Monday, October 29, 2007


Original title: Durs à cuire
In French with English subtitles

Restaurant Toqué
900, Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Montréal
According to the owners Christine Lamarche and Chef Normand Laprise “Fourteen years ago, when we created Toqué!, we wanted to showcase Québec products and the people who worked to supply us with them.”
Since then the restaurant has been presented with the prestigious 5 Diamond Award from the CAA and AAA. This rating – the highest there is – highlights the quality of the cuisine, service, décor and facilities of the selected establishments.

Restaturant Au Pied de Cochon
536 East Duluth, Montreal (Quebec)
As the name -- "The Pig's Foot" -- suggests, this is all about slabs of beef, pork, lamb, venison, and duck. Meats are roasted to a falling-off-the-bone turn in the brick oven surviving from a previous pizza joint. Chef Martin Picard prides himself in serving dishes having only four or five easily identifiable ingredients, in balanced proportions.

This could have been a really interesting documentary - but it isn’t.

Rarely do we get the opportunity to learn something interesting about first class restaurants, how they are run, the problems the owners encounter, the fascinating behind-the-scene activities, the amusing incidents, and not so amusing. That kind of thing.

Instead we get a very amateurish hour and half “fly-on-the-wall” perspective as two well-known chefs go about doing things like fishing. Half the time it is by way of shaky hand held shots taken from the back seat of the car as these two friends travel to somewhere. It is very disjointed and a overall a big disappointment.


When they are in Spain on their way to see how the famous dried ham is made I suggest you take a short walkabout outside the theatre. I did not and regret it. With my hands clasped tightly over my ears and humming to myself to block out the sound of the terrified squealing pig I kept my eyes squinted closed as they killed and slaughtered him. Should be mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to become a butcher. For the rest of us, it is disgusting.

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