As a representative of San Francisco restaurants, Black is proud of how local chefs have embraced Bay Area sensibilities by serving local food and using many parts of animals. "Farm to table and nose to tail," he tells me. "That's kind of where our chefs are." Black supports having a third party monitor foie gras farms to make sure that "the animal is treated with dignity while alive and has a painless death."
P.S.: "I don't think we should have a ban, period. Prohibition's never worked in this country." Didn't work with alcohol; hasn't worked with other drugs; won't work for foie gras.
First they came for fast food. Then they came for slow food. Sooner or later, the nanny state has a place at every table.
It is interesting to note that there were no tony last suppers at the golden arches before San Francisco banned Happy Meals and no last-gulp soirees before Ess Eff banned the sale of bottled water in City Hall. There's a class element to this foie gras debate.
"It's all about animal cruelty," says Burton. "It's not about fancy chefs and fancy people eating things that probably aren't good for them anyway." He also mentions "rich, fancy chefs." (Burton barks the word "fancy" almost as much as his favorite F-word, an expletive that need not be repeated.)
That's the class envy side. Who cares if the ban bites into the revenue of good California businesses? They're fancy-pants.
On the other side stand the foodie elites. Where were the fancy feasters when San Francisco banned the sale of toys in Happy Meals to fight obesity? Could it be that they didn't mind the government's telling poor fat people what they can't eat -- because they never dreamed the diet police would go after a treat that can sell for more than $10 per ounce?