D.C. Foie Fest, which begins today and runs until Jan. 20, encourages restaurants to create their best dish centered around foie gras, a delicacy made of fattened duck or goose liver.
Diners can vote for their favorite dish online and the restaurant with the most votes will win the Golden Duck trophy and bragging rights for a year.
Dishes this year include a chicory chai-rubbed foie gras with smoked pear french toast and poached persimmons at Boundary Road, foie gras poutine at The Big Board and sauteed pecan smoked foie gras with pickled rhubarb at DC Harvest. A list of all 14 participating restaurants is available on the festival’s website.
The festival has generated some criticism, however, from animal activists who say that the force-feeding process that fattens the ducks’ livers is cruel and inhumane. PETA is planning to protest the festival with a demonstration at 6 this afternoon.
According to a Facebook page set up for the demonstration, protesters will meet at Boundary Road before marching to other H Street NE restaurants participating in the festival. More than a dozen people have already indicated that they will attend the protest, with many more participating in an email campaign asking the restaurants to withdraw from the festival.
Luke Feltz, the chef at Boundary Road who organizes the festival, wrote on its website that opposition to foie gras is based on misconceptions about foie gras and that all participating restaurants are using “the highest quality foie gras from Hudson Valley Foie Farms in upstate New York.” The festival website also says that the restaurants hope to use the festival as a chance to educate the public on foie gras production.
Photo via boundaryrd.com/foiethewin