Apr 12, 2013

Joe Beef chefs are inspiration for René Redzepi's presentation in Toronto

René Redzepi during the interview at the Terroir Symposium

So I went to Toronto for one day, just to check out the Terroir Symposium - a gathering of food-industry people and journalists. I won't bore you with my remarks - fellow food writer Renée Suen did a great job of summarizing what was said there in this post for Toronto Life, with photo slideshow and all.

Why talk about a Toronto event in a blog about Montreal? Firstly, to say that it's too bad that the Canadian city that is most talked about for its food scene had no chefs there to represent it (though local food critic Lesley Chesterman did participate in a heated debate about local vs. "imported" chefs). Derek Damman, of Maison Publique, dropped out, and no replacements were found (or seeked?)

Secondly, because the definitive highlight of the event - the moment when Noma's René Redzepi read a moving and personal story about food and memory on stage - was inspired by two guys who are the very essence of Montreal: Joe Beef's Fred Morin and Dave McMillan. I found this out when my colleague Marie-Claude Lortie asked René why he'd decided to invite the two Montrealers to speak at his very high-profile MAD Symposium in Copenhagen, which will take place in August.

What Redzepi said about the chefs is pretty much what I think of them myself, as I wrote in this confessional post. But I was surprised to hear that he'd become a fan simply by reading a feature on them in Lucky Peach magazine. Who says food magazines are becoming irrelevant, huh?

Here's some crappy video footage I shot of that part of the interview:

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