Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Commitment Phobes: Revisited..

I have received another comment from a reader of mine. This one is quite touchy. It's actually a comment that was made on my "Commitment Phobes: Exposed" article that I did a while back. Here it goes...


Dear N.


Great post. Do you have anymore insight? Five months ago my commitmentphobic ex broke up with me after a year. I'm still devastated. I have read hundreds of books and articles on this fear, gone to therapy and doing my best to pick myself up. I miss him terribly and I am still depressed. I am his longest relationship.He has a poor dating history, verrry short relationships ( a few months) and we have had a long history of attraction toward each other. I'm 31 and he's 37. We dated once when I was 22. Something keeps bringing us back together. I finally thought our timing was right to stay together. Although I never brought up marriage or kids, he sabotaged the relationship and checked out. Now especially at my age (and his), my dreams of marriage and kids with him are shattered. I feel like he is a complete stranger now. We aren't even friends. Any advice that I haven't heard before? Seriously I've spent 5 months reading every article and forum just trying to understand his psyche. - Anonymous


Dear Anonymous,


First of all, I'm not a commitment phobe expert. What I do know though is that everyone has a reason for being a commitment phobe. Whether it be a past relationship, an experience that the person lived through or a traumatic experience, each person has a reason for having this phobia. Like any phobia or any psychological issue, there is a root somewhere. Daddy issues, mommy issues, really, reasons are endless. Maybe he is the one that should do therapy to figure out why he can't commit. I do not know your man, hence I can't really know why he can't commit and why he feels this pressure. 
I think someone can be a commitment phobe at any age, and yes I do think it's sad that this didn't work out the way it should. What I also know, is that you are not the one to blame. You think, but what is wrong with me that I can't get him hooked?! As stupid as this might sound, it's not you, it's him. Now, if you have read tons of articles and tons of info on this subject, you probably know all this by know. But this is the best insight I can give you. 


Now I open this up to my readers, some of which are commitment phobes, and I'm wondering if you can help me and help my reader with this issue. I know most of you are pretty smart people who have all been through their fair share of relationship issues, so maybe you can add something that I don't know about. 


Please include your comments below, because you know, we all want to get down to the bottom of the Whys? and Hows?.


N.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Lex's Art : The Art of Picking Up

So my blog team is growing, I now have a contributor! Super duper Lex is my new "Art of" girl. Lex's specialty is MEN. The Art of Picking Up is the first of her many contributions. She's a pro, I'm telling you, so I do suggest you read well and if you put these moves into practice, you too can probably pick up!


After reading N’s blog and hearing her talk about ideas for upcoming posts, I felt inspired to write something as well. What can I write about? What is it that I know about and that I can share with others? Hmm...well I’m confident and witty and I’m not afraid of looking like a fool. In fact, my friends love asking me to go up to guys to start up a conversation. I was once in a bar and my friend thought the guy across the bar was hot. So I walked up to him, told him my friend wanted to meet him and brought him over. They ended up hooking up! And it hit me; I jokingly suggested writing about picking up. Yup, about how to pick up a guy in a bar! N thought it would be a great idea, so we quickly put the plan into action.

To clarify, my definition of picking up is to identify someone you find attractive and to start up a conversation, leading to the opportunity to go further if you find them interesting.
Even though I looked a mess and was exhausted from an intense hot yoga kbox class, I got dressed and headed over to the Burgundy Lion. It’s close by, there are always good looking guys and the setup is ideal for picking up. First step: find a good location! Some bars are better than others (FYI, Cock&Bull’s? Not a good idea).

N and I positioned ourselves at the center of the bar, with a direct view of the door and some room around us. The advantage is that you can see who walks in and you have a good scope of who is in the bar.  This next step is called The Scope. Look around, any attractive guys? Make sure they aren’t with girls because you never know who the girl is with and it could cause an awkward situation. In our case, the guys at the bar were with girls but there were two guys having dinner at a table across from us. We made eye contact. N and I ordered drinks (Leo for me and Vodka something with bitters for N) then N and I started discussing how someone could initiate a conversation with a guy. You need some kind of “in”.

How to create a situation? How to get “in”? Well, be creative! Here are a few options:
  • If I was sitting at a table and hot guys were sitting next to me, I could lean over and ask them when the next Habs game is. “Hey sorry, is there a game this Saturday?” then involve your friend and turn it into a discussion “Yeah N and I weren’t sure if there was, can you believe they got shut out 3 games in a row? Hasn’t happened since 1949!!” And how about making an opportunity for yourself by asking them to come watch the next game with you at the bar or letting them know you’ll be watching the game. Talking about the Habs is a no fail! Trust me.
  • If you are planning on eating, look at the menu and discuss loudly with your friend about what to order. Then lean over, ask the guys if they’ve eaten here before “Hey do you know if the burger is any good here? Not sure what to order...” In my case, I only order the cheeseburger. I’m obsessed! So I wouldn’t ask an open question like “what’s good here” because I’m picky and I need my cheeseburger. Also, I think it’s key to be able to be witty and funny and to try to keep the convo going. For example, I would say something silly like if they suggested the Bangers and Mash, with a wink, I would say “haha yeah N loooves bangers.”
  • It’s always your birthday!! I would ask N to go to the bathroom, then lean over and tell the guys that it’s N’s bday and ask if they could please help me sing to her when she gets back. Hell, you can even order a first round of bday shots for when she gets back. It’s funny and the guys will for sure join in the celebration and will probably even purchase more bday shots. 
In our case, it was relatively easy. The couple to my right got up and left and the two guys we made eye contact with earlier had finished their meal, and jumped on the chance to take up the two free stools. I figured they would for sure start talking to us. Instead of having my back turned to them and facing N, I rotated on my stool to face forward and to be more accessible. I raised the tone of my voice so they could hear what I was saying and take the opportunity to jump in with a comment. I just said whatever “I love those wooden lions behind the bar” “Hey N, did you hear about the new JD, Tennessee Honey? Looks amaaazzing” The guy next to me jumped in with “hey yeah I heard about that,” exactly as I had planned. It was that easy. Then we started talking about what was in my weird looking drink “Cucumber?? Weird” and what N was drinking “Bitters?? What is that??” and they offered us another round. The conversation was interesting and could have led to a phone number exchange. Though that wasn’t our goal so we parted ways and headed home.

The key is always to create a situation for yourself, we were lucky that everything worked as planned but otherwise, you work with what you have. A situation can always be created. When an opportunity comes up, seize it! Be confident, be creative, be your awesome self and of course, have fun!

- Lex

Please give your comments, do you agree, do you have another piece of advice to add? Are you interested in a certain subject you want to Lex to write about? Please share in the comments below!

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Swami Jane Equation Story : Told by the Trumpet Player

"Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without."  ~Confucius

Swami Jane Equation
Confucius is right. We can't live without music. For some of us, we like to remain on the spectator's side and take in these beautiful tunes played for us. And then there are others, who actually create the harmonies we learn to enjoy. But how does one succeed in being the ultimate entertainer? In a sea of bands, musicians willing to show the spectators how glorious they are, the challenge is difficult. Not all of them carve their rightful spot in the music world. But I have come across one band that truly stepped off the beaten track and decided to try a sound that I haven't really heard before. They are still a young band, reaching for the stars, and I hope they will succeed. It's a sound I enjoy, a blend of all sorts of genres we love and this blend is just sensational. 
Now, I hope you won't get upset, this band isn't from Montreal, which would have been a typical choice on my part, but actually from South of the Border! Yes, from the US of A and more specifically BALTIMORE! It's important to encourage music from all over. And well, the trumpet player from this band (4th from the left on the picture you see here) is a friend of mine and since I enjoyed his sound so much, I decided to introduce you to them and hopefully you will also enjoy the sounds of ska, rock, jazz and funk of this young up and coming band. I interviewed Nick DeSantis, he talked to me about his band, his crazy stalker and his passion. 

1.     So who are you?


Nick, Trumpet Player, Swami Jane Equation



2.     What got you into music?

When I was about 11 years old, my mother gave me a mixtape with two songs: Hummel Trumpet Concerto in Eb 1st Movement and 'Informer' by Snow (N. can't go wrong with the Informer!). I have wanted to be a musician and an entertainer ever since.

3.     So you’re in a band! How did this journey start?

I was in the Math Help Room at Johns Hopkins University trying to get the TA's to finish my Linear Algebra homework, and I remember seeing a young man (Dillon) with a very interesting jazz design laptop skin cover, and a beautiful girl I had never seen before sitting across from me. I opted to compliment Dillon on his laptop cover design, engage in conversation about my interest in jazz, horn sections, and trumpet experience, and get his number. We've been playing (music) with each other and texting each other ever since. I still haven't met the girl, but I keep seeing her around campus. I don't think she knows that I am in a band...

4.     What type of band is it? 

Swami Jane Equation is a ska/rock/funk band. It incorporates a fat horn section consisting of trumpet (me), baritone sax (Dillon), and trombone (Christian). Nate provides dope basslines and Linder offers unparalleled intensity in his beats to lay down the foundation for the rhythm section. Chris's singing style has been compared to OAR and DMB, but I personally haven't really heard anything like it (Chris also plays guitar). We also have featured instruments like keys (Joel), alto sax (Crean), vocals (Cynthia), and lead guitar (Aleksi). The band consists of students from Johns Hopkins University (Homewood and Peabody Conservatory), and many are currently studying Jazz Studies or Classical Studies. Our music has a strong ska influence, but we have different primary genres in various songs; funk (Mystery Woman), latin (Low A), and rock (Black Hole). Chris is an environmental engineer, and a lot of the lyrics are representative of his major.

5.     Which artists inspire the music you play?

  Besides Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Snow, I personally have felt a strong influence from Lee Morgan and Miles Davis, but I listen to a lot of different genres. Reel Big Fish, Sublime, DMB, and Streetlight Manifesto have all inspired the band as a whole.

6.     As a new band, how difficult is it to get the band known?

I imagine it might be harder to gain exposure in Baltimore at a school like Johns Hopkins, but we are starting to gain some momentum. We've had a huge variety of gigs so far, and right now we are trying to book more gigs at colleges around us like Loyola, Towson, Georgetown, and Goucher. Once we release our EP this spring, we will hopefully start to gain a lot more exposure. We have been fortunate enough to be able to record with audio engineering majors at different schools, which has been very convenient. Everyone we work with is around the same age: we are all college kids performing for primarily college kids. Our youtube videos and website have gotten some notice, but we are still looking for a couple big breaks. It is important to take any gig we get at this point because every audience member is important.

7.     Out of all the songs you play, which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite lyrics are in The Bayou, a song about Hurricane Katrina. Black Hole is probably my favorite jam song. I really don't have a single favorite tune, though: I'm starting to realize that I play in one of my favorite bands, which is an awesome feeling. All of the songs seem a lot better when you help create them.


8.     Where have you performed and where will you perform? (include who you will be opening for)

We have played at a variety of gigs on the Homewood Campus at Johns Hopkins, including Derby Days (Sig Chi), Homecoming, Beer Garden, and Hoptoberfest. Last weekend, we played at Joe Squared (rated best pizza in Baltimore), Miss Black America Pageant Baltimore/DC Region, The Ottobar (Battle of the Bands), and we performed at the 8x10 (Battle of the Bands) last Wednesday. We have several gigs coming up in April, including a JHU breakdance competition and Spring Fair Concert, where we will be opening for Foxy Shazam and Steel Train.

At Ottobar for Battle of the Bands

9. What’s the best thing about being in this group?

The chemistry in this group is unparalleled. We are a pretty big band, but everyone gets a long really well and respects each other. We have a lot of fun together, and I think its evident in our music and our peformances. I also really enjoy working with Christian, because of his purple Crocs. Nothing has inspired me more musically in any previous band or group of which I have ever been a part.

10. Any crazy stalker stories yet?

One woman came to one of our shows and then the afterparty at my house a couple blocks off campus. She was very knowledgeable about the music industry and had an awesome taste for music, particulary for Dixieland Jazz, which I find very entertaining. After several drinks and and numerous enlightening conversations, I realized that I could not pursue her, because I used to date her granddaughter, who was in my Structures of Materials class. I did not have the heart to tell her this; I simply said goodnight and asked her kindly to leave my home (it was 5 am...she couldn't get a cab, but I suggested that she walk home because she was loitering outside my house). She has sent each band member home-baked chocolate chip cookies every Saturday since then, which is close to 250 cookies each weekend. Some cookies make us really sleepy when we eat them, and I'm pretty sure I saw her sneak out of my kitchen one morning when I was heading for class a couple weeks ago (although I could have been imagining it- things have been really blurry ever since I started eating those cookies...)

11. What advice would you give kids that are starting to play and want to start a band?

Try to get as much exposure to as many different types of music possible. Don't be close-minded. If someone asked me ten years ago where I thought my trumpet-playing would bring me, I would not have guessed a ska/rock/funk band. However, being part of this group has definitely been the greatest musical experience of my life.

12. Does being part of Swami help you with the women?

It hasn't really brought me much more attention from the fairer gender. I think it's because there aren't any good trumpet-player pick up lines. I've tried "Hey, if you were a mouthpiece, you'd be a 3c, and I'm getting tired of my Bach 7c, so maybe we should get out of here and make some beautiful music for a sad world." It just doesn't seem to be very effective, intriguing, or logical for that matter. If you know any better lines I could use, please let me know.

13. So what’s more your style, rocker chick or pop star?

I've always been a big pop star chick fan, but recently I've begun to appreciate the shredded jeans, tattooed, sloppy make-up rocker chick style. As far as performers look in general, I am definitely more attracted to girls who look comfortable on stage, regardless of their external appearance. The way their attitudes complement their music is most important to me.

14. So you’re from South of Border, it’s always interesting for us Canucks to know what Americans know about our country, name me a couple things that make you think of Canada!

Hockey, Beautiful Women, Jamaican Rap,  Moose Crossing, Jason Bay, The Biega Brothers, Yukon Territory, Curling, Tam, Expos, Ice Hotels, Bears, Beer, Accents, Frozen Rivers, and Nick DeSantis (the famous soccer player/coach)  (N. haha, yeah he knows his Canada quite well...!)

You can check them out on their website: http://swamijane.com/
You can also check out their YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheSwamiJaneEquation



Note that this was filmed in a bar - so you can't expect perfect quality sound!!

So you like what you hear? Well why not help to get them get a little international visibility? Share the article, send it to your friends! It's important to encourage those who are making a big effort to make it. It's a tough world out there and it's bands like this that show us that a little bit of passion can go a long way. Also, if you have any thoughts on the band, things you like, things you don't, please do share in the comments below. Advice is key!

Thanks Nick for sharing...good luck with the granny... ;)

N.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Dear N., where should we go for a bachelorette?

I have been getting a few questions and requests here and there about things to do in Montreal. If you remember, I got one around New Years Eve asking me what I suggested a young crowd should do for NYE and now I just got another from L. in Nova Scotia. Here's how it went! (I love getting e-mails like this because there is nothing I enjoy more than showing off my city to people who have never been or have barely been!)

Hi N.

I came across your blog while searching for places to go dancing in Montreal :)  I'm from Nova Scotia but myself and 10 girlfriends are heading to Montreal for a girls weekend complete with lots of shopping, eating, laughing and we're going to throw a bachelorette party in there somewhere.  We're all in our mid 30's and I'm trying to find a venue where we can dance and have a great time but a place that plays songs we recognize and somewhere to sit when we get tired and need a break.  We're not as wild as we used to be ;)  Do you have any suggestions?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

L.

Dear L.

First of all, I have to be honest, I'm in my late twenties (holy moly... already...) and the "dancing" scene in Montreal is a little younger if you leave the Crescent area. Crescent as you may or may not know is Tourist central in Montreal. Electric Avenue is probably my favorite club on the strip playing all the great oldies and 90s dance songs I love. I can tell you that you can dance the night away to the sounds of Mr Vain, Lady Gaga and the YMCA. The decor is quite old school with neon lights, big couches, small bar tables, but I can guarantee that you will have a good time and dance like it's nobody's business. The crowd is usually older and you will find that same type of crowd at most of the clubs on the Crescent. Thursdays, Winston Churchills, Winnies are great places for drinks on a warm day if ever you are heading here in the summer.

If you don't feel like heading to tourist central, my other idea is probably Koko's on Friday which is on the corner of Sherbrooke and St-Laurent. Im not quite sure when you are heading to Montreal, but if you are there in the summer, they have a great outdoor terrace and the crowd isn't too young. Their NYE party was a hit and they are truly making a killing every Friday in the city. People are dancing everywhere, bottle service and it's a true party. You can probably find a bit more information on their Facebook page. They are located inside the Opus Hotel.

My other suggestion is a place that has been around for a while called Cavalli. Cavalli just launched their new RSVP nights on Saturday. I haven't been because it is launching on Saturday, but it's gaining quite the buzz in the city. Older crowd and I hopefully think it will be the next IN place in the city. Here is their promo video. I think you will like it and it's very "bachelorette-esque". You can probably even reserve, get a great table and celebrate like it's 1999! 




Now, Im asking my wonderful readers, do you have any ideas for L.? Maybe there is something Im missing. I must say, you guys know your city pretty well and I know you will probably know of something that Im not even aware of yet or not thinking about!

Also, I also have great restaurant suggestions if you look up the "FOOD" category of my blog. But I also have a bunch more that I haven't reviewed yet in case you are interested in my opinion!

I hope the bachelorette will be amazing and please let me know how it goes!! Montreal is such a fun city to be in, I can guarantee it that you girls will have a blast!!!

N.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Bottoms Up!

If there is something I know Montrealers are good at, is enjoying a good drink with some great company. Luckily, our city isn't short of great drinkeries and actually there are a couple that have just opened that are making a splash in Montreal's nightlife.

Philemon Bar
111 St-Paul Ouest
(look out for the red sign right outside the door)

Philemon Bar is one of them, opened a couple months ago in the heart of Old Montreal. Great decor, eclectic crowd and on Thursdays make sure you try Dan the Oyster Man's tray of oysters, they are sensational. The central bar is a perfect meet-up spot, perfect for drinks on a Thursday evening, or even Friday or Saturday.  A wood and brick blend, with what I remember, lots of blue paint, make this bar quite cozy and enjoyable. They also serve other amuse-gueules until 3am, good wine list, and according to Sebastien Langlois, who is part of the staff at Philemon, actually 14 wines by the glass to be exact ranging from white, red, bubbly and desert wines. Pretty much every type of wine to satisfy the most difficult of pallets. Crowd is not pretentious, no bottle service and none in the plans. It's really a community bar on St-Paul right smack in the middle of Old Montreal.  And for you single ladies out there, the men here are delicious. A mostly good looking young professional breed available here, but laid back unlike those at Vauvert. 

Photo credit- Urbana on Urbanspoon.com

La Drinkerie Ste-Cunegonde
2661 Notre-Dame Ouest
(right next to the uniform store)

Another place that really just opened last Saturday is a new community bar right in my community. Since I moved to St-Henri almost 3 years ago, there has only been 1 bar that caters to the locals and it became so popular that the Burgundy Lion became a destination bar. People from all over the city would come to St-Henri and enjoy Burgundy. But now, there's a new kid in town called La Drinkerie, on Notre-Dame as well. After speaking to the owner, he told us that he was inspired by some bars in Brooklyn to create our new community drinkerie! Brick walls cover the right side wall as you walk in, a mid size bar on the left with tables and chairs all around. When I went, it was 90% male, but it was Thursday and hockey night!  This place also has TVs to watch hockey and some banquettes at the back. But as a friend pointed out, this place lacks a little personality. It doesn't offer anything special. Some bars make their stamp with a theme either by being a dance bar, a trendy bar, whatever, and this place lacks some of that. I think it needs some work, and it needs a theme in order to attract a good clientele. But it's still young, they still have room to grow. Sorry, I didnt take any pictures there. Probably will do next time Im here.


If you haven't tried these places. I suggest you do, and make your own mind about the place! And if you have and you have something to add, please do!

Happy Drinking and have a great weekend!

N.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A breath of fresh Spring!

Seriously, I'm done with this weather. I'm done with winter. This is the second time this year that I need to call a tow truck to get my car out of snow. I'm telling you right now, and now you have proof, my next car is 4 wheel drive to get me out of this ridiculousness. So in the spirit of this weather, I decided to let our minds drift a little and show you something to really look forward to - THE SPRING!

Spring is great! Time to put those sleeping bag coats and those big Sorel boots to rest and out with the cute spring dresses, fun leather boots, and hopefully a better glow. And you for my wonderful men, time to put away those horrible big boots, and big Canada Gooses and in to some sexy leather jackets, great shoes and colorful tops. I rarely do a fashion piece, but I thought this one was just perfect to take our minds off the millions of inches of snow and on to the sunshine, the heat and beautiful clothes that come with it.

For dresses, I recently found these 2 great sites : Ruche and ModCloth, both online sites that I ship to Canada. These sites have other things than dresses, but I fell in love with them!

Lovejoy's Tea Room Dress

Teal with a Twist Dress

Loving Life Dress

citrusy sweet blossoms applique dress

hoping for romance gray ruffle dress

don't let me down belted chambray dress


And for you my fabulous men, here are some great looks I love for the Spring season. I gotta say I'm a BR, Zara, American Eagle Outfitters, Abercrombie fan...haven't found an only-online site, but BR does sell online and so does Abercrombie.

Banana Republic


Banana Republic
Zara
Abercrombie and Fitch
Aw so refreshing. Great looks for the upcoming Spring season. I'm seriously counting the days before putting away all my winter clothes and looking forward to spending some of my monies on these beautiful dresses... and for you women buying clothes for your hombre, you have some pretty great pieces to select from! But then again, nothing is more of a turn on than a great V neck sweater, comfy jeans and a pair of flip flops. I'm so excited!

So until then, enjoy your boots because they won't be around much longer!

If you do know of any other great online sites, or great stores you love, please do share. We all need some great ideas to help up stock up on happy clothes!

N.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Chuck Hughes - The Kitchen's Bad Boy

Working for this magazine does have great perks, I get to go to all sorts of fun events, meet great people, and really enjoy what I'm doing. For the cover of RSVP Magazine (which will launch in Spring 2011 in Montreal), we will be showcasing some of the most known Montreal personalities in the hospitality/restaurant industry. The shoot was a couple days ago at the Loft Hotel on Sherbrooke. I met some great people, but I think the most interesting was chef-owner of the Restaurant Garde-Manger and TV host on his cooking show on the Food Network "Chuck's Day Off", Chuck Hughes. Especially considering the fact that I LOVE FOOD, it was such a treat to sit down with Chuck and just chit chat about food. 

Chuck and I at the RSVP Magazine cover shoot
Chuck stands probably 8 feet tall - well for 5'4" little ol me, he seemed like a giant. A very tanned, tattooed, good-looking giant who just got back from the Food Network South Beach Food and Wine Festival in Miami (an event I plan to be at next year!) and the youngest of the entire crew of people we were taking pictures of for the cover. The Kitchen's Bad Boy I like to call him, with his food tattoos everywhere, little scruff but with so much talent, I can't get over it! Really there is nothing like a man that can cook! 

I have to admit that I can't divulge too much information because the official interview will be available in the launch edition of RSVP Magazine which I hope all of you will go out to get. HEY! It's even going to be FREE! But I will let you in on some insider info, just because you all deserve it. 

For those of you that might not know, Chuck is a pure QUEBECOIS! Born and raised in Montreal, attended Brebeuf and really started off like any one of us from this beautiful city. He even had the opportunity to work with different bands, cooking for them while on tour. He was the first cook for a band called RESET - which is now, of course, the famous SIMPLE PLAN. He participated in cooking for the Van's Warped Tour and started building from there.  Now this summer he will be cooking for all the artists at Osheaga and for Heavy MTL.

He has a become a true entrepreneur, who started up his own restaurant, after working the kitchen at Time Supper Club (and other locations like Globe, Rosalies and Tapeo)! He's now an international "super-cook", traveling the world, thinking up new projects and loving every second of it. He's a great example to show all us that you can really succeed in life if you are passionate about what you do. 

In discussions - about food probably!
After the cover shoot, I didn't have time to sit down with him to interview him for the magazine, so the next day, I made my way to Garde Manger, where he was working, cleaning dishes, cutting chives, and just enjoying the company of his team. We sat for about an hour and talked about his career, his passion, his funny stalker stories, his tattoos, his travels - actually he's off to Tennessee and then doing a North American tour to promote his show, and then off to Asia (Malaysia, Singapore and others) to do an Asian Food Network Tour. He's gone months at a time, promoting, meeting people and learning. He told me, "I don't pretend I know how to cook other foreign cuisines, so I use my travels to learn"

There are some projects in the works for a new restaurant opening in Old Montreal in 2011, but he didn't want to give me too many details. It's still very much in the works and he's still searching for the perfect idea. Well let me tell you, once that place is open, I will be one of the first at the door! Aww after the fried Mars bar, and that excellent magret de canard, you know you can't go wrong with Chuck's cooking!

And lucky me, I left the interview with a personalized signed copy of Chuck's cookbook! What a fun experience that was!

Chuck's cookbook - signed especially for me!! (yes that is a drawing of a lobster!)
So I asked him what his favorite thing to make in his book was, he told me the carrot butter that you can put on scallops or halibut. So here I leave you with that recipe, I hope you try it! (P.S. his cookbook is in french, so the recipe will be in french!)

The recipe in the book is called : BEURRE DE CAROTTES

- 8 à 10 très grosses carottes (ou 1 L de jus de carottes frais)
- 5ml (1 c. à thé) de fécule de mais
- 225 g (0.5 lb) de beurre, en cube
- sel et poivre du moulin

À l'aide d'une centrifugeuse (a juicer), extraire le jus des carottes pour obtenir 1L (4 tasses) de jus de carottes (ou utiliser du jus de carottes commercial).

Dans une casserole, réduire le jus de carotte avec la fécule de mais à 250 ml (1 tasse)

Incorporer les cubes de beurre en fouettant. Saler et poivrer. Réserver.

NOTA. Le beurre de carottes est délicieux sur les pétoncles, sur un risotto végétarien, sur le homard ou sur un poisson à chair blanche. C'est la meilleure sauce végétarienne et l'un de leurs classiques. Délicieux sur les champignons sautées,


If ever you do try it, please let me know! And if you have tried Garde-Manger, please share. Did you like it? What was your favorite meal there? And if you haven't tried it yet, that's a great 3rd date type of place, important date because let me tell you, it's not given... ENJOY!

*MARCH 20th UPDATE*

Lobster Poutine reigns surpreme! Chuck beats Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America! Big congrats to our local chef!! If you want to recipe you best pick up his cookbook (it is only in french though). After a bunch of requests came in, Im doing you a favor and giving you the recipe for the Lobster Poutine - for all my readers South of the Border, I decided to translate it so you can bring Quebec's cuisine right into your home too.

LOBSTER POUTINE RECIPE

Ingredients:

- 2 lobsters 1.5 pounds each
- 4 cups of lobster broth (will give recipe as well)
- 2 tbls of butter
- 6 potatoes (Yukon Gold, washes, not peeled, cut in sticks)
- 1 pound of cheese curds
- Salt + Peppter
- Canola or Peanut oil for frying

1. In a boiling pot of salted water, cook the lobsters for 2 minutes, just enough to grab. Cool down in freezing water. De-shell and keep the meat in the fridge until you need to serve.

2. For the sauce, the lobster broth needs to be reduced by half until it thickens and sticks to the back of the spoon. Add the butter by whipping it in. Rectify the seasoning. Leave hot.

3. Preheat the oil of the fryer at 300 degrees

4. For the fries, whiten the potatoes for 2-3 min by putting them in the hot oil. Strain and let rest for a few minutes

5. Increase the temperature of the oil. Fry the fries for 2-3 min until they are golden and crunchy. Leave on some absorbing paper to remove the excess fat. Add salt and pepper

6. When serving the fries, garnish them with the cheese, then the lobster and then the sauce.

TO MAKE THE LOBSTER BROTH

- 2 lobsters 1.5 pound each
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 chopped carrott
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 celery stock
- 1 head of garlic cut in 2
- 4 sticks of rosemary
- 4 sticks of thym
- 2 tabls. of ketchup
- 1 tabls of pepper
- 8 cups of water
- sea salt

In a big pot of salted water, cook the lobsters for 6-7 min. Then put in freezing water to stop cooking. Remove meat and use immediately in a recipe or leave in fridge for later

Keep the carcass at the bottom

In the same pot, heat the oil et make the carrot, onion, celery and garlic sweat for 5 min on medium heat while mixing. Add the lobster carcass, the rosemary, the thym, the ketchup and the pepper grains to then cook for 10 minutes. Add water and let it brew for 2 hours.

Pour through a strainer and reduce the liquid again to 4 cups.

Let it cool down.

NOTA. Lobster broth can be kept for 1 week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Use it for the lobster poutine!

Hope this helps!!!

N.