June 19th, 2013
Buying good vinegar and olive oil can be, much like buying wine, a daunting task.
But thanks to Olio et Cie, a new store next to Jean-Talon Market, purchasing these savoury staples is truly a treat. The concept is simple: A wide array of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars – from must-have basics to deliciously unique infusions – are on offer in large vats. Sample as many as you like, pick your faves and have your bottles filled (from $11.95).
Easy, delicious and completely addictive. —Christine Laroche
77 Shamrock, Montreal, 514-657-2211, http://oliocie.com
January 4th, 2013
In 2013, we resolve to expand our recipe repertoire.
We’ve mastered kitchen basics but it’s time to kick things up a delicious notch with a little help from a workshop (or two) at Dix30’s Atelier Culinaire.
Those on a New Year health kick will want to check out healthy vegetarian cooking with Chef Solène Thouin on January 9 and soups with Chef Ludovic Potzwa on January 16 ($65 each)
Want to keep the holiday sugar rush going just a little bit longer? Sign up for a macaron masterclass on January 12 or a course in cupcake making on January 18.
Our kitchen is about to see a whole lot of action. —Christine Laroche
8900 Leduc Boul., Suite 40, Montreal, 450-656-6161
November 6th, 2012
Fabulous news for foodies: Quebec’s first Williams-Sonoma store has opened at Carrefour Laval.
We were smitten with the new store at first smell. Any place where the aroma of allspice, cinnamon and a home cooked meal (prepared by in-house culinary expert and workshop instructor Pier-Luc lingers in the air is A-OK in our books.
And speaking of books: Bonus points to the Californian brand of bringing some local flavour to its shelves with tomes from the region’s top chefs.
Of course, the inviting store is also stocked with everything required for the perfect kitchen and dinner party, from festive table linens to gorgeous copper pots and from jars of turkey gravy to the much-coveted Vitamix… and even some unique vintage finds!
From now on, foodies will love the Carrefour just as much as fashionistas do. —Christine Laroche
3035 Le Carrefour Blvd., Montreal, www.williams-sonoma.ca
March 14th, 2012
The tradition of the sugar shack runs deep in Quebecois culture, and with his second book, celebrated Chef Martin Picard has made it his mission share his passion for cooking with maple syrup.
Now of course, there’s nothing tame or predictable about this eccentric chef, so Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack ($69.99 at Indigo), is a far cry from your average cookbook. Case in point? A recipe for squirrel sushi. Racy photos of semi-nude women. A chapter on hunting.
But past the shocking bits are some compelling reads about the maple syrup making process, what it’s like to run the Cabane À Sucre in the spring and some succulent recipes (including to die for desserts) featuring the star ingredient of the season: maple.
Seeing as Picard’s Cabane À Sucre is sold out for the season, whipping up some of his recipes is the next best thing. We'll take a pass on the squirrel, though! —Christine Laroche
Indigo, 1500 McGill College Ave., Montreal, 514-281-554, www.chapters.indigo.ca
February 14th, 2012
If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the way to a woman’s heart is taking her off dinner duty.
Maybe you’re cynical about Valentine’s Day (and have blasted out a few of these). Maybe the babysitter was busy and a big night out is, well, out. Maybe you’ve met your true love, and it happens to be pizza.
Whatever the case may be, we dare you not to fall for a heart-shaped pizza from Boston Pizza. Available today only, these pretty pies don’t just look great, they support a great cause: $1 from the sale goes to the Boston Pizza Foundation.
Who says romance has to be fancy? —Christine Laroche
Boston Pizza, 6857 Newman Blvd., Lasalle, 514-798-9999, www.bostonpizza.com
December 20th, 2011
Some celebrate Hannukah, others will use any excuse to eat the holiday’s traditional potato pancakes. But if the traditional fried latke is getting you down, we found a few variations to keep the fires burning for eight days and nights
Purple is the new black, so stylish cooks should try out these purple sweet potato latkes. Go international with these curried sweet potato versions. For the health-conscious we suggest this gluten-free recipe by Gluten Free Girl or add some zucchini for a little extra fibre. You can also go really irreverent with a recipe that incorporates bacon.
We promise we won’t tell the rabbi. —Jennifer Nachshen
October 12th, 2011
We’ve lavished in the luxurious lobster spaghetti, savoured the foie gras parfait for hours on end and delighted in the whimsical desserts starring sweet soft serve ice cream.
The reason we return to Joe Beef over and over again has as much to do with the larger-than-life personalities of co-owners and chefs, Fred and Dave, as it does with the mouth-watering market-fresh fare. You’ll find both in the new book, The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts ($29.74) by David McMillan, Frédéric Morin and Meredith Erickson. The delicious tome reads like a love letter to Montreal, chock full of favourite recipes, tasty tidbits of history and appreciative nods to the restaurant’s St. Henri neighbours.
A heartily recommended read for anyone who calls Montreal their home or home-away-from-home.
April 26th, 2011
We’re used to causing toxic fumes in the kitchen. But we thought it was only our cooking skills.
Many regular non-stick pans are coated with PTFE (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene), which can decompose at high temperatures, causing toxic fumes. We tried the Thermolon-coated Green Pan, which emits 60 per cent less carbon dioxide during production, and leaves the noxious kitchen odours entirely up to you.
Until April 30 you can buy the French skillet and omelette frying pan together for $39.99. At Sears, London Drugs, and gourmet shops across Canada, www.green-pan.com
October 29th, 2010
Sure your kids have tried to convince you that candy is the fifth food group.
But in order to stave off a Hallowe'en dinner of Smarties and Twizzlers (with the attendant sugar crash two hours later) we suggest filling the kids up with these ghost-shaped stuffed pastas called sacchetti, tossed with lemon zest, olive oil, parmesan and fried capers.
In Vancouver at Bosa Foods and Italian grocery stores nationwide.
July 27th, 2010
We love French cookware company Le Creuset because its cast iron wares are indestructible and oh-so-pretty.
It boasts over 70 cool colours like Elysee yellow, Cherry red and its just-launched Cassis, a regal shade of purple that’s right on point with fall fashion. Collect the entire enameled set including the Round French Oven (from $255) and Iron Handle Skillet ($175), or mix and match with classic hues like Kiwi or Dijon.
Now our kitchen will be aflame with colour (as opposed to actual flames, we hope).
At Arthur Quentin, 3960 St-Denis St., Montreal, 514-843-7513, www.arthurquentin.com