Exactly three months before foie gras will be banned in California, foodies had the chance to experience the delicacy in five different dishes in the Foie Battle Kickoff Dinner in downtown San Jose. The sold out event took place on April 1, 2012 and was presented by Tracy Lee of Dishcrawl and Mezcal restaurant.
The location of the event was not publically disclosed, and only those who had purchased tickets were informed of the restaurant twenty four hours prior to the event.
The meal was prepared by Mezcal Chef Octavio Gomez, who created the menu with his mother, who has been cooking Oaxacan food all her life, and the dishes had some Oaxacan influences. Adolfo Gomez ran the front of the house, briefly introduced the restaurant and the dishes, and made sure guests were very well taken care of.
Diners at the intimate dinner were a diverse bunch. Numerous were self-proclaimed foie gras lovers who order it every time they see it on a menu. Others did not remember the last time they had foie gras or if they ever had it, but they wanted to experience it before its disappearance from menus in July.
While diners did not know which restaurant and chef would prepare their dishes when they signed up for the dinner, they did know the menu that was being served as it was listed on the Dishcrawl website. The meal started with a terrine de foie gras served on a sourdough tostada with cranberry jam. Next was seared foie gras with apple slices, mango chutney, and agave nectarsauce.
The next dish was a foie salad with garden greens, roasted pears, and grilled foie gras. The main course was grilled sole with seared foie gras, boc choy and mole sauce. The dessert featured sweet foie gras in the form of a sweet petit four filled with foie gras butter cream, brie cheese, and Oaxacan chocolate.
The foie gras dinners organized by Dishcrawl will continue throughout the month, and each week a different chef from a different restaurant will create a menu centered around foie gras.
One fun aspect of the foie gras dinners is that dishcrawlers get to rate each dish after the dinner, and at the end of the month the best foie gras dish will be announced by Dishcrawl.
The next foie gras dinner in the South Bay will take place on April 12, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in downtown San Jose. Tickets are $90 per person. Visit the Dishcrawl website for more information and to buy tickets.
[Note: An earlier version of this post was published on Examiner.com.]