Death threats from callers claiming to be vegan activists have forced a chef to drop foie gras from his Valentine’s Day menu.
According to the Guardian, Mark Dixon, the award-winning head chef at the Kings Arms at Fleggburgh, near Great Yarmouth, has received hundreds of threatening phone calls.
The angry callers gave direct threats to staff members who answered the phones and warned that diners arriving for the £50-a-head special menu would be faced with pickets and demonstrations. The pub’s social media were also targeted and flooded with fake reservations.
Dixon posted on Facebook saying:
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.
The trouble started after the chef – who has served foie gras in his restaurant before without any complaints – posted his Valentine’s Day menu on Facebook.
Foie gras is traditionally made by force-feeding geese until their liver becomes enlarged and it is often highlighted by animal cruelty campaigners.
Protests against the menu were posted by both long-term customers of the Kings Arms who said they loved his food but could not eat foie gras, and by people as far away as New Zealand.
A Norfolk Police spokesperson said:
We received a report concerning threats made by numerous people, and the caller was spoken to and advised the matter would not be investigated further as no direct threats have been made.
However, some vegans did share their sympathies with the restaurant:
Dixon says he will be serving chicken liver and Cognac parfait on toasted brioche instead.