It’s Cabane A Sucre time! And although I can’t find the damn accent for the A in Cabane A sucre on my keyboard… I CAN find the 5 best C.A.S experience for your foodie needs, without you having to rent a car, get on a long bus or leave the island of Montreal.
WHAT: Cabane Panache et bois rond WHEN: March 22-25, 2018 (hurry last weekend!) WHERE: Verdun
Last year around this time I embarked on a journey that would forever change me
I became in contact with Alison Thompson, founder of Third Wave Volunteers after meeting her nephew during my travels and after speaking with her she gave me the courage to fund-raised myself to Greece. I was a volunteer for two NGO organizations providing support for refugees who fled their homes in search of a better life.
Little do these families know, it is not rainbows and sunshine when they secretly cross the dangerous 5-mile body of water separating Turkey and Greece ( Lesvos). I stayed in a village of 80 people named Skala Sikimineas. As boat spotters, we were responsible for alerting the search and rescue team on the water and land to advise them when we spotted a dinghy or a smuggler boat.
As a volunteer, I felt every emotion from anger, helplessness, joy, and fear.
One night I was the first point of contact for 17 refugees ( including 6 children) who landed in Lesvos. Ultimately, it was the sound of a child crying that led me to them. The photo was taken by me once ambulances and volunteers arrived.
I traveled to Larisa next, where I was part of a small organization that focused on food distribution and children activities. There was a children’s library that boasted a collection of books in 12 languages.
In a short time, we built a Women’s safe space…
We turned an old damaged police trailer into a “Beauty Salon” and a “Majlis“, otherwise known as a gathering place. Kurdish women helped sew pillowcases for the Majlis, a much needed place to sit and take of hijabs and be women.
Most of my independently raised funds went to purchasing supplies for the women’s safe space and majlis including cushions, tables, beauty supplies ( hair clips, straighteners) and other useful supplies.
We worked for 5 weeks to build this space for the women and we were outside six days a week with temperatures reaching upwards of 45 degrees Celsius!
Did I mention, Larisa is the hottest city in Greece in the summer AND is completely inland?
Calais camp is notoriously the roughest place for refugees to end up. The French government tells them its a “dead end” and many of them have absolutely nothing. I have a FUNDRAISING PAGE to provide translation books, tents, and other shelter needs for these women children and families at the Calais Jungle I will know more about what is needed when I get there. You can also send funds via the Refugee Women’s Centre they have provided me with a donations list too!
I will be posting a series of “updates” through BKM to document my time there! Anything helps 🙂
How about experiencing elegance, design, and the finest cuisine in Montreal. Eric Gonzalez of L’AtelierJoël Robuchon, partnered with Montréal en Lumières for this year’s edition, inviting Chef Alain Verzeroli from Joël Robuchon Restaurant Petrus in Hong Kong to share his knowledge. The idea made sense not only for the three Michelin star honoree and l’Atelier’s team, as much as for its clientele. The location on Ile Notre Dame is paved with bright lights, from the Jacques Cartier bridge up to the ex-France Pavilion. Montreal! Lights! Action!
I was immediately charmed by the black and white, and vivid red decor a la Stendhal French boudoir. L’Atelier Joël Robuchon sits in the basement of the Casino de Montreal but you feel on top of the world with all tables soberly covered with black place mats, letting everything else shine. The event brought Chef Verzeroli to create a five-course meal based on Quebec local products. Each service perfectly paired with selected wines.
What a better way to start with the black truffle in a crusty and velvety white-poppy wafer presented with a touch of pine. A wink at a very classy Quebec grilled cheese no doubt. A blissful moment for a bread lover like me as each piece comes out from the on-site bakery.
La Noix de Saint-Jacques followed and looked more like a painting than an entrée honoring our root vegetables such as the beet, and red and white baby radishes sliced in thin carpaccio and decorated with caviar. La Timbale de Macaroni was a miniature macaroni basket filled with lobster and candied chestnuts served with our Niagara white wine, Beamsville Bench Chardonnay 2013 left us speechless. Such meticulouness.
If I had to name the plate that represented most Chef Verzeroli it would be the Le Flétan, halibut baked with lemongrass and steamed young leeks. Verzeroli’s Vietnamese and Italian roots took the center stage, right at that moment.
I was apprehending Le Bison plate as I am more of fish eater and the previous plate was a tough act to follow. This grass-fed, naturally-raised meat served as filet mignon topped with foie gras and vegetables turned me to a buffalo meat lover. Bring it on. Of course, the Le Grand Pas, Domaine du Pas de L’Escalette may have helped.
To prepare us for the finale, Chef Alain reinvented the Trou Normand in a fresh honey-tangerine jelly for a taste buds reset. What look like a necklace at first was an ensemble of pur Peru black Illanka chocolate, and a Croustillant de Grué, a chocolat thin cracker and a cacao nib tile with melting chocolate sitting besides a strudel a la Fleur de Sel.
It is a complicated art to cook in such a manner and even more difficult to describe it in all its shades and flavors. The simplest thing is to add L’Atelier Joel Robuchon to your bucket list. Done but I will be back!
Kombucha with benefits – from the base of Mont-Ferréol.
If someone were to ask me, “what does Kombucha taste like?” I would respond with something whimsical like, “It’s fun, it’s effervescent, looks like flavored champagne, buzzy that the body loves…I just frickn love it ”
Well, it’s synonymous with wellness. This beverage-of-immortality comes from China during the Tsin Dynasty in 221 BC. It has been used in Eastern Europe for many centuries. The name of the elixir of life hails from a Korean doctor, Kombu and “cha” meaning tea.
Kombucha can be found in almost every store now. There is a new Komucha that comes from the base of Mont-Ferréol, hence the name of the product. Founder and Producer Leandre Saindon has been perfecting his passion of making Kombucha for over 5 years.
He first started off as an electrician. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast, who became a farmer and kombucha brewer! His dedication has paid off with no doubt. Leandre Saindon, Founder and Producer of Mont-Ferreol.
His brand is special though, it is made with the myriad health benefits of sea buckthorn. I have been boasting about this powerful little orange-yellow berry for years.
This super fruit is known as the cure-all that has been used for thousands of years to treat many health issues.
It’s much smaller than a blueberry but has 12 times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. With high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals…190 bio-active compounds to be exact. I can go on about all the benefits of sea buckthorn. And I will at a later date.
Sea Buckthorn, the super fruit in Mont-Ferréol Kombucha
Mont-Ferréol uses locally sourced fruits to brew their Kombucha from carefully selected producers within a 150 KM radius of their facility. Support buying locally, keeping local businesses alive and well. #SUPPORTLOCAL Mont-Ferréol Kombucha There are three ultra refreshing tastes:
Sea buckthorn:fizzy, surprising with a touch of sourness and the right amount of sweetness to put a skip in your step.
Raspberry:a gentle not overbearing taste of raspberry, it’s effervescent and delightful. All the raspberries come from Ile d’Orleans.
Blueberry:definitely blueberry heaven that will provide the perk you are looking for.
Spring Water | Raspberry, Blueberry, or Sea Buckthorn Juice | Organic Cane Sugar| Sea Buckthorn Leaves | Kombucha Culture
Try it for yourself and add some health to your day. Your body will thank you for it.
Inspiration thanks to Les Marguerite(s) with Louise Lecavalier
When confronted by statements about the luck and privilege I have had to study contemporary dance, an education that was often tumultuous, my reaction varies. When you choose to dedicate yourself to anything, especially when it involves both mind and body, you need to constantly remind yourself why. You need to have your own back. And it’s easy to doubt yourself.
Pursuing any creative endeavor is never simple, especially post-graduation. Lack of job opportunities, lack of money, lack of routine. It’s a lot of lack. But sometimes I get lucky and am handed these little gifts that tap me on the shoulder and remind me why it’s worth it.
I received one of these gifts in the form of a ticket to Les Marguerite(s), a multidisciplinary show performed at Théâtre ESPACE GO, written by Stéphanie Jasmin and directed by Jasmin and Denis Marleau. The show is presented in three parts and is based on writer Marguerite Porete, who was burned at the stake in 1310 for heresy. My anticipation for the show lay in the first act, danced by Louise Lecavalier
To discuss Montreal’s contemporary dance scene and omit Lecavalier is like saying the cake is done but forgetting to ice half of it.
Her performance in Les Marguerite(s) is silently captivating, the kind of scene where you’re hesitant to cough or breathe too loudly in fear of disturbing her presence. Her body narrates Porete’s story with signs of humanity and grief. She effectively set the tone for the next two parts, played passionately by Celine Bonnier (alternating with Evelyne Rompre) and Sophie Desormais.
Sweden, known for, among other things, Ikea, wilderness, snow and music. Great Music. FUCKING AWESOME MUSIC. Sweden as always been a hotbed for fantastic rock music. More specifically in the realm of Hardcore, Punk Rock, Metal and Garage rock.
Adhesive might not be a household name when it comes to artists and bands that came out of Sweden; if Millencolin, The Hives, Entombed, Refused, The Hellacopters & Cult Of Luna all come to mind first for a lot of folks, it’s mostly down to the bigger exposure from which those bands benefitted on this side of the Atlantic. Many bands, however, have left a immense mark on the underground. Breach & Disfear come to mind, so is Katrineholm natives Adhesive, consisting of Mathias Andersson, Micke Fritz, Geir Pedersen and Robert Samsonowitz. They were/are still a superb punk-rock band in their own right and left a big heritage and footprint on the sound of 90’s fast melodic punk rock that to this day, still influences many bands all around the world (many of my previous projects included).
Active between 1994 and 2002, the band dealt in super fast, melodic punk-rock laced with superb vocal harmonies, political lyrics and a heart of gold.
If you were tuned into what was coming out of Scandinavia at the turn of the century, you could not miss it. They released three super influential albums (1996 Sideburner, 1998 from Left to Rightand 2000 We Got the Beat ) along with 3 Extended Plays and a split, lots of touring in mainland Europe, Scandinavia and Canada before calling it quits in 2002.
Meanwhile, their legend grew in their native Sweden, across Europe and in North America, especially here in the great white north. They surprised everyone when they announced their comeback on January 1st 2017, touring across Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, and a stint at last year’s RockFest since. What’s more, they also announced that they will donate every cent made from the reunion to charities before calling it quits again at the end of their touring schedule later this year. So far they have raised a little over $10,000 CAD for Médecins Sans Frontières.
Q & A With Max Cayer & Geir Pedersen
Here’s a very pleasant exchange I had with Geir Pedersen, lead singer and Bassist for Adhesive about the band’s impending return to Canada this week.
Max: You guys came back last year after a lengthy hiatus, how does it feel, and how is the balance working with everyday life versus short tours abroad?
Geir: It feels good! It’s really fun to get out and play, meeting old and new friends. It’s a little challenge, of course, trying to get all schedules together, but we have very understanding family members.
M: Did you guys expect such a positive reaction toward the reunion tour? Did you realize how much of rabid fan base you still have around the world ?
G: We knew that at least a few people would think it was a good thing, but the response was nothing but amazing! The shows have been great, and we got to play in countries we never have visited before. Fantastic!
M: You announced that all the money made on these tours will be donated to charity. Such a great initiative, to raise awareness to a cause dear to your hearts, and a great excuse to play fast punk music.
It seems that those kinds of things are very anchored in the punk rock ethos of the scene you guys were part of, to stand up for those who are left without a voice. How did the idea come about and how has that worked so far?
G: We said from the start that we would only reunite under those conditions. Of course there is some kind of feeling that we would like to get out there and rock, but still staying true to what the band stood for. The response has been really good.
M: After 10+ years away from the band, did you guys miss it? How did those first few jams/shows feel? From what I’ve heard and seen so far, you are still a very well-oiled punk-rock machine. Also, what’s with Sweden and amazing bands? I mean, no other country’s music output has influenced me as much, I think. I could spend the next couples of days just naming awesome Swedish or Scandinavian bands. Did you guys have a life growing up, or you holed yourselves up in your rehearsal space all the time…?
G: We have stayed connected to the music scene over the years, but I guess we felt that Adhesive was worth a different ending than just calling it quits. Now we can make one year of shows, and then quit with a good conscience. As for the well oiled machine, I guess you can say there was need for an oil change when we first started practicing again! But we practiced quite a lot before the first shows, and as we play more, the songs sound better. Good Swedish bands – yes, there are quite a few. Maybe it’s because of the long, dark winters?
M: Lastly, Adhesive and more generally most of the Swedish punk and hardcore bands always had tight links with the province of Quebec, the city of Montreal and Canada in general. Why do you think that is? And what are some of your first (or best) memories of Montreal?
G: Quebec always liked us. We had no idea of that when we first came there, but the first tour we did there was nothing but amazing. The welcoming, the open hearted hospitality was fantastic. Playing RockFest really made me determined to return one more time, and make a proper tour. Can’t wait to get back!
If you are in need of a healthy dose of fast melodic Swedish punk rock, and want to support a good cause (Médecins Sans Frontières), be sure to catch them at Foufounes Electriques, Saturday March 21th 2018. They are also playing in Rouyn-Noranda, Trois-Riviere, Quebec City, Jonquiere and Sainte-Therese. Go see them, and thank me later.