Friday, July 13, 2007

VIVE LA FOIE!

The idea of a nation based on the concept of personal freedom was born in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1776. With a little help from our friends in France - we were much closer back then - that dream became a reality, and the shackles of British Imperialism were cast off forever, or at least until the British Invasion of the 1960's. While France was no help in fighting back that onslaught - we're sorry, but French pop music is decidedly non bon - we continue to share a special bond. On July 14th, 1789 a band of Parisians stormed the city's bastille and began a revolution that would mark the beginning of the end of feudalism and initiate the spread of constitutional democracy across Europe. This year, the battle for freedom comes full circle, back to the streets of Philadelphia.

FoieBlog has been following the debate over Foie Gras in the City of Brotherly Love - most notably the trials and tribulations of The London Grill, one of the restaurants targeted by local animal activists that has refused to relent to their demands. In short there's been a series of protests, insults, epithets, and restraining orders that the Philadelphia Inquirer has done a great job of reporting - so we won't try to recount the saga here. Suffice it to say, Terry Berch and her coworkers have taken up the gauntlet of the city's culinary community and has refused to give up an inch to the crowd at Hugs For Puppies.

Although FoieBlog is perplexed as to why a restaurant called The London Grill would celebrate Bastille Day, Ms. Berch has a tradition of dressing up like Marie Antoinette and recreating the events of that day. Perhaps it's the presence of the nearby Eastern State Penitentiary, perhaps it's something better left to a professional to determine. Since we at FoieBlog are rank amateurs, we will forget about trying to figure out this puzzle and merely tip our hats to the folks at The London Grill and wish them our best in Saturday's endeavors. A judge has limited the number of protesters and told them to keep in relatively quiet - we shall see.

As for us, we hope to be spending the afternoon in New York City's Bryant Park at the Bastille Day P├ętanque Tournament at Bryant Park, hosted by our friends at D'Artagnan. If you don't know what Petanque is, think lawn bowling with berets and striped shirts and you get the idea. Many of the teams competing are made up of staff members from some of New York's finest restaurants like Petrosian and Le Mirabelle, so it should be a lot of fun. Look for a full report after the Bastille has been stormed - and by Bastille, we mean wine cellar.

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