On Tuesday night, New York Times dining editor Sam Sifton took the stage at Little Burgundy’s Corona Theatre with Joe Beef owner Dave McMillan.
Over the hour-long on-stage interview, Sifton covered a variety of topics with the chef and restaurateur — from the history of Joe Beef, to Québécois cuisine, to issues of sexual harassment in kitchens and the restaurant industry. Here’s a selection of notable quotes from the chat — and one tidbit about the Joe Beef team’s upcoming Little Italy wine bar, Mon Lapin.
On opening Joe Beef in 2005:
I just want to do hanger steak and I want the most expensive bottle of wine to be $50.
On whether Joe Beef is a creative work or something else:
I don’t think there’s any creativity. We’re more like history buffs.
On harassment in the workplace:
I owe it to [staff] to create a safe work environment. Seven years ago, my go-to word was [a gay slur]. I had to correct myself.
On Toronto restaurateur and Agrikol owner Jen Agg, who has been outspoken on sexual harassment in kitchens:
Jen’s been on this for years. She’s done a good job at it.
On Joël Robuchon (and the French chef’s controversial restaurant in Montreal’s casino):
I have zero problem with Joël Robuchon. I have a problem with the Casino de Montréal.
On brunch (and perhaps indirectly, why none of his restaurants serve it):
I just don’t get it.
In response to a question about Montreal’s food scene being overshadowed by places like New York (and the lack of Michelin stars here):
Leave it the way it is.
Lastly, McMillan named the chef who will run the kitchen at upcoming Little Italy wine bar Mon Lapin — it will be Jessica Noël, who was previously at Candide:
She’s going to take the city by storm.