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September 19, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Week that Wasn’t – Chicago Sports Bar Sued Over ‘Kiwi-Burger’

Wellington’s Chicago Sports Bar is currently fighting two legal battles, following the release of their ‘Kiwi-Burger’, strategically released in time for the Rugby World Cup.

The first, a trademark suit brought by McDonalds, with a claim that the fast-food conglomerate owns the rights to the name ‘Kiwi Burger’, particularly in conjunction with the use of typical New Zealand ingredients fried egg and beetroot.

The second, a criminal case brought by the Department of Conservation, charging the popular bar-restaurant with breaching the Preservation of Native Animals Act by ‘illegally catching, slaughtering and slow-roasting New Zealand’s most precious native bird, the Kiwi, in a delicious smoky barbecue marinade, and pulling the meat from which to arrange on a bed of fresh rocket and baby-spinach, accompanied by a fried egg, a slice of beetroot, and a generous dollop of garlic aioli.’

Wellington High Court has found that ‘while mouth-watering, Chicago’s new burger is an atrocious detriment towards attempts at preserving a very gamey, but not unpleasantly so, endangered bird species.’

Chicago has appealed the decision with a claim that ‘if innovative, New Zealand-inspired cuisine is wrong, then [they] don’t want to be right.’

Chicago sports bar is also currently defending itself in the civil action against McDonalds on the grounds that there is ‘literally, literally no more appropriate a name. There is literally kiwi meat in this burger.’

This is not the first time that the two-star establishment has faced legal consequences for their controversial novelty dishes. In 2009 a limited-offer dish, the Real Southern Bloke Breakfast, consisted of an omelette which contained the flesh of Central Otago farmer, Mark Hallett. Chicago Bar won an auction on Trademe for the corpse of Hallett who died on a muster during the previous winter as a result of unprecedented low temperatures and heavy snowfall.

The suit was brought on grounds of health and safety concerns but in court Chicago won due to expert witness, local health inspection officer Cameron Cherkov’s evidence that, due to the extreme conditions under which he perished, the body was snap-frozen and perfectly preserved, meaning there was no risk of tainted meat.

‘Which also explains why the flesh of Hallett, or ‘long-pork’ as it is known in the culinary world, was so tender and flavoursome. It was actually a triumph of local cuisine,’ concluded Cherkov in Court.

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