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2007 High Lights Festival


iharrison
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It may be interesting to consider whom you would like to see. Personally i would enjoy a number of participants to attend. Roellinger with east coast fish. Aduriz or Berasetegui(with one of his protege's). Richard Neat(this guy is a nomad, last i heard he was in Cuba after a stint in a Riad in Marrekech) i'm fascinated with what he could do with shopping in Montreal. I could mention plenty more but i'm hungry now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So what do we think of the lineup this year? Impressive on paper ... Dan Barber, Daniel Boulud, Gray Kunz, Will Goldfarb, et al.

Paul Liebrandt is back in town, which is nice to see.

I wonder if Laurent "BLT" Tourondel will pump out any $62 burgers.

Two observations. Raza has four events and Barber is at Decca77. The former is of no consequence and make what you will of the latter.

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So what do we think of the lineup this year? Impressive on paper ... Dan Barber, Daniel Boulud, Gray Kunz, Will Goldfarb, et al.

Paul Liebrandt is back in town, which is nice to see.

I wonder if Laurent "BLT" Tourondel will pump out any $62 burgers.

Two observations. Raza has four events and Barber is at Decca77. The former is of no consequence and make what you will of the latter.

It is a very good line-up and one which Montrealers should avail themselves of. The NYC centricity of it makes it somewhat less interesting to me personally as it is just as easy for me to experience the food of most of those chefs at their home restaurants in NYC. A couple of exceptions to that are Paul Liebrandt and Cornelius Gallagher, who are currently not in their own restaurants at the moment.

One person, who would be worth a special trip is Frederic Bau of Valrhona. I got excited when I saw a special focus on S. Africa until I didn't recognize any of the chefs. Nevertheless, they will likely provide a good window into an exciting and emerging cuisine.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Does anyone feel inclined to give me a rundown of who they think are the most interesting on this panel and why? I'm really unfamiliar with most of them with the exception of Boulud and the chef from Pastis. But time and money must be spent wisely in February. Any tips and tidbits would be greatly appreciated.

PM me if you feel so inclined.

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This is what I wrote up in the Montreal Gazette last week:

The Montreal High Lights Festival has been in a bit of a funk for the past few years. Alsace was the featured region last year, which meant plenty of fine wine, but a lineup of chefs little known outside Strasbourg. However, the 2007 festival - or more specifically the 8th edition of the Air France Wine and Dine Experience presented by American Express - promises to be a knockout.

Whoever decided on New York as the featured city should be given a raise. And kudos, too, for festival organizers for nabbing one of Manhattan's star chefs, Daniel Boulud, as honorary president.

Boulud, chef-owner of restaurants Daniel, Cafe Boulud and DB Bistro Moderne, will be cooking for one night only on Feb. 23 at Toque!. The dinner is $300 per person and it's almost sold out. Yet foodies, despair not. There's plenty here to match that event for star power.

First on my list is an evening with Gray Kunz at Nuances ($95 or $150 with wine). Kunz, chef and owner of Cafe Gray, has long been considered one of New York's brightest stars and unlike most of the chefs who are here for only one night, Kunz will be in town for four days from March 1 to 4. Not to be missed.

Next, I would choose from a handful of sure-to-be-amazing meals prepared by Alex Urena at Raza (March 1, $70 or $120 with wine), Bill Telepan at Europea (Feb. 27 and 28, $90), Paul Liebrandt at Vertige (Feb. 26 and 27, $100, $150 with wine), Anita Lo at Lemeac (Feb. 26, $60 or $110 with wine), and Laurent Tourondel, who will be preparing a steak dinner at Globe (Feb. 28 and March 1, $120 or $160 with wine).

Decca 77 will host three topnotch events, including dinners with Dan Barber of Blue Hill (Feb. 27, $90 or $150 with wine), Kurt Gutenbrunner of the chic Austrian restaurant Wallse (Feb. 24, $90 or $150 with wine), and returning chef of Vancouver Island's Sooke Harbour House, Edward Tuson, who wowed diners at last year's festival (March 2, $90 or $150 with wine).

Pastry lovers will also be spoiled this year as three of the world's top patissiers will be on hand. Will Goldfarb of the all-dessert New York restaurant Room 4 Dessert will prepare a dessert tasting menu at Le Bouchon de Liege (Feb. 27 and 28, $75 or $140 with wine). France's Valrhona chef Frederic Bau will collaborate with La Chronique's Marc De Canck for a sweet-and-savoury chocolate dinner (March 1 and 2, $175 with wine). Florian Bellanger, named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in the United States, will hold a dinner, demonstration and conference at XO Le Restaurant in the St. James Hotel (March 1 and 2, $80 or $145 with wine).

Many local chefs are planning impressive events as well. Anise's Racha Bassoul and uber-sommelier Francois Chartier will collaborate on food-and-wine pairing evenings featuring spices (Feb. 22 to 24 and Feb. 27 to March 3, $175 with wine). Tea aficionados should not miss the English tea tasting at XO Le Restaurant by Montreal's premiere tea house Camellia Sinensis (Feb. 25 and March 3, $45). And Champagne lovers will flock to the seven-course, all-Champagne tasting menu at La Chronique (Feb. 24, $195 bubbly included).

Not all events are as pricey. Fine-dining restaurants will be pulling out the stops, but several casual establishments are offering lunches as low as $11.95. Then there are the larger events like the free Quebec cheese tasting at Complexe Desjardins from Feb. 22 to 24 and March 1 to 3, and La Grande Raclette convivial meal (March 3, $45). And if that weren't enough to distract Montrealers from frigid temperatures, the team of the Old Montreal gourmet shop Europea will be cooking up a ton of apple sauce in hope of making it into the famous Guinness World Records. Now that's what I call taking a bite out of the Big Apple!

For a detailed schedule of events, pick up the festival guide at participating restaurants, public markets and gourmet shops. Or check out the website at:

www.montrealhighlights.com.

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Mr Josh dechellis will not participate in Montreal high lights festival 2007

Are you sure?\

i was talking to mario at raza yesterday about the festival and didnt mention anything about it

100% sure, Mario is going to get another Chef from NYC for the same day

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  • 2 weeks later...
Mr Josh dechellis will not participate in Montreal high lights festival 2007

Are you sure?\

i was talking to mario at raza yesterday about the festival and didnt mention anything about it

100% sure, Mario is going to get another Chef from NYC for the same day

Nuevo latino Chef will replaced Chef Josh Dechellis..in the 2007 Montreal high lights festival.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Im hoping for some insight here...

I am deciding between two events (I have reservations for both on the same night): Chef Grey at Nuances OR The Sooke Harbour house guys at Decca77. Both are 7 course menus with wine for the same price :wacko: . We also have a reservation for Chef Lo at Lemeac earlier in the week.

Any insight?

Thanks!

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Montreal High Lights Festival is now in full swing and so far no reports have been posted here, which is too bad. Come on people, post!

I attended both the Daniel Boulud dinner at Toque! and the Kurt Guttenbrunner dinner at DECCA77 and both were fantastic.

This year at The Montreal Gazette web site -- www.montrealgazette.com -- we're posting both daily reports in a notebook and pictures in the photo gallery. It's a fun way to cover the fest and the pictures give you a good idea of the behind-the-scenes action. There are also some close-ups of the plates. And there's a lot more to come...

Edited by Lesley C (log)
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Ok, WHERE on www.montrealgazette.com???

Sorry but I feel stupid.... everytime I go on the Gazette I can't find what what I am looking for.

And when your search on this site, you end up on Canada.com and among completely irrelevant stuff.

It's not your fault Lesley but the Gazette site has serious problems.

Anyway, can you provide a URL where all your cool stufff is located?

Thanks!

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Ok, WHERE on www.montrealgazette.com???

Crappy navigation yes, but there's a link on the home page (http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/index.html#; scroll down a bit). I've pasted the entire link for the first "Notes" (they're missing the é from Guérard in the article):

http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/stor...c4-806a322e4cee

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And there's more to come.

From me, Will Goldfarb tonight, then Laurent Tourondel Wednesday, Alex Urena Thursday, and finally on Saturday Gray Kunz. There will also be reports on Anita Lo, Dan Barber, Bill Telepan and others. Hopefully photos for all those events as well.

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I understand that next year's featured city is Toronto. Ugh! Please tell me this is not true. New York followed by TO; are there budget issues driving the agenda?

BTW, I think the NYC idea was great and snagging Boulud, Barber, Kunz and the other greats is 'hats off' to the organisers. But following New York City with Toronto seems a little regionally boring in my mind. I am not one of those Toronto haters but it just isn't a food city that generates much excitement and it does not differentiate itself from other large North American cities when it comes to restaurants.

PS: I am heading to the Gray Kunz dinner at Nuance on Friday. If anyone is going tonight I'd love to hear from you tomorrow.

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You know, I think it's great that they're going with TO next year. There are a lot of interesting chefs in TO and the ones who have come here for past festivals left praising our city. Let's get Susur Lee, Mark McEwan, Jamie Kennedy and all those guys on board and have them show us their stuff. Really. I think it would be exciting, far more so than what? the chefs of Bordeaux or some predictable ciy like that. Please, give me Toronto, I'd be thrilled.

Anyway, I hear Paris will be the featured city for the 10the edition, so we can all go wild then. That is, if any of the good chefs show. And same goes for Toronto. I hope they manage to pull in the big guns. Otherwise, yes, it could be a bore.

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You know, I think it's great that they're going with TO next year. There are a lot of interesting chefs in TO and the ones who have come here for past festivals left praising our city. Let's get Susur Lee, Mark McEwan, Jamie Kennedy and all those guys on board and have them show us their stuff. Really. I think it would be exciting, far more so than what? the chefs of Bordeaux or some predictable ciy like that. Please, give me Toronto, I'd be thrilled.

Anyway, I hear Paris will be the featured city for the 10the edition, so we can all go wild then. That is, if any of the good chefs show.  And same goes for Toronto. I hope they manage to pull in the big guns. Otherwise, yes, it could be a bore.

Sorry but I find it hard to get excited. I have eaten Lee's, McEwan's, Kennedy's food on multiple occassions because like many Montrealers I frequently travel to TO. Their work is excellent (although I'm not particularly enamoured by Lee's reverse order, he is nontheless a master). But the fact is TO is a one hour flight, a five-six hour drive away and the most common destination for Montrealers. This food is available, if not on our doorstep, then just down the road. I expect a culinary festival to be a little more 'out there'.

It broke my heart that I was out of town for the Boulud dinner. I have read his "Letters to a Young Chef" as well as "The Fourth Star" (not written by DB but about his restaurant Daniel). If I am away for one of the TO chefs I'll simply make a note to make a reservation the next time I am there.

As far as other cities go I would have preferred say Tokyo, London, Rome, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Florence (Tuscany in general), Nice (Provence in general), San Francisco. I don't recall all of the cities from previous years so if any are on this list give them an X.

If avoiding predictability is desirable I'm not sure TO would be a sure fire winner on that front.

If economics is driving the agenda then the TO decision becomes more understandable.

Edited by gruyere (log)
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