By now I’m sure if you follow me on social media, you know about my other love project SAISONS. SAISONS is a collection of curated gatherings staged in unique surroundings and headlining Montreal-based chefs working with seasonal and regional ingredients with the express mission of promoting our distinctive Quebec cuisine. These SAISONS dinners take place once every season and the fall event took place on October 2nd, 2017 with chef Jens Ruoff of Le Butterblume. Jens honed his skills in Germany and France before moving to Montreal 5 years ago, where he worked at Bouillon Bilk and Van Horne. He is now the chef and co-owner of the instantly popular Le Butterblume in Montreal’s Mile End where he creates beautiful dishes inspired by his background and market finds. I have been a fan of Butterblume since its opening and you’ll often find me at a table or at the bar enjoying breakfast, lunch or a snack there while getting some work done. It was an easy choice to have Jens as a guest SAISONS chef.
We also celebrated our second anniversary this past Monday night!It’s been two years that my partner Janice and I have been putting these events together, the first of which took place at the Birri Brothers’ stand at Jean Talon Market with chef John Winter Russell. This past fall dinner was staged on the third floor of the Notman House. Notman House is a hub of start ups and technology that also houses the beautiful Café Osmo (if you’ve never been, you must go!). We wanted to set up in the beautiful courtyard but it was a bit too chilly to do so so we opted for the beautiful third floor space with its brick walls and vaulted wood ceiling which we transformed into a ephemeral restaurant. The long table was lit up with dozens of candles and decorated with fall flowers and stems from our partners Origine Fleurs.
Chef Jens Ruoff created a six course feast for the evening inspired by Quebec’s bountiful harvest season. Here’s the menu the guests enjoyed:
SAISONS Harvest Celebration Menu by chef Jens Ruoff
Turnip, green sea urchin & chive sour cream.
Consommé, poultry rolled crêpe, beets, chives & parsley oil.
Pickerel, eggplant, artichoke, Alfred le Fermier cheese & beurre blanc.
Boar, red wine sauce, butternut squash & squash seeds.
Origine cheese, pickled green strawberries & sunflower seed bread chips.
“Apfelstrüdel”, apples, dehydrated blue grapes & sweet clover mousse.
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.
Our next SAISONS event will take place in February and the chef is still unknown. Follow us on our social media channels and sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date and be the first to know about advanced ticket sales.