It seems like not long ago, I was announcing my new project SAISONS on this very blog. A couple of weeks ago, my partner Janice and I organized our fifth edition and celebrated our first anniversary. Time flies when you’re having fun, and fun we’ve had! SAISONS has been met with such enthusiasm by everyone who has been part of it as a guest or a partner that it still takes my breath away. So many have welcomed the project with open arms and open hearts and have contributed to our success in one way or another. Thank you and here’s to many more years of welcoming you in unique surroundings to celebrate Montreal-based chefs and Quebec’s distinctive cuisine.
The summer SAISONS took place on September 26th, 2016 with chef Guillaume Cantin (formerly of Les 400 coups). Guillaume started his carreer in the restaurant industry at the young age of 15. Among his many accomplishments are a brilliant win of the first season of Les Chefs! television show on Radio Canada and stints at Au Clocher Penché (Québec), Panache (Québec) and Maison Boulud (Montréal). Guillaume’s passion for local products and Quebec’s traditional cuisine is undeniable.
We celebrated the fall SAISONS at the Atwater Market, which was beaming with the bounty of harvest season! We decorated the long table with the last of Quebec’s seasonal flowers and some decorative artichokes by Origine Fleurs, our recent partner, and tons of candles creating an intimate and warm ambiance. It was a perfect evening, not too chilly at this time of year thankfully.
Chef Guillaume Cantin created a 6-course menu for the evening inspired by local and seasonal products and Quebec’s ancestral cuisine. Here’s what the guests enjoyed that night:
SAISONS Fall Colours Menu by chef Guillaume Cantin
Tomato tart, cheddar, smoked herring, dill seeds
Artichokes, American anglerfish, sea buckthorn, pickled daisy buds, cow parsnip beurre blanc
Buttermilk pancake, trout, sorrel butter, raspberry
Naked (hulless) oats, egg foam, savoury, agaric, puffed wild rice
Île flottante, Bleu d’Élizabeth, wild blueberries, black walnut, wintergreen
Rolled strawberry cake, lemon thyme granité, wild cranberry
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.
We are planning a great SAISONS-style celebration for the holiday season at the beginning of December! Sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date on what’s coming. You won’t want to miss this one!