Month: January 2011

Making pâté chinois the cooking school way

In our most recent Montreal residency we were amazed by the explosion in cooking classes. Montrealers have always loved to go out to eat, but more and more they're also dining well at home. One of the pioneers in teaching classes for the general public was the Académie Culinaire (360 rue Champ-de-Mars, 514-393-8111,, which has its offices and kitchens in a modern facility on the edge of Old Montreal. The Académie created a modernized, jazzed-up version of pâté chinois that reflects the increased sophistication of even basic Quebecois cookery. We find it a wonderfully comforting supper dish on a cold winter night. The recipe required no tinkering at all, except that we adapted it for cooking in a 9x13 pan. If you prefer, individual...Read More

Poutine, pâté chinois, and Quebecois comfort food

In the three decades that we have been visiting Montreal, the dining scene has never been in so much flux—and we mean that in a good way. One development is a resurgent pride in old-fashioned Quebecois cooking. Dishes that many Montreal foodies had considered guilty pleasures are now celebrated in fine restaurants. Back in 2007, Montreal's leading French-language newspaper Le Devoir even surveyed 500 people to determine the ''national plate of Quebec.'' (In Quebec, one always describes a province-wide phenomenon as ''national.'') We were surprised to learn that it was not poutine (French fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy), but rather pâté chinois, sometimes inelegantly translated on English menus as ''Quebec shepherd's pie.'' Keep watching this spot because we will publish an updated recipe for...Read More