Tonique Cuisine

Fine Cuisine Revolution: A Tribute to the Basics

Until March 1st, Montreal is hosting the 10th Montreal High Lights Festival. For this year Gourmet Program, the Festival welcomes Paris as honoured guest city. The honorary president is the unique Alain Passard, from Paris Restaurant L’Arpège (three stars in the Michelin guide). That’s what I call a highlight!

Here’s what is said about him in his website:

« Alain Passard follows his inspiration, a means for deepening his art in the discovery of a palette of extraordinary flavors within a vegetable that can be supremely satisfying. Since 2001, he has been seeking to make the vegetable a novel product, by creating and bringing out the finest quality in the produce, by keeping the cooking process simple. (…) Passard desires to contribute to the development of a cuisine which has not yet been explored. Working the vegetable created encouragement to replant the earth and work with a new language, a new vocabulary ».  (Read it all)

Don’t know how my grandma would feel learning that, some 100 years after her time, a man would be treated like a hero for cooking with vegetables… One of the difference probably is that, at our grand parents time, they just had no other choice. Sometimes, vegetables were all they could afford. Considering this, the return to the basics is even more valuable because it’s a matter of conscious choice. A Premier Choice, as far as Alain Passard is concerned. That’s worth celebrating.

When Spa Eastman was born, back in 1977, the trend wasn’t on health food either. Not at all. The owner, Jocelyna Dubuc, had to keep fighting with her suppliers in order to get the type of products (natural, simple, organic, locally producted) that she wanted. Now that we know the importance of food against cancer, on health & wellness, that we’re more concerned then ever about the importance of organic food & local buyings for sustainable development… they all have to admit that she was right!

Nowadays, Spa Eastman offers healthful fine cuisine and only the most natural and simple ingredients are used in the preparation of meals. Ingredients, such as cold pressed oils, whole flours and grains, are chosen with the utmost care. During the summer season, Spa Eastman’s gardens provide the kitchen with fresh vegetables, succulent raspberries, fine herbs and edible flours. Of course, all is grown organically. That, among many others actions, explains why Spa Eastman has won the prestigious Phénix 2008 in the Sustainable Development category. They were also recently awarded for the exceptional quality of their wine list, which includes an important choice of organic wines.

Be it Alain Passard at L’Arpege or Jocelyna Dubuc at Spa Eastman, we sure need pionneers like them to keep on moving. They enhance our pleasure and our health. Why not?

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