Travel Blog

8 Feb

Celebrate cuisine at Montréal en lumière 2014

The 15th edition of Montréal en Lumière is taking place from February 20 to March 2, 2014. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the gastronomy program will be shining the spotlight on Montreal as a featured city…

The culinary celebrations will take place across the city under a variety of categories including a slew of special events, some culinary tours and quite a few guest chefs invited by the festival’s participating restaurants and chefs. Yours to discover are the Festival’s 9 featured series: Planète Montréal, Montréal-San Francisco, Hats Off to Haiti, Gourmet Goodwill, Montréal-Laurentians, Free Spirits, Brunches and Lunches, 5 à 7 + et À boire! and, finally, the Special Events.

I am personally looking forward to the following 5 events in particular:
Frederique Menard-Aubin, Montreal en Lumiere_Graziella_3229

The Great Banquet (February 25-26): Tiny Van Horne restaurant transforms into an opulent king’s court for these two very special evenings, an ode to Antonin Carême, the 18th-century chef who is often considered as one of the first celebrity chefs. Carême, the first haute cuisine advocate is highly regarded as a great inspiration by every young chef regardless of cuisine styles. His love for pièces montées, aspics, chauds-froids and more such elaborate dishes will be celebrated by Van Horne chef Jens Ruoff and his kitchen team. Great Bourgogne and Champagne wines will accompany the meal.

Toqué!’s veteran lunch (March 1): On March 1, Toqué! will be hosting a brunch, which is rare occurrence that should be celebrated. However, this brunch will have the added bonus of being cooked by some of the restaurant’s former staff including  but not limited to Hugues Dufour (M. Wells, New York), Mehdi Brunet Benkritly (Sardine, New York) and Charles-Antoine Crête, superstar prodigal son who has recently given his notice after spending 14 years behind the famous restaurant’s stoves.

Ulysse Lemerise B., Montreal en Lumiere_La_Porte-6116
Reunited… and it tastes so good (February 23-25): La Fabrique chef Jean-Baptiste Marchand welcomes his two former kitchen mates Emmanuelle Leftick (of famous star-rated San Francisco restaurant Benu) and Julien Robillard of Montreal’s XO restaurant. Leftick, a graduate of Montreal’s ITHQ, has been hailed as one of the most promising chefs in America. With a roster of great restaurants under her belt – el Bulli, Maison Troisgros, The French Laundry, Susur – she is now sous-chef at San Francisco’s highly-rated, two Michelin star restaurant Benu. I am very much looking forward to this collaboration between the three young chefs.

Lesley Chesterman’s Ultimate Meal (February 26-27) This is sure to be one of Montréal en Lumière’s most fun meals! Lesley Chesterman, The Montreal Gazette’s fine dining critic for the past 15 years, will be teaming up with Lustucru’s kitchen crew to create her ultimate meal. The 5-course menu is still under wraps but Chesterman has let the sweet – and tart! – finale out of the bag by announcing via twitter that a tarte au citron will be a guaranteed presence. How many stars will this meal garner?

Ambiance / Atmosphere

200% Laloux (February 25-26) Philippe Laloux – founder and original chef of Montreal French restaurant Laloux – returns to the kitchen 27 years after the restaurant’s opening! In addition to being a great chef, chef Laloux is also an accomplished musician and poet. He will be teaming up with Laloux’s current executive chef Jonathan Lapierre-Réhayem for what is sure to be an unforgettable 8-course meal! Both evenings will surely be punctuated with songs, poems and stories courtesy of the guest of honour.



Montréal en Lumière, February 20 to March 2, 2014

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