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D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

On February 22, the farm-to-fork movement pioneer D’Artagnan celebrated 35 years in the sustainable food industry. For over three decades, D’Artagnan has delivered high-quality artisanal meat products while using free-range, natural production and sustainable, humane farming practices. Founder Ariane Daguin has been leading her company through these initiatives since its founding in 1985.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Ariane Daguin, Tom Colicchio attend D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Bryan Hunt and Tom Colicchio attend D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan started its celebrations with a night of decadent food in New York City. Some of the world’s most renowned chefs prepared these meals, including Jacques Torres, Tom Colicchio, Pierre Landet, Justin Bogle, and Michelle Palazzo. At this event, the purpose was to honor D’Artagnan’s vision, Daugin’s Gascony heritage, and the brand’s place amongst the culinary elite as well as consumers who are searching for superior products.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

Patrick Nollinger attends D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

The next portion of the celebration was its sixth annual Cassoulet War on February 24. In this event, also based in New York City, 20 renowned chefs battled to cook the best cassoulet. A cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean and meat casserole integral to French cuisine. It is a French tradition to have chefs and villagers compete in a showdown for the top cassoulet. D’Artagnan’s iteration involved chefs from across the United States, allowing them to put their own distinctive American stamp on the classic dish.

6th Annual Cassoulet War

Laetitia Rouabah, Andy Knudson, Dieter Samijn and Ariane Daguin attend D’Artagnan’s 6th Annual Cassoulet War (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

6th Annual Cassoulet War

Erwan Caradec, Jacques Torres and Laurent Tourondel attend D’Artagnan’s 6th Annual Cassoulet War (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC

This year, Laetitia Rouabah was named the People’s Choice Winner, Andy Knudson was the Reimagined Cassoulet Winner, and Dieter Samjin came out on top as the Grand Prize Winner. All proceeds from the evening benefitted Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization that focuses on taking decisive action against the root causes and effects of hunger.

With values consistently leading the actions of D’Artagnan, it’s no surprise the company would choose such a worthy cause. D’Artagnan has been credited with leading the charge on sustainability within the meat and poultry industry. While many people may associate the word sustainability with industries such as the plumbing industry — which made over $107 billion in revenue in 2018 — because of their direct effect on the world’s natural resources, it has been a recent focus in D’Artagnan’s field. Modern consumers are no longer only concerned about what they eat, but where and how their food made it to their table.

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

D’Artagnan Celebrates 35 Years In The Midst Of NYC’s War On Foie Gras

D’Artagnan’s 35th Anniversary. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC)

This concern is evident in New York City’s recent push to ban foie gras, a dish that many people view as cruelly-made. On October 30, 2019, the City Council voted to ban the dish beginning in 2022, joining California, Australia, India, and many other places that prohibit the dish for animal rights reasons.

The ethical issue comes in with the production of foie gras, which requires force-feeding birds to enlarge their livers. The livers often become up to 10 times their normal size and the process often involves inserting a tube down a duck’s throat to force-feed them large amounts of grain, according to animal rights activities.

Foie gras farmers are challenging the ban. According to the Catskill Foie Gras Collective, which includes the producers of foie gras in NYC, the small tube used to feed the ducks does not cause discomfort. The collective also points to the fact that their ducks are cage-free and that they use a rubber tube rather than a traditional metal one to further ease the process.

In the midst of this battle is D’Artagnan. At the end of 2019, Daguin said her company would be amongst the others in the industry fighting the ban. As Daguin has always been a champion of sustainable meat and poultry practices, she feels certain that the process of fattening a duck’s liver is not cruel, when done in the correct way.

“The farms feed the animals like they would naturally feed themselves in the wild prior to migration to store calories up in their liver…the actual feeding process itself is not painful nor stressful to the animal. In fact, the worst thing for a meat purveyor to do is cause stress for animals, because it impacts the quality of the meat,” she said.

While the foie gras battle rages on, Daguin and the D’Artagnan team look towards the future. She estimates that the company will reach $250 million in sales within the next five years and expects to drive this growth through ongoing innovations. One such innovation is the Green Circle Chicken, which is a unique vegetable-fed bird that eats excess veggies that come from restaurant kitchens and markets. With progress like this, D’Artagnan is situated to continue making waves in the meat and poultry industry for decades to come.

Hard Rock Cafe Welcomes The 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger

Every day we, as humans, strive to be successful; to enjoy and celebrate the benefits of hard work. Unfortunately, sometimes the uneven levels of wealth prevent us from enjoying some of the indulgences we strive for……but only sometimes! Take for example the truly gluttonous practice the wealthy has of devouring edible gold. To the average person, that experience is an impossible desire. But not everything is impossible. Thanks to the Hard Rock Cafe’s new 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger, one of more than 20 new items joining their menu this summer, that impossible indulgence is a reality.

While all the items on the menu would leave any foodie very sated, the 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger is the star of this show. While you can purchase edible gold online, you’ll want to experience this deluxe burger for yourself. This first-of-its-kind burger will have you “living your life like it’s golden”. Here’s what to expect from its affordable decadence – a ½-lb. fresh Steak Burger topped with 24-Karat edible gold leaf with Tillamook cheddar cheese, leaf lettuce, vine-ripened tomato, and red onion.

Aside from this blingy burger, the Hard Rock Cafe’s extensive menu innovations include more award-winning steak burgers, Instagram-worthy boozy milkshakes, sliders, and shareable meals. The steak burger highlights include the Original Legendary Burger, boasting applewood bacon, Tillamook cheddar cheese, crispy onion ring, leaf lettuce, and vine-ripened tomato served with Hard Rock’s signature steak sauce on the side; the Big Cheeseburger, with three slices of Tillamook cheddar cheese, melted on a 1⁄2-lb. fresh Steak Burger served with leaf lettuce, vine- ripened tomato and red onion; the Double Decker Double Cheeseburger, a tribute to Hard Rock’s 1971 “Down Home Double Burger” and the iconic double-decker buses London is known for (a nod to Hard Rock’s roots); and the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, a 1⁄2-lb. fresh Steak Burger seasoned and seared with a signature spice blend, topped with house-made barbecue sauce, crispy shoestring onions, Tillamook cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, leaf lettuce, and vine-ripened tomato.

The over-the-top milkshakes, the Boozy Cookies & Cream Milkshake and Boozy Strawberry Cheesecake
Milkshake, deserve their over-the-top labels. The Cookies & Cream milkshake is made with Absolut Vanilla Vodka blended with vanilla bean ice cream, white chocolate, and Oreo cookies finished with fresh white chocolate whipped cream, and a chocolate Oreo Churro. The Strawberry Cheesecake milkshake features Absolut Vanilla Vodka, creamy vanilla bean ice cream blended with the flavors of strawberry cheesecake, finished with white chocolate whipped
cream and frosted animal crackers.

Last but certainly not least, the Hard Rock Cafe’s sliders and shareables join the 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger and the other menu items highlighted above. Available are the One Night in Bangkok Spicy Shrimp, All-American Sliders, Whiskey Bacon Jam Sliders, and Three Cheese and Roma Tomato Flatbread.

All these adventurous menu items became available on the Hard Rock Cafe’s Founders Day, June 14, 2019, with proceeds from the sale of the 24-Karat Gold Leaf Steak Burger benefiting Action Against Hunger.

Of course, great food is not all you can get from the Hard Rock. Why not go home with one of their iconic Hard Rock tees. For those celebrating Pride, the Hard Rock has got you covered (literally) with pride tees just in time to celebrate all love.

Ready to make your reservation to experience the Hard Rock’s new menu items, visit www.hardrockcafe.com.

 

 

 

 

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Battle for Cassoulet Supremacy: D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Some foods fill you with joy, some excite you, then there are the ones that bring you back home. For us, it’s Cassoulet; the hearty, slow-cooked casserole-like meal traditionally made with gamey meats, pork skin, and white haricot beans. Everything about cassoulet is a delight for the senses. It looks, smells and tastes divine, like home. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity to attend the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War. What better way to try as many Cassoulets as our stomachs would allow. There’s a great quote by Chef Andre Daguin that perfectly describes our Cassoulet adventure,

“Cassoulet is not a recipe; it’s an argument between villages.”

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

The culinary event, which anyone who purchases a ticket can attend, boasted 30 notable chefs who battled it out for cassoulet supremacy. So while there is a classic method and recipe to this traditional southern French dish, it can have many interpretations. And that’s what the Cassoulet war is about, honoring those interpretations. While we grew up enjoying a thicker Cassoulet, the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War allowed us to enjoy varieties we never anticipated. We’d love to say we tried all 30 but even with the small portions we were served, we barely made it to 13. If we haven’t mentioned before (and if you’re unfamiliar), cassoulet is very filling.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

If you’re looking to enjoy the fare of esteemed chefs from some of the US’s most renowned restaurants, this event is for you. We enjoyed Cassoulet from the chefs from Bar Boulud, Gramercy Tavern, Untitled at the Whitney, Gaby Brasserie Française, Fond, Ardyn, Villanelle, and much more from around the US. There were two Cassoulet categories in the war. One pitted the chefs take of the traditional recipe and ingredients; the other allowed the chefs to be adventurous with the ingredients and format in the “Revisited” Cassoulet category. For example, instead of the traditional white haricot beans, we saw Black Eyed Peas and Sea Island Peas; andouille sausage, brown sugar baked ham, and bacon replaced a few gamey types of meat; and in one instance, the traditional Cassoulet was reimagined as Beef Wellington.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet WarD'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

During the war, each attendee had to vote for their favorite. As you can imagine, this was quite difficult. We had several favorites but narrowed it down to the following Cassoulets: Phillippe Lievre of Le Rendez-Vous Bistro, Ryan Lory of Ardyn, and Dieter Samijn of Bar Boulud as out top three out of the few we tried. I’m sure if our appetites were bigger, we’d absolutely have more on our list.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Judges for the war included Philippe Bertineau, David Campigotto, Erwan Caradec, Christian Constant, Jean-Louis Dumonet, Elizabeth Falkner, Christophe Fazan, Sara Moulton, Andre Soltner, Jean-Jacques Rachou, Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, and Antoine Westermann. Winners of the Cassoulet War included Chef Andy Knudson of Marc Forgione, winning the best “revisited” category;  Phillippe Lievre of Le Rendez-Vous Bistro, winning the People’s Choice, and Dieter Samijn of Bar Boulud, won the judges’ decision.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

As if the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War couldn’t get more amazing, D’Artagnan showed support in ending world hunger by making a donation to Action Against Hunger, a charity organization that helps to eradicate hunger worldwide.

D'Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War

Although we could barely move, we fully enjoyed attending the D’Artagnan 5th Annual Cassoulet War. We highly recommend you attend next year’s battle.