Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Food Network All-Star Discounts

Pick of the litter?
 The Food Network might want to start holding some open auditions for their Next Food Network Star. The Barefoot Contessa, Giada, Flay, Fieri, Rachael Ray and Alton Brown are on the Food Network's all-star lineup but their books are on the discount racks at Winners in downtown Montreal. We kind of felt sorry for Fieri when we saw his new book on the same discount shelf a while back, at least he is now surrounded by friends. Is this a sign that the Food Network has jumped the shark? No surprise, the Food Network Stars have become caricatures of themselves starring in self-referential shows. Do we have to watch another show where these people just eat food in front of the camera? Note to Food Network execs: better start dusting off those old episodes of Iron Chef from Japan.

At least we have each other

Iconic songwriter Jerry Leiber dies at 78

Jerry Leiber of the famed songwriting duo Leiber and [Mike] Stoller has passed away at 78. He is the author of some of rock 'n' roll's most iconic songs (Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, Poison Ivy) and a few of our favourite songs about food...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Street Food Alert: Verdun Street Sale has begun

The Verdun street sale started on Thursday and finishes on Saturday.

Balconville: Old friends and familiar Fez's 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What Ramsay Ate in Montreal

The answer to the question that everybody want to know, where did Gordon Ramsay eat when he was in Montreal? You may have heard the rumors that Ramsay was spotted at Au Pied de Cochon and it confirmed in one of his Tweets. It seems to be a rite of passage for all visiting food celebrities to eat the Poutine Foie Gras. For those of you who have not had enough Ramsay this week we noticed that Netflix has posted 32 episodes (5 seasons) of the BBC series Kitchen Nightmares - there goes the weekend. This is our favorite Ramsay television series and much different in production and style than the American version.

Gordon Ramsay

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rain on Ramsay's Parade: Laurier Gordon Ramsay evacuated

We mentioned the heat at last night's opening of Gordon Ramsay's new Montreal eatery, Laurier Gordon Ramsay. 

The restaurant's first service on Wednesday evening must have been too hot to handle because sprinkler problems lead to an evacuation of the building.

The theme song for Hell's Kitchen is sounding rather ironic at this moment... more like Kitchen Nightmares.

Gordon Ramsay Rocks the Laurier

Top Billing?
With the cult of celebrity Chefs in full-swing a certain rock-star status has been created with these personalities. This phenomenon was evident with Gordon Ramsay's public appearance at the re-launch of the revamped and renamed, Laurier Gordon Ramsay restaurant. Women swarmed and swooned the Chef for photos and bisous as he entered the building. The scrum of media and adoring fans bordered on chaos when the Chef was left too long in public view. This is the first time that we have been witness to a Chef mauling. Even Quebec Finance Minster Raymond Bachand could not resist the Chef’s charms and seized the opportunity for a photo-op. Minister Bachand represents the Outremont riding where the restaurant is located. Having experienced Ramsaymania first hand we have also fallen under the Chef’s spell. All we can say is that he is even more handsome and charismatic in person.

Ready for my closeup
We are not sure if it was the restaurant (you are in the hospitality business...right?) or PR firm Cosette (safe to say the biggest firm in Canada, entrusted with publicity and media for the evening) that was behind the organization of the event but there were some logistical issues. Perhaps there was some conflict between the two organizing factions. With Daniel Boulud opening a resto at the Ritz this fall (Does Boulud get the same groupies as Ramsay?) our city needs to up its game when handling these visits from culinary royalty because these logistical issues only make our city look bad when the world’s culinary eyes are upon us.
Clean Poutine
The decision to have your main attractions, Gordon Ramsay and principal food station (chicken) in the same back corner of the restaurant is just bad planning considering you also have an entire open space on the second floor. The crush of people wanting a glimpse of Ramsay or food resulted in a sweltering heat factor. The most overheard comment from the crowd was about the heat that it felt like a real Hell’s Kitchen. Just in case it was not hot enough in this crush of bodies the famous rotisserie was pounding out the heat in the same corner. Then again, why should this iconic piece of equipment miss the festivities held in its honour?  These comments have nothing to do with the restaurant, staff, food or even your possible dining experience at Laurier Gordon Ramsay because this was not the point of the soirée.
Sliders: Off the Plate Like Hotcakes
The evening featured miniature versions of the main menu dishes. We think that this is a great concept for a cocktail and showcasing the menu during a restaurant opening. As a preview the dishes seem exciting but you can cool your jets a little because the menu items are dishes you can get anywhere in our city, chicken, burgers, fries and poutine. These standard dishes are going to have to be out of the park in order to live up to the hype surrounding the re-opening of this establishment. Not that Laurier BBQ was ever known for good food but isn’t this the point of having a Gordon Ramsay restaurant? Then again, this is a city that supports St-Hubert chicken so who is to say who cares which comes first, the celebrity Chef or the food? As the evening winded down we braved the heat and grabbed a bite of the chicken, the verdict, lots of dry bites that stick to the roof of your mouth. Then again, this event was really only a dress rehearsal and the real test for the kitchen starts today with the restaurant’s first service.
Final Curtain

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Celebrity Chefs in MTL

Anthony Bourdain is not the only Chef hanging out in Montreal these days. Be on the lookout for Gordon Ramsay who will no doubt be having an official opening of his new restaurant on Laurier.

Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay01)
11-07-27 8:25 AM
RT I'm coming to Montreal next week can't wait. @sarah11976: @GordonRamsay01 Ramsay!!! Come to Canada!! I have ... http://tmi.me/dzXeO

In other news, foodwriter Simon Majumdar was spotted in town on the weekend of July 23, just one week after Bourdain's visit.

No news if Majumdar was in Montreal on business or pleasure but as one of the hosts of the upcoming season of The Next Iron Chef, featuring our own Chuck Hughes, we can only speculate.

From his tweets we know that Majumdar noshed at Schwartz's and ate the Foie Gras Poutine at Au Pied de Cochon, "a dish so good we [Majumdar] ordered it again for dessert." Majumdar lunched at Toqué and Brasserie T where he praised the Coquilles Saint-Jacques.

We will keep you posted and in the meantime enjoy the summer.