Toulouse: shortage of duck breast and duck in restaurants

the essential
With the intensive return of avian flu in almost all departments, Toulouse restaurateurs must adapt and review their menu.

“We were starting to catch our breath and the avian flu ruined everything”, storms Eric Rives, manager of the Bistro des Carmes. This establishment had to replace the duck breast with beef in the salad that made its reputation. “Not the same flavor for the taste buds!” he laments. I’m going to offer this salad all summer, hoping that tourists don’t shun it too much”.

“A disaster for restaurateurs”

After touching the Gers, it is the turn of the Haute-Garonne to suffer the consequences of the avian flu epidemic. “We haven’t received any deliveries for several weeks,” laments the manager of the Mon Canard restaurant in Saint-Georges. We have exhausted our last stocks. We will have to review the map”. Further on, a restaurateur says: “The majority of restaurants in Toulouse offer foie gras and duck breast à la carte: it’s a tradition in the South-West. Many customers and tourists choose this region to discover this culinary specialty. It is therefore a real disaster befalling them, even if some still have some stocks, it’s very little”.

This situation also worries Christophe Samaran, whose shop in Victor-Hugo is very deserted: “It has become very complicated, he admits. All our ducks bred in the Gers, Hautes-Pyrénées and Haute-Garonne have been slaughtered. For several months, no ducks and therefore no ducklings”. On the counters, only cooked dishes, quail, pigeon, cans, occupy the space: “We have replaced duck on the menu with pigeon and free-range chicken. In the height of the season for barbecues and ceremonies (baptisms, weddings, etc.), caterers are tearing their hair out”.

Philippe Creux, commercial director of Maison Valette-Foie-Gras in Victor – Hugo, also had to review his sales: “There is not a single duck left until the end of 2022. It takes 26 weeks to redo the cycle . In 2021, the availability of products is estimated at -50%. So we had to quickly create new preparations: terrine of guinea fowl with prunes, smoked trout from Périgord, etc. Without forgetting the gift boxes without… foie gras. Our sales have fallen by 40% in 2021”. Not easy, after the Covid.

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