Tag Archives: “toronto cuisine”

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting? La Palette Protest – May 12, 2012

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Conscientious objections to horsemeat

Conscientious objections to horsemeat

Written by: Heather Clemenceau

(All images copyright Heather Clemenceau – use with permission only)

Again we are joined by many supporters from Toronto Pig Save who I’m sure also feel our pain.  Unlike the protest on April 27th,  La Palette co-owner Shamez Amlani only interacted with us long enough to politely ask some protesters to move away from the door.  The glass partition at the front of the restaurant was down tonight as the weather was spring-like. I can’t imagine that the continual honking of support can be pleasant for diners with the glass partition removed,  but again,  most customers tonight are bar patrons and not dinner patrons.  And it’s Queen West, so they’re likely used to honks and  the screeching of tires on asphalt as accompaniment to their Belmont Steaks and Seattle Slew Stew.  Fine dining doesn’t get any better than this!  Bone Appetite!   (pun intended).

Peaceful protest at La Palette

Peaceful protest at La Palette – we are conscientious – we avoid blocking the street and the entrance to the restaurant.

La Police at La Palette

La Police at La Palette

Tonight, we also had a non-confrontational visit from the police.  They either happened by, which would be one hell of a coincidence, or they were called by someone.  They chatted with a few of us for a few minutes and then went inside to talk to Shamez.  In short order (pun intended) they went on their way without any further questions.

Aside from one restaurant patron and a couple of drive-by hecklers, we experience only positive comments.  I spoke at length with a man and his teenage daughter about why many people are opposed to horse slaughter.  We’ve also seen Shamez get frazzled by a lone protester who showed up nightly through the week, where patrons were seated at the front of the restaurant with a good view of the protest signage.

La Palette wasn't expecting a mini-protest through the week......

La Palette wasn’t expecting a mini-protest through the week……

Showing support for the horses

Showing support for the horses

The mini-protest continues

The mini-protest continues

All opposed,  please say "neigh" to horsemeat

All opposed, please say “neigh” to horsemeat

Normally,  we don’t interact with the diners at La Palette when we protest.  The vast majority of disquieting interactions are due to the customers trying to provoke an argument. But on this Saturday,  one pugnacious patron is wearing his pugilistic proclivities on his sleeve, literally.  Notice the T-Shirt.  Well,  I’m hardly offended,  but the FCUK brand has been controversial in the US,  with the Mayors of various cities telling the FCUK people to remove their ads from billboards throughout their cities.  The brand also features female models engaging in physical fights.  So I’m guessing this particular patron is the kind of asshat who likes to go a few furlongs (pun intended) with people to deliberately yank their chains.

It's the customers who always wanna be startin' sumthin'

It’s the customers who always wanna be startin’ sumthin’

In any case,  this guy arrived with a female partner,  and they proceeded directly inside without any conversation with any of the protesters.  After about 2 minutes, he marched outside and ponies (pun intended) up to Bob (poor Bob – why does everyone want to start something with him?)  He turns to Bob and asks him if he’s a vegetarian.  Bob “assumes the position” – sign over head,  perhaps an evolutionary strategy to appear bigger to the person on the offense?  Why do people assume that we must be rawfoodists living entirely off-the-grid in order to be able to ethically protest against horsemeat?  Granted,  most of the protesters are at least vegetarian,  if not vegan.  He proceeds to grill (pun intended) Bob on whether he eats this or that,  and when he receives his response,  our customer announces that it’s all “bullshit.”  “How dare you come to my restaurant on my night?”  Well duh!  It’s always going to be “someone’s night” at La Palette,  isn’t it?  Why not yours?  The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is entrenched in Canada’s constitution, guarantees freedom of peaceful assembly in section 2(c),  but it says nothing about refraining from protesting on any Saturday night that might conflict with your own personal plans.  Get over yourself.  A few terse words are exchanged, and then the guy lets better judgement prevail and goes back inside, and fortunately we don’t see him for the remainder of the evening.

If Shamez soon does not find himself a better class of customer, we may perhaps see La Palette portrayed on this show.

La Palette Protesters and Street-scape

La Palette Protesters and Street-scape

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“Celebrity Chefs” and Jejune Gourmands Are a Sign of Cultural Decline

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"celebrity chef"

Gordon Ramsay thinks Britons should eat horsemeat.  Winners of his show “Hell’s Kitchen,”  virtually never receive their promised Head Chef position either!

Written by: Heather Clemenceau

I’m tired of reading about the vanity and cruelty of so-called “Celebrity Chefs.”

My disdain for these people initially began with an eposide of “Top Chef” whereby chefs were challenged to create an authentic french cuisine featuring horse meat.  Shows and articles on borderline bizarre culinary practices are part of a seemingly endless series that is truly the sign of a culture in decline. A culture whereby, under the guise of “multiculturalism,” bizarre and foreign food customs serve to desensitize us to the food we eat. A culture where there is no value to anything that we cannot compulsively eat and later shit out of our colon and into the toilet.

Anthony Bourdain - proof that the Zombie Apocalypse is real

Anthony Bourdain – in a completely un-retouched pic that proves that the Zombie Apocalypse is real

Of course, it’s critical to the jejune gourmand that he/she be able to eat not only in an elitist fashion that may be cruel, but one that he also cannot truly afford. These foodies and their priests, the “celebrity chefs,” rationalize consuming foods that must be acquired and slaughtered in the most brutal fashion, almost to a sadistic degree. Apparently greed and indifference to suffering are secondary values over the rightness of being able to gorge oneself. It truly leads one to beg the question, what is to be the next oral fixation?

Although I doubt any foodies reading this will be tangentially distracted by the concept of any suffering they might inflict, I’ll bring it up anyway, as it affects horses,  variously served on menus in Quebec and Toronto. Of course, horses in Canada and the US that end up on dinner tables in French restaurants are almost exclusively former racehorses, carriage horses, private pets, and children’s pets. Not raised for food and medicated accordingly by their former owners.

There have been many reported cases of animal welfare violations in Canadian horse slaughterhouses including failure to provide food and water, illegal unloading of animals, animals left for extended periods in kill pens and sick or injured animals denied veterinary care. Not surprisingly, veterinary experts around the world and leading animal protection groups have denounced horse slaughter as inhumane. Additionally, a CBC probe reveals that inspectors from CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) have typically not intervened when inhumane incidents have occurred, or a CFIA inspector was never present at the kill pen, despite government regulations that require a vet from the agency be present to oversee the slaughter process at the plant.

Nicholas H. Dodman, D.V.M., one of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviourists, a founding member of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, and Tufts University School of

Mark McEwan and  Thea Andrews ot Top Chef notoriety

Mark McEwan and Thea Andrews of Top Chef notoriety.  Mark obliges us with his best bitch-face.

Veterinary Medicine professor, stated: “Noise, blood and suffering is what you get at the Bouvry equine slaughter plant: Horses kicking after they have been shot, sinking down and rising up; sometimes periods of struggling or paddling before a second or third shot has to be administered. This atrocity goes against all veterinary guidelines for humane euthanasia. Terror and suffering is the rule at this equine house of horrors … and all in the name of the gourmet meat market.”

Now let me say that if you personally find any of this acceptable then you deserve to be ground up and served as the next main ingredient on Top Chef.

Once we conduct ourselves as if we have the right to inflict unnecessary suffering, we have destroyed the very basis of human society. But Francis Bacon said it better than I ever could:

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver’s food prep has also been called into question…

“Nature has endowed man with a noble and excellent principle of compassion, which extends itself also to the dumb animals—whence this compassion has some resemblance to that of a prince toward his subjects. And it is certain that the noble souls are the most extensively compassionate, for narrow and degenerate minds think that compassion belongs not to them; but a great soul, the noblest part of creation, is ever compassionate.”

The Top Chef episode featuring horse meat in an authentic french presentation is what started it all for moi.

The Top Chef episode featuring horse meat in an authentic french presentation is what started it all for moi. (click to follow-through to the original poll)