Heston Blumenthal, the chef of the Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, England recently dropped his longtime foie gras supplier, Maison Mitteault. The Independent writes that Blumenthal was shown a video depicting a foie gras farmers' methods for fattening ducks, and it made him rethink his use of the French supplier.
The video — which is graphic and may be disturbing to viewers — shows ducks with injured throats and feet, covered in vomit. It was apparently leaked to the press by the animal charity known as Viva! Blumenthal's reaction is a clear win for the activist group.
The owner of the farm expressed dismay over the "shocking" images, and could not confirm that the video was in fact from his farm. Though Blumenthal's camp has not said whether the restaurant would cease serving the fatty duck liver altogether, Maison Mitteault is attempting to save its reputation by defending its processes, "The video does not in any way represent the farm or the standards of farming that were shown to our chefs."
Blumenthal's reaction is similar to that of Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay's: Late last year, when Ramsay was informed of the conditions at foie gras supplier Ernest Soulard he stopped using their products.
Meanwhile, Blumenthal is keeping busy. He's about to launch a five-month pop-up of his famed restaurant in Melbourne while the original Fat Duck undergoes renovations. There's no word on whether or not the menu for the pop-up will feature foie gras.