Toqué!'s idea of street food: white chocolate mousse with dry fruit chips
« What are your thoughts about street food? » asked Marie-Claude Lortie to a panel of 4 guests invited to talk about Quebec gastronomy… after an awkward silence, Montreal‘s most respected chef Normand Laprise of the famous Toqué restaurant, murmured « if it’s quality food, there is a place for it».
Les rencontres La Presse - With Marie-Claude Lortie, Chef Graziella Battista, Normand Laprise, Dyan Solomon and Daniel Vézina
Montreal has no street food per say; it has been forbidden and made illegal since 1947. Mainly for sanitary reason, but we are no better nor worse than any other city, so how come New Yorkers and Torontonians can grab a quick bite on the sidewalk and we cannot? The harsh weather which has been invoked as another potential reason isn’t fooling anyone.
The awkward silence during the gastronomy talk organized by La Presse and featuring Chef Normand Laprise, Chef Daniel Vézina, Dyan Solomon of Olive et Gourmando and Chef Graziella Battista is probably the most revealing: restaurants do not want the extra competition.
But what about the restaurants who do want to adventure out of their concrete walls? Some are pushing, or at least making efforts to show how Montreal Street Food can be creative, delicious and part of our culinary culture!
A few weeks ago, the now melted Snow Village on Ste-Hélène Island, was showcasing just that: extraordinary street-food in a very Nordic setting.
Interesting to note that Toqué! (a Relais & Château restaurant) was there, offering the most beautiful and delicious hand held desserts like the white chocolate and yogurt mousse on an ice cream cone, covered with dried fruit chips -blueberry, strawberry and sea-buckthorn! Amazing!
There was of course the Grumman78’s taco truck, the most visible leader of this movement in Montreal. They are trying very hard to get the city to change their bylaw so that they could adventure out of the limited Festival territories and roam our streets bringing the finest tacos to all.
Ok, they are not saving lives, but wouldn’t our streets be livelier if from time to time you would cross path with a brilliant aroma of pulled pork or fresh salmon? Or if when strolling down the streets you could munch on warm Toqué cookies, or discover the joys of the Satay’s Brother’s steam buns?
It’s an open question, to you and Montreal to answer. Hoping there will not be only silence that follows it, I leave you with some pictures of what the new face of Montreal Street food can look like, even when surrounded by snow.
The Satay Brothers
Oysters at their best - au naturel! ;-)
Grilled cheese with 3 Quebec cheeses and straw potato chips by La Fabrique
Amazing Lamb Tacos by Grumman'78