Fletchers, the café open in the Museum of Jewish Montreal has been serving innovative and modern Jewish dishes for only a few months now, all the while proving that museum food doesn’t need to consist of flashy yet conceptually vacant paninis. Now they’re branching out again for a pop-up with Jewish culinary culture outfit The Wandering Chew, right in time for Jewish Sukkot feast season (or Feast of the Tabernacles).
The table d’hôte menu should be enshrined as an example of how to do fusion appropriately. Playfully called Festin des Tabarnaks, offerings include a Jewish take on tourtière and a challah pouding chômeur with cinnamon apples. Some of the menu draws on Jewish flavours from elsewhere, notably, a Moroccan split pea soup.
Kat Romanow, creator and cook at Fletchers and co-founder of The Wandering Chew, is behind it, and says she’s hoping to highlight the almost invisible overlap between Québécois and Jewish cuisines.
“Jews have been in Quebec for a really long time, since the 1760s. But when you look at their food culture you don’t see them as having influenced each other.”
“There’s no historic background to something like a Jewish tourtière but we wanted to teach people about how these two communities seen as so separate lived side by side and also influenced each other.”
Some items on the menu — namely, pickled beets — do cross the boundaries between the two cuisines. Romanow says she’s putting emphasis on local produce, with Eastern Townships cheese and local beer, and the menu will feature beer pairings and a spruce beer cocktail.
The pop-up is happening on Thursday, October 20 at Fletchers on St-Laurent, and tickets are recommended in advance. Keep an eye out for more Fletchers pop-ups in coming weeks, too.