The 15th edition of the SAISONS dinners took place about a week ago. This edition was the summer/fall one and marked the 4th anniversary of SAISONS! Time flies! If you still haven’t heard of SAISONS, it’s the other food-related project that takes up quite a few hours of my time every season. 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. Therefore, the SAISONS DINNERS take place once every season and are organized by my partner Janice and I.
The past summer into fall event took place on October 1st, 2019 with chef Marc-André Jetté. Marc-André’s love affair with restaurants started with a dishwashing job at the age of 12. Since then, his love of cooking has taken him to Spain, France, Portugal, and North Hatley. He’s honed his skills at some of Montreal’s best establishments including Leméac and Laloux. As head chef of Les 400 Coups, the restaurant ranked 4th best in Canada in 2011. He’s now chef owner of Hoogan et Beaufort, one of my favourite restaurants in Montreal, where his love of cooking on an open flame shines. His cuisine is elegant and sophisticated, yet unpretentious and always delightful.
The summer/fall dinner was meant to take place in the green spot on the side of Hoogan et Beaufort, surrounded by chef Jetté’s oversized planters filled with herbs, edible flowers and greens. Mother Nature was not happy with this option. Torrential rain and howling winds were on the roster for that day so the party relocated to the gigantic industrial Technopôle Angus structure attached to the back of the restaurant. This particular space had made quite the impression on me when I first saw it a couple of years ago. I always thought it would make a great place for a SAISONS dinner. Old brick walls and immensely high ceilings kept the guests shielded, while fall foliage, loads of candles and a couple of terrasse heaters warmed up the space. The heavy rain acted as the evening’s soundtrack and the flames from the chef’s table side grill as its special effects. I couldn’t have dreamt of a more perfect setting for our fall dinner.
Chefs Marc-André Jetté cooked a fabulous 6-course dinner using his two Japanese habachis. SAISONS attendees were lead through a celebration of Quebec’s harvest bounty. Here’s the menu the guests enjoyed:
SAISONS Summer into Fall Dinner Menu by chef Marc-André Jetté
Liver mousse, grilled apple, fall watercress.
Onion soup, Louis d’Or.
Lac St-Pierre smoked sturgeon, white radish.
Gaspésie halibut, radish, beurre blanc.
Guinea fowl, leeks, Blanc de gris oyster mushrooms.
Grilled kouing amann, blueberries, yogurt.
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. Therefore, 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. However, we don’t expect you to be a professional sommelier so don’t worry too much about your wine presentation. Subsequently, you can ask an SAQ vendor for recommendations. This is supposed to be fun! Most importantly, our aim is to teach and inspire our guests with great food and a few surprises.
Our next SAISONS DINNER will take place in February. In other words, 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.