M Wells Dinette scandal and dangers of horse meat

Horse Meat on the Hook. Photo Credit: Don Ryan / AP.
Horse Meat on the Hook. Photo Credit: Don Ryan / AP.
Horse meat originating from Canada is testing positive for carcinogenic drug residues. Canada is where Hugue Dufour of M. Wells says he gets his horse meat, the horse meat he sold to unwitting consumers at a food festival in New York and intended to serve at his diner based at MoMA PS1.

JAMES McWILLIAMS filed a report for Slate.com entitled “Trojan Horse Meat” which reads in part:

    At Brooklyn’s Great GoogaMooga food festival last May, Hugue Dufour, the noted chef who’d co-founded the acclaimed M. Wells Diner, sold 5,000 grilled-cheese sandwiches that created quite a buzz among New York foodies. That’s because Dufour’s creation was stuffed with foie gras, pork fat, and—the rogue ingredient that titillated adventurous eaters—horse meat (mixed with pork to make bologna).

    Last month, Dufour sought to capitalize on his food-festival fame by announcing that the reincarnation of his restaurant—M. Wells Dinette, now open in Queens at MoMA PS1—would serve horse tartare: raw horse meat. This time the reaction wasn’t so enthusiastic. Public opposition was widespread . . . Chastened, Dufour, who ate horse meat while training to be a chef in Canada, removed the item from the menu, judiciously noting in a statement from the restaurant that “scandalizing animal lovers is not what we want to be famous for.”

    The real threat to any retailer that serves horse meat isn’t the drumbeat of opposition that will inevitably resound from horse lovers. It’s the hazard that horse meat poses to public health.

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M. Wells Dinette take horse meat off the menu

Dishes at the M Wells Dinette. DNAInfoNewYork Photo.
Dishes at the M Wells Dinette. DNAInfoNewYork Photo.
M. Wells Dinette stated Thursday that horse meat is off the menu and not likely to return. So for the time being, the raw flesh of dead horses will not be appearing on dishes such as the ones pictured here at the MoMA PS1 Queens eatery.

“Outcry Scuttles Plan to Put Horse on Menu at M. Wells Dinette” says the headline of a report filed by LIZ ROBBINS for the Diner’s Journal of the New York Times.

According to a statement issued Thursday by husband and wife chefs Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis horse meat is off the menu at their recently opened diner situated at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, New York, and “not likely to return.”

The New York Times‘ Robbins reports:

M. Wells Dinette, the highly anticipated reincarnation inside MoMA PS1 of a celebrated Queens restaurant, has been open for only five days, but its chef and owners have already removed a controversial item planned for the menu.

The restaurant’s chef and co-owner, Hugue Dufour, said Thursday that he would not serve horse meat tartare, in response to outrage from animal rights advocates and concern about legal ramifications from health officials.

“Horse meat is off the menu at the Dinette, and it is not likely to return,” the restaurant said, beginning a passionate statement that Mr. Dufour; his wife and partner, Sarah Obraitis; and their lawyer and co-owner, Adam Cohn, drafted after a busy lunch service on Thursday. “We took it off because it upset so many people, which truly surprised us. That is not the effect we look for in our food, so away it goes.”


Featured image of M. Wells dishes from DNAinfo and not filed with source report.

Petition against horse meat at MoMA PS1’s M.Wells Dinette

MoMA PS1 M Wells Diner Petition. Artwork: Tuesday's Horse.

BREAKING NEWS: M. Wells Dinette issues a statement saying that horse meat is off the menu. Full report Friday right here on Tuesday’s Horse.

MoMA PS1 (Museum of Modern Art) in Long Island City in the New York Borough of Queens have leased a space to M. Wells Dinette who intend to serve horse meat among the offal and other animal parts.

This has caused disgust and outrage among horse lovers, particularly those opposed to horse slaughter for human consumption.

Please sign this Change.org Petition protesting horse meat at MoMA PS1’s M. Wells Dinette. Thank you.


An Art in the Air post on the M. Wells diner says:

Their new hardware includes a kitchen sink from a hospital psych ward, a sushi display case that Dufour will use to grind the meat to make his horse steak tartare, elementary school-inspired tables and seating befitting PS1’s former function, and a 30-gallon braising pan that could boil an entire school of lobsters — “I’d say about 40,” Dufour guesstimates — at once.

Other fare at M. Wells includes foie gras (New York may be banning that soon for human health reasons), marrow, escargot and calf brains.


Canadian chef determined to serve horse meat in NY; Tuesday’s Horse; Oct. 2, 2012

Horse meat protest at MoMA PS1 set for Saturday; Tuesday’s Horse; Sept. 28, 2012

Giddy up, horse meat is coming to Queens; Tuesday’s Horse; Sept. 25, 2012

Canadian chef determined to serve horse meat in NY

Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Dinette NY. Photo by Food Network Canada.

This past Saturday, a group of dedicated activists (see photos on Facebook) gathered at MoMA PS1 (Museum of Modern Art) in Long Island City, Queens, New York, in protest of the museum’s new restaurant tenant, M. Wells Dinette, and its intention to serve horse meat.

Hugue Dufour of M. Wells Dinette NY. Photo by Food Network Canada.
Hugue Dufour of recently re-opened restaurant M. Wells at MoMA PS1 in Queens, NY, is not phased by protests against his plan to serve horse meat.

Other than the nuisance factor, the protest made little impression on French-Canadian chef Hugue Dufour, who re-opened M. Wells with wife and partner Sarah Obraitis, on September 27, 2012. Dufour is not changing his mind about serving horse meat, and sees absolutely no reason to take it off the menu. Earlier this year, the M. Wells crew served horse meat in a grilled sandwich at a popular Brooklyn outdoor festival. Dufour, who hails from Montreal, appeared on Canada’s Food Network television show “The Wild Chef”, the same network that featured horse meat in an episode of “Top Chef Canada“.

The people connected with M. Wells seem totally unperturbed about the carcinogenic toxins proven present in horse meat, and the potential risks it poses to public health. The restaurant’s menu is heavy on the meat, especially offal serving dishes made with foie gras and marrow. Taking that into consideration, it is therefore highly unlikely anyone at M. Wells is concerned about the horrors of horse slaughter or what any animal endures in order to end up on one of their plates.

Well, the protesting is far from over. Neither is educating the public.

We are holding two outdoor events in New York; one in Times Square and the other at MoMA PS1 during the last two weeks in October. Please help with a donation — large or small it is all highly valuable — to put this show on the road and give a powerful voice on behalf of horses.

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