Jul 29, 2011

Chuck Hughes feeds OSHEAGA 2011

By Andrea Doucet Donida

Chef Chuck Hughes, winner of Iron Chef America, prepares a feast for Montreal OSHEAGA's 92 music groups this weekend! Follow him as he shows us what he has in store for EMINEM, ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS, THE TRAGICALLY HIP, DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, CYPRESS HILL and many more...

OSHEAGA main stage

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Jul 26, 2011

Premiere of El Bulli-Cooking in Progress in Montreal

By Andrea Doucet Donida

ElBulli, the restaurant, is closing this Saturday. It will now leave the realm of reality to become one of the most mythical restaurants in the world.

Fortunately, some of its magic and the team’s creative process with Chef Ferran Adrià at its helm have been recorded in the documentary: El Bulli- Cooking in progress.

It will be shown in Montreal on August 5th, at a free outdoor event, presented by François Chartier who has collaborated with Ferran Adrià and the whole El Bulli team and is one of the very few « outsiders » who also appear in the documentary.

Having just seen the documentary at the media projection, I can tell you that it is already stirring up some interesting debate amongst journalists, as to the “why” behind this obsessive search for new emotions and creativity in the kitchen.

The film does focus on the creative process, without dwelling into why Ferran Adrià proceeds that way. It’s like being a fly on the wall, not inside his head. So for some, it could be disappointing, but for me and most of us I believe, it’s the closest we’ll ever be to one of the greatest chefs of our times: one that has revolutionized restaurant food and which approaches are quietly seeping into our own home kitchens.

It’s not the prettiest movies, not the best directed film, not even the most interesting story telling, but if you are patient and in the moment, it can offer you an inside into genius and inspire you to create and explore the wonders of food.

El Bulli – Cooking in Progress
August 5th, free outdoor event at Place de la Paix, with presentation by sommelier and author, François Chartier, at 9 pm.
Starting August 6th, the documentary will be presented at Cinema du Parc.

Here for more info on the documentary.

Jul 19, 2011

Aperitif reinvented in Montreal: L'Apéritif à la Française & Apéros Bordeaux

By Andrea Doucet Donida

Cheers! To toast amongst friends, a gesture followed by smiles is so much a part of our celebrations that we almost don’t think about it anymore, becoming somewhat mechanical.

Thankfully there is an agency in
Montreal , Sopexa, who reflects seriously on the question on behalf of their clients and reinvents for us, each year, what it is to have an aperitif (drink) and fun!

First with their flagship event that has become a fixture in Montreal: The Aperitif à la française (French-style aperitif). A big party around the gourmet French products: sausages, cheese, foie gras, wine and liquor that are just waiting for you! This year the event took place at Windsor Station, on the theme of pop-art.

While the underground feeling of last year was a bit lost in this vast area, the crowd of more than 1,000 people remained the same, very glamorous and ready to celebrate! Lots of celebrities join in the party as well. The cheers were countless on the chic patio space sponsored by Grey Goose: the vodka "made in France."

Maryline Demandre, who organizes the party in conversation with Grey Goose Brand Ambassador Dimitri Lezinska

I especiallyenjoyed the cocktail Joli C
oeur (pretty heart) with grapes and ederflowers. But my favourite drink of the night was Pineausour made with Pinot de Charentes, a drink high in freshness and harmony of flavours, not too sweet, cool, a perfect balance (recipes below).

For three years
, the Apéritif à la française has been donating part of their profits to the Tablée des Chefs, a local non-profit organization that I volunteer for and support. This year, thanks to laTablée des Chefs we discovered two charming pastry chefs that will soon open shop in Villeray: Mlles Gâteaux. Keep your eyes open because their desserts were the hit of the night!

Little gems of Rhubarb-clafoutis from Mlles Gâteaux

If you've never been to the Apéritif à la française, m
ark your calendar for 2012, and be vigilant because tickets (about $ 100/personne, open bar) sold-out fast!

Apéros Bordeaux
For those who want to enjoy imm
ediately Sopexa’s events, fear not. Another of their creation has been launched this summer: The Apéros Bordeaux. More intimate, the Bordeaux Aperitifs are open to all, no need for tickets or reservations.

Just come with the thirst to discover Bordeaux wines, available to you at a friendly price of $ 5 / glass. A very nice selection is offered, even Sauternes for my greatest pleasure (I have a huge weakness for Sauternes, blame it on my sweet tooth...).

At the first Apéros Bordeaux held May 24 on the terrace of the restaurant Accords, I offered my “canelés” (a sweet Bordeaux specialty) which were all the rage!

The next Apéros Bordeaux is this Tuesday, July 19th at the restaurant: L'Autre version, 295 St-Paul Street in Old Montreal, from 5:30pm. DJ Abeille will be creating the perfect happy hour vibe while professional sommeliers will introduce you to the world of Bordeaux.

It is a perfect opportunity to (re)-discover the Bordeaux wines in a relaxed atmosphere and enjoy this beautiful indoor patio, perhaps one of the best in Montreal!


Apéros Bordeaux also takes place in Toronto and the City of Quebec.

Next dates:
  • Montréal: July 19th, August 31st, September 27th, October 25th, November 15th.
  • Québec: September 1st, October 13th.
  • Toronto: July 19th, September 10th, October 25th.
Here are the recipes to recreate the delicious cocktails:


In a shaker filled with ice, add all ingredients.
Shake strongly 8 to 10 seconds.
Filter the contents of shaker into a martini glass with an ice strainer.
Garnish with green grapes on a pike.

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, stir vigorously, then gently pour in champagne flutes. Garnish with some lemon zest.

On the dance floor at Apéritif à la française 2011