MONTREAL — Les Lauriers, the newly-conceived prize that aims to recognize the very best of Quebec’s culinary scene, is gearing up for its first awards ceremony in April, and the organizers have just unveiled the finalists across 15 categories. The full list is over here, but there’s a strong Montreal presence in most categories (not a major surprise, given the city’s size). In the restaurant of the year category, seven out of ten nominees are from Montreal — Bistro Rosie, Candide, Le Club Chasse et Pêche, Le Mousso, Le Vin Papillon, Marconi, and Montréal Plaza. For chef of the year, there are another seven — Antonin Mousseau-Rivard (Le Mousso), Éric Gonzalez (L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon), John Winter Russell (Candide), Marc-André Jetté (Hoogan et Beaufort), Marc-Olivier Frappier (Vin Papillon) Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly (Marconi), and Stelio Perombelon (wine bar M.Mme). The winners will be unveiled April 16, and will be decided by both a large brigade of food world professionals, and a smaller, confidential jury tasked with taking a closer look at each nominee.
DOLLARD-DES-ORMEAUX — Sad news out of DDO Southern food hub Bistro Nolah: chef Michael Minorgan died last week. He was most recently doing New Orleans cuisine at the West Island favourite but was also a major player in bringing a small Cajun food scene to Montreal, as the founder of restaurants such as La Louisiane and Mesquite Southern BBQ. Minorgan was also known for hosting various culinary shows on Canal VOX (now MaTV).
VERDUN — Oh-so-sweet maple festival Cabane Panache et Bois Rond lands in Verdun again, from Thursday March 22 to Sunday March 25. It’s not strictly a food event — there’s ample live music across the four days — but still plenty of sugar shack eats priced mostly around $2-4. Plenty of neighbourhood favourites will also be on hand, from Blackstrap BBQ to Augusto Al Gusto, bakery Sweet Lee’s, Les Street Monkeys, Les Îles en Ville, and more.
HOCHELAGA — Speaking of sweet events, east-end culinary competition Complètement Sucres is back this year on Saturday April 7 from noon to 4 p.m., with a host of local restaurants competing to create the best maple-based small bites.
PLATEAU — In case you missed it: the police, elected officials, and neighbours all wanted St-Laurent club Muzique to get shut down for a range of offences that mostly centred around the club disturbing the peace, yet the establishment was recently allowed to keep on opening its doors, albeit with a requirement that it provides enhanced security.
PLATEAU — Socially responsible resto Kiffin is switching up its service style, moving to a reservations-only supper club approach with a themed brunch menu that will change monthly and dinners themed around a certain cuisine or culinary element: one recent example was a “Some Like It Hot” dinner focusing on spicy food, where guests were greeted with gas masks.
Disclosure: Eater editor Tim Forster is one of about 500 members of the voting brigade for Les Lauriers, however, he did not participate in the nomination process.
- Les Finalistes [Les Lauriers]
- Meet Les Lauriers, Quebec’s New ‘Oscars For The Food World’ [EMTL]
- La Cabane Panache et Bois Rond [Quebec Original]
- Complètement Sucres [Hochelaga]
- Le bar Muzique sur le Plateau l’emporte contre la police et les élus [La Presse]