Norfolk chef Mark Dixon has taken foie gras off his Valentine's Day weekend menu after claiming to have received death threats and threatening phone calls from vegan activists.
Dixon, who is head chef at the Kings Arms at Fleggburgh near Great Yarmouth (pictured
He also alleged that vegan activists had threatened to picket the restaurant at the weekend, including on Sunday, Valentine's Day, and that he had received over 20 false bookings via the restaurant's website.
Dixon has now confirmed that he has changed the offending item to chicken liver and Cognac parfait on toasted brioche.
A spokesperson for the Norfolk Police confirmed to The Caterer that they were aware of the situation but would not investigate further at this stage as "no direct threats had been made". They said that if protestors did show up over the weekend, they had advised Dixon to call them and they would attend the scene.
Dixon was not answering the phone on Friday (12 February), but writing on the restaurant's Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/thekingsarmsfleggburgh], he said: "We would like to apologise to all of our customers who haven't been able to use our phone lines and social media pages today due to the vegan activists' harassment over foie gras.
"We have listened to every opinion, but when people go as far as ringing our staff constantly, calling them murderers and [making] death threats, we class this as harassment and also inhumane to humans on the vegans' behalf, and completely disgusting and unacceptable. To stop this unfair behaviour on our staff we have decided to remove the foie gras from the menu and apologise to all of our customers who enjoy our parfait dish."
Dixon also wrote that he had served foie gras at his restaurant before, but had begun to receive a backlash against this particular menu after he posted it online in January this year. He added that the foie gras he served had been "done as humanely as possible".
Foie gras is illegal to produce in the UK but it is still made in countries such as France and Belgium, and it is legal to serve in Britain.
This is not the first time restaurants have faced criticism for serving foie gras recently, with London restaurant Gauthier also conceding to pressure to remove the dish from its menu in May 2015, after campaigners staged protests.