We're coming up on the second anniversary of the tragic departure of foie gras from California menus, and chefs around the state continue to agitate against the ban in manners large and small. Napa restaurant La Toque's chef, Ken Frank, has even been sued for serving it. His means of fighting back: an essay contest, in which 50 lucky winners will receive the prize of a free meal centered around foie and cooked by Frank and a passel of leading local chefs who share his opposition to the ban, including Top Chef Masters champ Douglas Keane (formerly of Cyrus), David Bazirgan (Dirty Habit), Mark Dommen (One Market), Victor Scargle (Lucy), and Patrick Mulvaney (Mulvaney's Building & Loan).
The event, to be held at La Toque on July 5 from 12-2 pm, is called "The State of American Foie Gras," and will feature foie sourced from Duck de Jour, Sonoma Artisan, Hudson Valley Foie Gras and La Belle. Since foie can be legally possessed but can't legally be sold, you'll have to win your seat, by writing an essay on the topic of "Why California's Foie Gras Ban is Foolish," and either posting it to La Toque's Facebook page or e-mailing them. 25 winners will be chosen, with each of them allowed to bring a guest. It's sort of like Willy Wonka's golden ticket, but with less chocolate and more goose liver.