Creole Lime Shrimp on Creole Quinoa

I love cooking. If you’ve been following me on Instagram over the last year or so, you may have noticed a few more home-cooked meals than before. That’s because I recently moved into a condo where one of my “needs” was to have a good kitchen, which I got. When I cook, I usually try to eat healthier even though it may seem as if my caloric intake is higher than the norm. Perception is everything I guess. Since this new kitchen entered my life, I’ve learned the value of a well-stocked pantry extending to the fridge. That means, plenty of spices, a few select grains or seeds, aromatics and basic vegetables, herbs, plenty of citrus, proteins, sauces, and cheeses. This led me to my latest recipe: Lime-Creole Shrimp with Quinoa.

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Best Bites of 2013 2013 is in the books. I ate a lot. I found this year’s cuisine to be less formal than usual. The casual eats shined while a couple big dishes left me wanting more. A balance of flavors, textures, and aromas left lasting impressions. I was surprised at how amazing some new places were, and how certain food trends influenced other dishes. In no particular order, here are the best bites I ate in 2013. [click to continue…]


Jeff Finkelstein
Do you like bread? Who doesn’t. There’s nothing like the sound of perfect crust crackling, or the aroma emanating from the soft center. When you’re holding bread, GOOD bread, you observe, listen, smell, touch, and finally taste. When it’s done well, you know it. I’m not talking about that stuff which can probably survive a nuclear war, natural disaster, or can live on the shelf from one Olympics to the next without going bad. The good bread I speak of is from those who make it from scratch, and know bread better than anyone. Enter Hof Kelsten.

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Le Vin Papillon

“I’ve got new place opening up soon.”


“Right there. I want a place where I can walk over, drink good wine, eat well, and not care about reservations.”

“Sounds awesome. I’ll definitely be there.”

That’s pretty much how my short conversation went with Dave McMillan a few months ago while standing in front of Liverpool House. Maybe not word-for-word, but it’s close. Once in a while, I have those sort of small talk moments with him at the same spot. I really enjoy it albeit for a few brief moments, but I don’t like to take up too much if his time, since I know he bounces between his famous restaurants, Joe Beef and Liverpool House. Now there’s a third place to discuss: Le Vin Papillon.

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De la rue au etoiles

Every year, I’m unable to do it. The timing isn’t right, or generally, life gets in the way. This year, I’m in and I can’t wait! I really enjoy community events in Montreal. Oysterfest was a blast, I’ve been doing a couple cooking lessons in the Marché Saint-Anne, and participating/eating during Burger Week was fun (I had so much salad after). Throughout all the eating, sometimes it’s important to take a step back from the scene. Sometimes, we take advantage that we have meals readily available to us at all times. We can eat when we want and cook what we want. It’s really important to recognize there are those who are not as fortunate as us; who can’t eat when they want, who are happy if they get a bed to sleep on, or even a bowl of soup if they’re lucky. The event “De la rue aux étoiles 2013” is one of the most attended food events of the year, benefiting Dans la Rue, which takes place on Thursday, September 26th, 2013. It’s also important to note this is the 25th anniversary of this event!

Dans la Rue’s goal is to “provide assistance to homeless youth and youth at risk. With dedication, empathy and respect, and with the support of the community, we care for their immediate needs, and help them acquire the skills and resources needed to lead more autonomous and rewarding lives.” How can I say no to an event benefiting such a cause.

The event itself will feature 10 well known Montreal restaurants along with their head chefs who will compete in a friendly culinary competition with the help of some food bloggers. This year the featured food all restaurants will attempt to elevate will be the wonderful hotdog which will be served to the guests at the event. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be cooking along side Nick Hodge of Icehouse. If you’re there, please come say hello! Guests will vote on their favorite gourmet hotdog, and a panel of esteemed judges (Lesley Chesterman, Jean-Philippe Tastet, and Clarah Germain) will also present the VIP Award for the most delectable street food. The participating restaurants include: Beatrice Ristorante, Icehouse, Café Ferreira, Taverne Gaspar, Gros Jambon, Grumman’78, Le Boucan, Le Vieux-Port Steakhouse, and Rib ‘N Reef.

Tickets are $150 ($125 tax return). To order a ticket, please call 514.526.5222. The event will be held at the Montreal Science Centre – Perspective 235° at 2, rue de la Commune Ouest in the Old Port of Montreal. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for photos of the event. Hope to see you there!

Facebook event page: De la rue aux étoiles : Édition 25e anniversaire!

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Get Ready Montreal!

August 27, 2013 Food Media

Are you dreading to say your goodbyes to summer? I am, and I’m not ready to let it go just yet. Yes, festival season is over, but there’s still a bunch of great events happening in Montreal in the next couple of weeks. There’s plenty of time to get in some good eats, while the […]

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Eat Here, Eat This

August 19, 2013 Restaurants

Summer always brings out the best in food. I’ve been enjoying the great flavours of street food, relaxing on terrasses with a cool drink in hand, and many frequent visits to Montreal’s markets. Lately, I’ve been lucky enough to feast on some really good food, which would be selfish of me if I didn’t share […]

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Dinner at Barbounya: New Turkish Restaurant on Laurier

July 8, 2013 Restaurants

It’s exciting when a new restaurant opens! There’s always some early buzz followed by, most likely, an opening dinner (like this one!), and usually afterwards, questions about how the restaurant is or was during that night. This time around, I’m talking about a new Turkish restaurant on Laurier called Barbounya. The name derives from a […]

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Royal Canadian Monday at Pastaga

June 10, 2013 Food Media

Martin Juneau is one of Montreal’s most popular chefs. After winning The Golden Plates award in 2011 (best chef in Canada…no big deal), his profile grew and him, along with his food quickly became very well known. Soon after, he opened Pastaga Vins Nature & Restaurant. The small plate presentations and fantastic selection of natural […]

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Upcoming Food Charity Events

May 25, 2013 Food Media

I’ve got some exciting news! Three! amazing food events are hitting Montreal with a bang in the next couple weeks. Not only will they satisfy your latest food cravings, but will also make you feel good too. As you’ll see, these are food-focused charity events benefiting two causes close to me. Both are going to […]

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