban in California, as many chefs in the state offered this specialty on their menus.

Why is foie gras banned?  It is the feeding process of the birds which has created this ban.   It is perceived to be inhumane to the birds as they are force fed several times during the day and it is graphic to watch. 

The feeding process creates a deceased liver which grows to 10 times the normal size of a healthy liver. It is said that the geese and ducks do not have a gag reflex so it is not bad for them. 

There are two sides to every argument.  

It is also said that there is no other way to make foie gras.

Chefs are innovative and have been able to create culinary masterpieces even under the most challenging situations.  Some chefs in California are replacing their signature foie gras creations with other items like truffles, lobster, caviar and escargot. 

Much like these chefs I believe in making something good out of change.  Let the fight continue about the ban but let’s do something positive with this situation right now. 

Why should we do without the flavor and experience of foie gras until either the ban is lifted or you get on a plane to eat the delectable treat in somewhere-elseville?  One way you are not satisfied and the other, well that is some pretty expensive foie gras.

I have worked hard to create a recipe using naturally-harvested duck livers that looks, feels, and tastes like foie gras combined with other exquisite ingredients like cognac and black truffle.  

The creation is called faux gras and it is delicious!!   We are offering this item for dinner during the summer menu only unless our guests share they would like us to continue offering the faux gras.  

The seared faux gras on brioche with nectarine and cherry chutney, port wine syrup and sunflower sprouts is definitely extremely close to the original and is the worth the trip to Morgan’s Restaurant in the Sheraton Hotel. 

If you would like to stay connected to me, request to be my friend on Facebook: Chef Russell Michel.   View our website at then click on the link to book a reservation.  Welcome to the state of Faux Gras.