DOWNTOWN — Dan Giusti, a former chef from René Redzepi’s famed Copenhagen restaurant, is coming to Montreal for Montréal en Lumière this month. Having departed Denmark to found Brigaid, a socially responsible program for nutritional school meals, he’s fittingly appearing on a panel about social gastronomy in Quebec (alongside Candide’s John Winter Russell and Les Filles Fattoush, a Syrian immigrant-run catering company) on February 21 for $20 at Place-des-Arts. Then on February 22, he’s cooking alongside chef Simon Mathys at Mile Ex resto Manitoba. Giusti and team will do a tasting menu for $85 ($140 with wine pairings), with $20 of that going to nonprofit La Tablée des Chefs. Giusti isn’t the only big name turning up for the event — as previously reported, Mike Bagale, formerly of Chicago’s Alinea, is also putting on a special dinner.
ALL OVER — The relatively new Quebec-wide culinary awards Les Lauriers are set to take place for a second year. Nominations are open right now until February 22, before industry professionals vote in late March and early April, with the ceremony taking place April 29. The awards to be given are mostly the same as 2018, including chef, restaurant, sommelier, and pastry chef of the year. But there’s one key difference: the decision-making jury is no longer secret, with jurors’ names publicly announced, including chef Stelio Perombelon and 2018 chef of the year Colombe St-Pierre.
MILE END — Parc Avenue tapas spot Taza Flores is turning 15 this year, and owners Nadine Leblanc and Harry Marciano have given the restaurant a sleek speakeasy makeover. It features slick, classic styling — all the better for some late night bites of octopus and fried calamari.
PETITE-PATRIE — Major Japanese tea store Salon de Thé Oasis has a whole bunch of spring break tea workshops, including sessions on tea preparation, tasting, and pastry making — they run from March 2 to 9; details are on Facebook.
VERDUN — Folky street festival with a bunch of food Cabane Panache et Bois Rond takes over the Wellington Promenade again this year, running from March 21 to 24.
TORONTO — Usually we see Toronto restaurants setting up shop in Montreal, but in a rare reversal, Griffintown’s Pizzeria Moretti is headed down the 401, with plans to open in the Soho Met hotel this spring.