Feb 18, 2012

Chefs Frederick Boucher (Pastaga), Guillaume Cantin (400 Coups), Louis-Philippe Lepage (P'tit Extra) + Florent Risser (Café du Nouveau Monde) battle it out tonight

The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel (the building on the right): hosting the
annual cheese extravaganza thrown my Montreal's Highlight Festival
By Alexandra Forbes

Like watching Iron Chef America? Think you’d make a great judge at a food reality show? Then you might want to join in the fun tonight, as hundreds of Montrealers will gather at a cooking contest held annually at the banquet hall of the Fairmont QueenElizabeth hotel (of Lennon and Yoko hosting a press conference naked in bed fame). In this odd-but-fun cooking contest, everyone in the room will give marks as four chefs serve dishes made with Québec cheeses. And of course you know that the cheeses made in the province of Québec rival the best in the world, right? I’m not only a huge fan (my favourites Mi-carême and Riopelle come to mind).

Québec artisanal cheeses: many rival the best in France

   Running for top prize this year are Guillaume Cantin (Les 400 Coups), Louis-Philippe Lepage (Au P’tit Extra), Florent Risser (Café du Nouveau Monde) and Frederick Boucher (Pastaga). Each of the chefs will prepare three courses, totalling a cheese extravaganza of  twelve dishes. 

There's still time to go, and the ticket, which costs Can$ 95 per person, includes not only the food but different wines which will be paired accordingly, and the service. The whole  affair is part of the Highlights Festival, so don’t expect a subdued ambiance: in true Montreal fashion, it promises to be quite boisterous.

Presenting Québec Chefs andCheeses: Saturday February 18, 6:30 PM, Grand Salon of the FairmontQueen Elizabeth Hotel, 900 René-Lévesque Blvd. West, tel. (514) 861-3511

Festival-goers at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel

More Highlights Fest dinners that you can still attend, if making very last-minute plans (information compiled by Katherine Rollet, the festival's official blogger)

ITHQ (514 282-5161), Jason Wilson + Gilles Nicault (Seattle + Washington State)
Pullman (514 288-7779), Matthew Dillon (Seattle).
All-you-can-eat moules et frittes at Beaver Hall, 514 866-1331 (places left for after 9 P.M.)
Washington State wine tasting at the  Continental Bistro, 514 845-6842
Highlights dinner at the Contemporain, 514 847-6900
Jeff Gordon at DECCA77, 514 934-1077 (more, in French, by Eve Martel on her blog La Pantry)

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