A few months ago, I was announcing my new project SAISONS on this very blog. Since then, my partner Janice and I have had our first fall edition at the Jean Talon Market back in October inside the Birri Brothers’ stall, a winter edition in February inside a church and a spring edition in a charming Old Montreal flower shop.
The summer SAISONS took place on August 29th, 2016 with chef Colin Perry of Dinette Triple Crown, one of my favourite Montreal restaurants. Colin hails from Kentucky and his food has that comforting southern touch that is always welcome. He makes the best fried chicken and smoked brisket and I dream of his collard greens and homemade desserts.
We celebrated the summer SAISONS on a rooftop terrasse, of course! The Santropol Roulant terrasse is lovely and includes several large pots of vegetables, herbs and flowers scattered all over the weathered wood floor, a lovely greenhouse with overgrown tomato plants and a higher level with a great vegetable garden. We decorated the long table with seasonal Quebec flowers picked by Origine Fleurs, our newest partners, and tons of candles creating an intimate and warm ambiance. It was a perfect evening, not too warm nor too chilly and mother nature entertained us with an incredible pink-hued sunset while guests sipped on bubbly and enjoyed chef Perry’s amuse bouche.
Chef Colin Perry created a 6-course menu for the evening using local and seasonal products. Here’s what the guests enjoyed that night:
SAISONS Summer Love Menu by chef Colin Perry
Pickled herring, zucchini, cilantro
Eggplant, kimchi, ranch dressing
Heirloom tomatoes, Bleu Benedictine
Romano and borlotti beans, anchovy, tomato gravy
Cauliflower, corn, chanterelles, smoked sturgeon
Ricotta, pickled peaches, smoked almonds, basil
Just in case you are not familiar with the SAISONS concept yet, here’s how it works:
Each season, a chef is invited to explore his favourite ingredients through his cooking. Each event’s multi-course menu will highlight what’s in season in and around Québec at that time of year and feature foraged ingredients, along with unique products from local producers and growers who share the SAISONS philosophy.
You bring the wine, and we’ll take care of the rest!
The concept is simple. You purchase your ticket in advance, which reserves your seat(s) at the SAISONS dinner table. A week or so before the event, we will email you a flavour profile for one of the dishes on the menu so that you can shop for a fabulous wine to pair with that dish. The day of the dinner, bring your bottle of wine to share with the other guests, and when your dish is being served, you will be asked to describe and present your wine to the other guests attending so that they can understand the pairing. We don’t expect you to be a professional sommelier so don’t worry too much about your wine presentation. You can ask an SAQ vendor for recommendations. This is supposed to be fun! Our aim is to surprise, teach and inspire our guests with great food and a few surprises.
What makes SAISONS so different, you ask? Our focus is to highlight chefs and purveyors who work relentlessly to shine a spotlight on our unique made-in-Quebec products and ingredients. In addition, the SAISONS events will always be intimate gatherings set in unusual locations.
My personal favourite part of the SAISONS dinners is watching the guests chat and exchange contact info at the end of the evening and being privy to the forging of new friendships. It’s one of the reasons that make our SAISONS evenings magical and why we’ve now had regulars at our dinners.
The tickets are now on sale for our fall event on September 26th with chef Guillaume Cantin (formerly of Les 400 Coups). We’ll also be celebrating our first anniversary that evening so you can expect some extra surprises!