If you’ve followed me for a while here or on social media, I’m sure you know by now 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 winter event took place on March 19th, 2018 with chef Alexandre Gosselin of Chez Victoire. Alexandre is an innovative and passionate chef. Having worked in France with Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel and the Pourcel brothers, chef Gosselin features local ingredients to create interesting and surprising combinations of flavors. He is the chef and co-owner of the popular Plateau restaurant Chez Victoire where he creates beautiful dishes yay have garnered the restaurant a loyal following.
This winter dinner took center stage at the awe-inspiring Crew Café in Old Montreal. Crew opened a couple of years ago in an old bank and has been listed as one of the most beautiful cafés in the world several times. It’s certainly the most beautiful café in Montreal and we’ve been wanting to collaborate with them on a SAISONS since the beginning. For the first time ever, we had 30 guests instead of our usual 20. We set up two tables of 15 on each side of the grand staircase with our chef set up in the center underneath the intricate vaulted ceiling. The long tables were lit up with dozens of candles and decorated with winter foliage and stems from our partners Origine Fleurs.
Chef Gosselin created a 6-course dinner that took SAISONS attendees on a celebration of Quebec’s seasonal winter ingredients and highlighted the art of eating local and seasonal despite our frosty temperatures. Here’s the menu the guests enjoyed:
SAISONS Solstice Celebration Menu by chef Alexandre Gosselin
Smoked meat, Goria peppers, steamed bun, red cabbage, mustard seeds.
Leeks vinaigrette, sea snails, fresh goat cheese, ash, dill.
Smoked sturgeon, caramelized Jerusalem artichokes, N’duja, quail egg, walnuts.
Beef filet, foie gras, brioche bread, ‘Orélie’ white wine sabayon, dulse, mushrooms.
Hochelaga oyster mushrooms, Mont Jacob cheese from Blackburn, socca, black garlic, maple vinegar gel.
Whipped white cheese, Miel d’Anicet honey, sponge toffee, sea buckthorn, vanilla, camelina oil.
Just in case you are not familiar with the SAISONS DINNER 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 DINNER will take place in May. 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.
INTRODUCING SAISONS ATELIERS!
I’m happy to announce that we’ve launched SAISONS ATELIERS, hands-on workshops to learn new culinary crafts from skilled experts. I’ll be writing a post on our first event, a dumpling-making workshop with chef Anita Feng! On April 9th, join us in learning how to make baguettes at Automne Boulangerie! At this ATELIERS, you will learn all about the art of making the popular bread and will roll your own (it’s not as easy as it sounds!), bake them and then take them home. You will also snack on a few bites and have a drink or two while waiting for your baguettes to rise and bake. This is an exclusive opportunity and a workshop not to be missed! There is a handful of tickets left so hurry up and save your seat now!