Liam Mayclem & Chef Roland Passot (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)
FOIE GRAS (duck or goose liver) is back on menus across California after a judge lifted the two year ban (2012).
Among the first restaurants to make foie gras a menu choice again was San Francisco’s La Folie by French chef/owner Roland Passot. He also owns Left Bank in Larkspur, Menlo Park and San Jose, and LB Steak in Menlo Park and San Jose, CA.
Chef Roland Passot began his culinary career at the tender age of fifteen in France’s gastronomic capital of Lyon. Traditionally trained by some of the most famous chefs in France. Passot opened La Folie with his wife Jamie in March of 1988. Through his rigorous French training and several positions in the Midwest, Southwest and in San Francisco, Passot had developed his personal style of cooking, in which he showcases at La Folie. In April 2009 La Folie celebrated 21 years with the opening of La Folie Lounge, located next door to the restaurant.
In February 2014, Chef Passot had the honor of hosting French President Francois Hollande for lunch at a highly publicized meeting with the Silicon Valley C.E.O’s.
La Folie has been awarded James Beard Best Chef, California, 2005, 2006 and 2007 and “Top Ten Restaurants in the SF Bay Area” Zagat Guide.
One of the first restaurants in the SF Bay Area to receive a coveted Michelin Star. He also won the 2012 KCBS Foodie Chap Award For BEST COTTAGE PIE… I was his sous chef for that memorable contest. The 1st prize trophy is proudly displayed at La Folie bar.
But back to foie gras – “Growing up in France it was part of my culture and we would enjoy it as a treat around CHRISTMAS or special occasions.” Chef Roland told me.
In our discussion Chef talked about his menu options for non-foie gras eating patrons as well “we have a wide and varied vegetarian menu that we are proud of”. Chef Roland has a twinkle in his eye as he talks with pride about his menu offerings for customers be they vegetarians or meat eaters: “We are here to serve. It’s what we do” he said.
Chef has kindly shared his foie gras soup recipe and for those who choose to indulge. It is now being served at La Folie. Whether you are for or against the production and eating of foie gras please at least listen to Chef Roland’s perspective. It will, I hope, inspire further investigation and discussion.
Meantime please look out for Chef Roland and an army of stellar French Chefs at the “Wine & Wishes” Gala for Make A Wish Foundation. It’s on Saturday Feb 7th on Treasure Island. Details below.
Enjoy the candid chat with a great Chef and a dear friend.
KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
Foie Gras Soup
Yields 6 servings
½ pound of foie gras
2 cups of chicken/beef stock or consommé
¼ – ½ cup sauterne or white lillet
1. Dice the foie gras into 1 inch cubes and set aside
2. Bring the stock to a boil and turn off flame.
3. Add the foie gras to the stock and let it poach until soft and tender. Approximately 5-6 minutes
4. Add ¼- ½ cup of sauterne or white lillet
5. Season with pepper and salt (fleur de sel preferred) to taste
6. Place mixture in a blender and pulse to start, slowly blending until smooth
7. Strain with a fine chinoise
8. Serve directly into a cappuccino cup
Optional: Serve with slice of seared foie gras