When is a Duck Liver Not a Duck Liver?
By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 7, 2006 2:30PM
Chalk up Michael Tsonton and Copper Blue as the second restaurant accused of serving banned foie gras. Unlike Block 44, however, Tsonton may also be guilty of trying to parse the English language as a way around the ban. As vocal as Tsonton has been opposing the ban, it's surprising that one of his restaurants wasn't the first cited for violating it.
According to this story in today's Sun-Times, two Copper Blue patrons apparently spell "America" with a "k", and reported Tsonton's inclusion of "duck liver" terrine (served with strawberry jam, celery-root orange blossom puree, and grilled country bread) to the city.
Here's where the story takes on a life of its own. When the Sun-Times contacted Tsonton for comment, he responded with snark that was almost worthy of Chicagoist:
"I'm not selling foie gras. It's illegal. You can't sell it. I have duck liver terrine on my menu. But it's not foie gras. It says on my menu that 'It isn't foie gras any Moore' (a reference to 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore, who spearheaded the ordinance). Somebody must be mistaken. Maybe some people aren't real smart. I buy organic duck liver from a farmer in Indiana. We make our terrine out of those. The ducks are so well-fed and taken care of, they're quite delicious. The way we cook it, it has a similar consistency. But it's not foie gras."
Yeah! Organic duck liver, you... STUPID!!!. Nyah, ni-nyah, ni-nyah, nyahhh! Thpbbbpppttt!!
Tsonton is also the president of an ad hoc group called "Chicago Chefs for Choice", which has nothing to do with Roe v. Wade. Tsonton should be commended for his efforts in getting around the ban. However, if you're gonna change your menus to reflect that you're serving "duck liver" terrine, chef, you also need to change your website menu, where it's still listed as "foie gras" terrine. It's probably where you got tripped up and busted.