In case you didn’t already know, SAISONS is my other love project. 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 summer event took place on August 21st, 2017 with chef Patrice Demers of Patrice Pâtissier. Patrice has been passionate about his art for nearly 20 years. In 2003, he was one of the four founding partners behind Les Chèvres, one of Montreal’s most praised restaurant. He then worked at Laloux for many years where he met the two partners he would open Restaurant Les 400 coups with (one of which is Marie-Josée Beaudoin, who later became his wife!). Patrice finally opened Patrice Pâtissier, his very own pastry shop, to great acclaim in 2014. Patrice has been the leading pastry chef in Montreal for many years and is known for his beautifully plated desserts that feature fruit and where the balance of flavours and textures is delightfully harmonious. This SAISONS dinner was the perfect opportunity for Patrice’s savoury side to take center stage.
We celebrated the summer SAISONS dinner at Riverside in Saint Henri. Riverside is a newly opened bar complexe located along the canal and at the foot of some abandoned silos covered in colourful graffiti. The outdoor space is beautiful and has a very urban feel. We transformed Riverside’s patio into a restaurant for a night and decorated the long table with summer flowers and stems from Origine Fleurs and tons of candles creating an intimate and warm ambiance.
Chef Patrice Demers created a six course menu for the evening inspired by Quebec’s local and seasonal summer products. Here’s the menu the guests enjoyed:
SAISONS Ode to Summer Menu by chef Patrice Demers
Kohlrabi, fresh goat cheese, tarragon.
Tomatoes, currants, verbena panna cotta, flowers.
Chilled corn soup, smoked trout, radish, sea asparagus, sour cream.
Braised Kamouraska lamb, puff pastry, burnt onion puree, turnips.
Zachary Cloutier cheesecake, strawberries, fennel, sweet clover.
Corn cake, wild blueberries, haksap berry, caramel popcorn tuile.
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 on October 2nd with chef Jens Ruoff of Butterblume, who will celebrate Quebec’s hardest season ingredients. 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. The tickets are going to be on sale VERY soon!