|The Porch Going Foie-Gras Free! Take Action on Spoon & BRGR!|
Great news!! Another local restaurant will soon be joining the list of
Pittsburgh area restaurants that are foie gras-free!
After VFA was alerted by several members that the new Eat’n Park-owned Oakland restaurant on Schenley Plaza, The Porch at Schenley, was selling foie gras on its dinner menu, VFA sent an emailed letter to The Porch’s Executive Chef, Kevin Hermann, informing him of the incredible cruelty behind foie gras production and asking him to remove foie gras from The Porch’s menu. After VFA's recent experiences encountering repeated initial resistance and hostility from management of restaurants selling foie gras (see the alert about Spoon below), we were quite happily surprised to receive Mr. Hermann’s prompt and supportive response to our concerns:
"We are changing our menu in a few weeks and will be removing foie gras.
We will not be serving it in the future past this current menu.
I appreciate the information and wish you and your group all the success in your endeavors.
(Kevin Hermann, Executive Chef, The Porch at Schenley.)
VFA has sent Mr. Hermann a return thank-you letter for making this compassionate decision. We also noticed that The Porch doesn’t have much (if any!) vegan options on its current menu, so included in our grateful response over the decision to remove foie gras from the menu, we encouraged Mr. Hermann to add some vegan meal options to future menus, pointing out the demand for vegan options in our community, (especially given the restaurant is located on Pitt’s campus where there is a higher population of vegans!) We also offered to meet with Mr. Hermann to discuss possible vegan dining options in person.
Please write thank-you letters to The Porch for deciding to act with their conscience first by choosing to permanently remove foie gras from their future menu. You might also want to add how much you would like to have some vegan dining options included on the new menu:
Attn: Kevin Hermann, Executive Chef
The Porch at Schenley
221 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
ALERT: Spoon and BRGR Selling Foie Gras- Please Email and Call!
And now for the bad news on the Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh campaign front: We’ve alerted to you in the past that foie gras is being sold as a burger topping at the two co-owned restaurants in East Liberty, Spoon and BRGR. After contacting the management of these restaurants several times, VFA representatives met with their Executive Chef, Brian Pekarcik, at BRGR. After trying to dodge the issue of foie gras by bringing up several unrelated matters regarding ethics of food production, Mr. Pekarcik told us that he was going to take foie gras off of Spoon’s menu and that, "if given time to make the decision on his own," he would eventually remove it from BRGR’s menu as well. Although VFA volunteers were hesitant about such a wavering, non-committal decision, we agreed with Mr. Pekarcik for 6 weeks to arrange to phase out and permanently remove foie gras from the menus of both restaurants. During that time we noticed that foie gras was removed from Spoon’s online menu, but it remained on BRGR’s.
Two months passed - more than enough time, before we contacted him again and asked if he had been successful in removing foie gras from BRGR’s menu. Mr. Pekarcik acted oblivious to our agreed upon time frame, and began once again hemming and hawing to avoid the issue. When it became apparent to us that Mr. Pekarcik had no real intention to remove foie gras from BRGR’s menu, we told him so, and that is when Mr. Pekarcik took on a tone that can only honestly be described as hostile and threatening. Since that time, BRGR has opened a new restaurant in Cranberry that also sells foie gras, and Spoon has foie gras back on their menu as well, even though Mr. Pekarcik told us that foie gras was being removed from Spoon’s menu. This means that Mr. Pekarcik never had any honest intention to remove foie gras from his restaurants, and furthermore, he openly lied to us. Now we must take action!
Please email and call Spoon and BRGR and demand that they remove foie gras from the menus of all 3 restaurants and that they make a permanent commitment to go foie gras-free:
412-362-BEEF(2333) (BRGR- East Liberty)
724-742-BEEF(2333) (BRGR- Cranberry)
Thank you for your hard work to keep Pittsburgh foie gras-free!