montreal-saisons-dinners © Will Travel for Food

Le Parloir beautiful lounge {photo © Jean-François Frenette}

We just put together the 14th edition of the SAISONS dinners! Where does the time go? 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 seasonSAISONS 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 spring event took place on May 8th, 2019 with chef Simon Mathys. Simon honed his cooking skills in Quebec City at Laurie Raphaël. He then became sous-chef of Les Cons Servent then chef at Bar & Boeuf. Subsequently, his career as a chef continued at Racines, the micro-restaurant La Famille then Restaurant Accords. In 2017, Simon became the chef at Restaurant Manitoba where he creates a cuisine based solely on local and wild products. Therefore, his cuisine emphasizes Quebec’s culinary identity and the knowledge of our wild products. Manitoba is one of the best and most surprising restaurants in Montreal. Dining there is akin to getting a lesson in Quebec’s botany and edible wild products, which never ceases to amaze me.

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The table is set! {photo © Jean-François Frenette}

The spring dinner took place in the beautiful lounge of Le Parloir – private cellars in the heart of Griffintown. If you’re a wine aficionado, you must get to know Le Parloir! It’s a private club offering its members the possibility to store their wine in the temperature-controlled, high-security cellars. Above all, it’s also a place to share and mingle with other like-minded wine lovers. The space is beautifully designed and perfect to share a bottle of wine with friends in the gorgeous lounge or in one of the private rooms. In conclusion, I couldn’t have dreamt of a more perfect setting for our spring dinner. Our guests were surprised by this location, which many didn’t know about.

montreal-saisons-dinner-chef-simon-mathys © Will Travel for Food

Nordic shrimp, fiddleheads, grilled lettuce cream {photo © Jean-François Frenette}

Chefs William Cody and Phil Andrews took center stage (literally) to cook us a fabulous 6-course dinner that took SAISONS attendees on a celebration of Quebec’s seasonal and local winter produce. Here’s the menu the guests enjoyed:

SAISONS Spring Renaissance Dinner Menu by chef Simon Mathys

Seal, buckwheat, mugwort, Labrador tea.

1st course
Shrimp, fiddleheads, grilled lettuce cream.

2nd course
Squash, seaweed, pumpkin seeds.

3rd course
Leeks, whelks, smoked egg yolk.

4th course
Beef, spelt.

Sunflower cake, sunflower cream, sunflower oil jam.

spring-2019-saisons-dinner-montreal © Will Travel for Food

Dessert: sunflower cake, cream and sunflower oil jam {photo © Jean-François Frenette}

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.

montreal-saisons-dinner-spring-2019 © Will Travel for Food

Chef Simon Mathys {photo © Jean-François Frenette}

Our next SAISONS DINNER will take place in August. 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. 

May 8th, 2019
Chef: Simon Mathys of Restaurant Manitoba
Venue and partner: Le Parloir – private cellars

There are more outstanding photos of this event by the talented Jean-François Frenette on the SAISONS Facebook page. 

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