The launch of the Martinique Gourmande Festival was held yesterday at Café des Éclusiers in Montreal’s Old Port (what a spectacular setting by the way). The event’s sixth edition, organized by the Comité Martiniquais du Tourisme, will be held from September 7 to 22. In all, 21 Montreal area restaurants and bars are joining in the festivities:
• Apollo, le Restaurant
• Ateliers et saveurs
• Barraca Rhumerie et Tapas
• Beaver Hall
• Bistro Cocagne
• Boutique Point G
• Carte blanche
• Chez Chose
• Chez Victoire
• La Chronique
• Les Éclusiers par Apollo
• Le Gainzbar
• Inspecteur épingle
• Lab, comptoir à cocktails
• Le Montréalais
• Pub Quartier Latin
• Le Valois
• Saveur Soleil
• Le Refuge du Faubourg (the only establishment outside of Montreal, it’s located in St-Ferréol-les-Neiges)
During the 2 festival weeks, participating bars and restaurants will feature dishes and cocktails inspired by Martinique’s unique cuisine. Famed Hot Shorts chef Guy Ferdinand of Le Petibonum flew in for the press conference AND 3 dinners you won’t want to miss:
• Carte blanche, Wednesday, September 4
• L’incrédule, Thursday, September 5
• Bistro Cocagne, Friday, September 6
After a mere whiff of the fine herbs he carefully brought over from Martinique, I can already promise your tastebuds will be in Caribbean heaven. If you don’t know Martinique’s famous chef, here he is in action:
Many activities are planned throughout the festival from food tastings at Montreal’s famed Jean-Talon Market, a cooking class to learn how to make “pain au beurre” at restaurant Saveur et soleil, and rum tasting events to discover Martinique’s iconic drinks.
Finally, festivalgoers can enter a contest to win one week for two in Martinique where the happy winners will partake in the island’s world-famous specialties: migan, blaff, colombo, féroce, sauce chien, court bouillon, banane tinain morue, etc.
When, where and how
To learn more about festival events and participating restaurants, visit the official website at martiniquegourmande.ca (in French only). You will find a treasure trove of information about Martinique, its restaurants, rums and iconic recipes. You can also follow the event on social media, managed by our favourite technomade Marie-Julie Gagnon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (both using the handle @rencontrez_la_martinique).
Did you know that Québec and Martinique have been trading for centuries, exchanging Québec cod against Martinique molasses? As a result, cod acras, one of Martinique’s most famous dishes, features a fish… nowhere to be found in the French Caribbean’s warm waters!
You will find this typical recipe on the Martinique gourmande website. Those in love with Caribbean food, before or after the festival per say, may also want to visit one of my favourite Facebook pages: La cuisine antillaise de Tatie Maryse (here), in French and créole only.