Poll: St Albans foie gras campaigner gets dish taken off hotel’s menu

Foie Gras

Foie Gras - Credit: Debbie White/Archant

One email from a local foie gras opponent was all it took to persuade a hotel to take the controversial French delicacy off its menu.

And now Katherine Rudd, of Chiswell Green, is hoping others in St Albans will follow their lead including popular luxury hotel St Michael’s Manor.

The 53-year-old said she was horrified to see foie gras being served at Shendish Manor in Apsley and sent an email alerting them to how it is made by force-feeding ducks and geese.

This was then passed on to the head chef who decided it should be wiped off the menu at this establishment and their two sister hotels elsewhere in the country.

Katherine, who is a supporter of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ anti-foie gras campaign, described her triumph as a “huge step forward”, adding: “I see absolutely no reason for an animal to suffer the way that an animal has to suffer to put food on a plate. It is not necessary.”

To produce foie gras a duck’s or goose’s liver has to swell to up to 10 times its normal size, a practice that is banned in the UK and more than a dozen other countries.

Katherine refused to attend St Michael’s Manor, on Fishpool Street, on Boxing Day when she discovered they were offering the dish to diners, and has since been in discussions with the hotel to encourage them to remove it.

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She said: “I check menus before I go to places now. I would walk out if it was on the menu. I don’t want to support a restaurant that makes their money through such suffering.”

“Every single restaurant in this country should not have it on their menus. I just don’t see why we import it from Europe.

“I don’t think the average person sitting down for lunch and dinner is aware of the production. They just see it as a delicacy,” she continued.

Richard Marrett, general manager of St Michael’s Manor, said: “Whilst being a topic of discussion around the world and the UK, we have certainly discussed this at great length when creating our menus.

“We are quite governed by the opinions of the majority of our guests and when removing this option from our menu, it is often mentioned by our guests that they are disappointed by this.

“We are always appreciative of our guests’ views and wholeheartedly appreciate their opinions. We will certainly take them into consideration when we next redesign our menus.”