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German Chef Pulls Swan from Menu Due to Local Outrage

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Photo: Gutshaus Kubbelkow
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

A hotel restaurant in Germany has taken swan off the menu to make peace with angry neighbors and environmental protection agencies. According to Bloomberg News, chef Axel Diembeck stopped serving swan at Gutshaus Kubbelkow after a local paper ran a front page story on the community's outrage over the menu choice. On its website, the restaurant writes its mission is to serve "the offerings of the region and season ... fresh product which Vorpommern fishermen, hunters, butchers, cheese, fruit and vegetable growers have to offer." The restaurant is located on an island in the Baltic Sea where it is currently legal to hunt mute swans.

Diembeck, a hunter himself, issued a statement on the restaurant's website in which he explained that he began serving swan meat when he learned that swans were being hunted and then buried, German news source The Local reports. "The senseless killing of an animal and the waste of food goes against my upbringing, my education and my ethics," he wrote. He concluded the statement with the following explanation: "Out of respect for the feelings of swan-meat opponents and in order to put an end to these discussions of the pro and contra arguments for this emotionally loaded product, we will no longer offer swan meat on our menu."

· Butchered Swan Disappears From German Menu After Protests [Bloomberg]
· Ruffled feathers get swan dropped from menu [The Local]
· All Scandals Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Gutshaus Kubbelkow

Dorfstraße 8, 18528 Klein Kubbelkow, Germany