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Found 5 results

  1. Montreal by the mouthful POSTED: October 7, 2010 It's a city that loves France, but its tastes lean to the rich local bounty. By Craig LaBan Inquirer Restaurant Critic http://www.philly.com/philly/restaurants/20101007_Montreal_by_the_mouthful.html?viewAll=y
  2. Je ne suis pas sûr que c'est un compliment de se faire dire que Montréal goûte la poutine! Et les clichés sur notre supposée "joie-de-vivre", juste parce qu'on parle français, c'est un peu éculé, mais comme l'article est positif, on va leur pardonner... A foodie's guide to Montreal USA Today By Michele Kayal For The Associated Press Montreal may sound like Paris, but it tastes like poutines. A mess of french fries, gravy and cheese curds, this signature dish of French-speaking Canada's largest city captures its engaging and independent culinary personality. Originally inhabited by Native Americans, later populated by hunters, trappers and missionaries, and eventually battled over by the French and British, Montreal offers gutsy, creative and hearty fare that honors its diverse forbears. "There is a tradition of English cooking and French cooking, but it's taken on that lusty explorer, wilderness, joie de vivre," says Catherine MacPherson, a food columnist for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio. "It's rib sticking, and it's got that independent spirit." That wasn't always so. Until the early 1990s in Montreal, "good" cuisine meant "French" cuisine, and all the local stars had trained in France. That's also where they got their ingredients — lamb, lobster, artichokes, nearly everything. Until a young chef named Normand Laprise returned from the Continent more impressed by the freshness of ingredients in France than by their Frenchness. He began cultivating farmers and ranchers and launched a movement toward fresh, local ingredients that drew from Quebec's rich landscape. His restaurant, Toque!, opened in 1993, and remains the standard-bearer for upscale Quebequois cuisine. "When you come in Montreal, you feel that the food is more about us, about Quebec philosophy and Quebec roots," he says. "It's our produce, our chefs." Today, Montreal is "bigger and better," Laprise says, as the scene has filled with choice, from bistros to sandwich shops to corner grocers and cheese shops that offer fresh, delicious, local foods. The city claims 6,000 restaurants spanning 80 cuisines for its scant 2 million people, making it a city of foodies, by foodies, for foodies. The food scene could take weeks to explore, but with just a few days — and a big appetite — a dedicated eater can make a thorough and delicious survey. Start the tour at L'Express, a traditional bistro in the Plateau neighborhood where the floor is checkered, the ceilings are high and French is spoken all around. The steak of steak-frites is juicy and fatty, crowned with herb butter. The frites are crispy and light. Pistachio-studded pate literally melts on the tongue leaving hints of thyme and cognac behind. The chocolate tart is so glossy and thick with flavor that the otherwise stone-faced waiter is moved to speak, telling two diners that it is made with 76% cacao. Montrealers have made L'Express their local hangout for nearly three decades, but recently it's gotten some company. Around the corner, Au Pied de Cochon plumps up the bistro concept, making traditionally thrifty Quebecois cooking richer, fatter, heartier. Chef Martin Picard offers pickled venison tongue; a salad of rich, bitter greens topped with crunchy bits of fried pig cartilage; and nearly everything stuffed with foie gras, from peasant food such as pig's foot to the famous poutines. Picard's menu honors the region's sweet tooth not only with the famous tarte au sucre — literally, sugar pie — but even with a playful take on breakfast that features buckwheat pancakes, thick bacon, and yes, foie gras, all of it doused with maple syrup. On the other side of town in the Petite-Bourgogne neighborhood, Restaurant Joe Beef redefines the British pub with a decidedly modern take on roasts, puddings and other delectables. Named after a legendary tavern keeper known for scoring rations for his fellow British soldiers, the tiny restaurant's menu changes with the seasons and the whim of chef Fred Morin. But Joe Beef traffics in items such as fresh lobster tossed with bacon, baby peas and pasta, and dishes for two, such as sliced rib steak with marrow bones, or a whole rack of Quebec lamb with mint sauce. Tucked in the back, but at the establishment's heart, is the oyster bar, a half-dozen seats crowded around a dinged-up counter where three-time Canadian oyster-shucking champion John Bil recently popped dozens of briny bivalves mostly from the waters of Prince Edward Island. No matter where or what a visitor eats in Montreal, it's likely to be decadent. Butter, sugar, lard: these ingredients do not scare Montrealers. "There's never been a fear of indulgence or fats when it comes to their food," MacPherson says. "They see no reason for self-flagellation at the dinner table." Which brings us back to poutines. Gravy-and-cheese slathered french fries, are, perhaps, a dish best understood when inebriated. Or when you're very, very cold. "Imagine yourself being here in February, you're on a ski hill and it's minus 27," says Nathalie Cooke, a culinary historian at the city's McGill University. And she's talking Celsius. "You'd be amazed how good poutines can taste." Au Pied's foie gras-laden poutines are revered by gourmets, but students and bloggers seem to favor the slapped down version at Patati Patata, a tiny corner joint near McGill whose name roughly translates as "blah blah blah." But poutines aren't the city's only casual food. A flourishing culture of quick but delicious — and above all real — food can be found at patisseries, fromageries (cheese shops), and places that fall somewhere between bakery, sandwich shop and grocery store. At Olive et Gourmando in the Vieux-Montreal neighborhood, flaky palmiers are delivered alongside dense Valrhona brownies and hot sandwiches dripping with caramelized onions and succulent pork. "We're not interested in how many tables there are," Cooke says. "We're quite willing to go to a place that has two tables, or even to stand." At Au Pied de Cochon, chef Martin Picard offers a playful take on breakfast that features buckwheat pancakes, thick bacon and foie gras, all of it doused with maple syrup. Chef Yann Laguna puts the finishing touches on a salad at the McCord Cafe in downtown Montreal. The city is packed with bistros, bakeries, markets and cutting edge eateries.
  3. Source: http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20130531-how-the-quebecois-came-to-love-poutine/1 The day began eight hours earlier in Europe, under the light drizzle of Switzerland’s rain. As the plane began its descent into Montreal through layers of blue, pink and peach-streaked skies, the vast Canadian landscape came into view. Soon we were on the ground, making our way through the buzzing airport, past maple syrup souvenir shops and a cacophony of French and English conversations. Almost immediately, a familiar craving crept up and my stomach began to rumble. Poutine was calling. Poutine is the ultimate Quebecois comfort food – a pile of thick-cut French fried potatoes, generously sprinkled with fresh cheese curds and slathered with velvety gravy. When in the province, duck into a greasy spoon, stop by a cabanes à patates (roadside chip wagon) or take a seat at some of the city’s haute cuisine hotspots – invariably some version of poutine will be on the menu. As Montreal food blogger Na’eem Adam put it, “we all have a little gravy in our blood”. Here that gravy is usually made with a chicken, veal or turkey stock mixed with a roux of equal parts butter and flour. The result is a savoury sauce thick enough to coat a spoon and hot enough to warm – but not melt – a scattering of cheese curd. The by-product of cheese making, the curds are separated from the liquid whey of coagulating milk and heated until they reach a doughy consistency. In poutine, their freshness is paramount, measured by an unmistakable “squeak” between the teeth while chewing. European legacies Cheese making is a deeply rooted culinary tradition in Quebec. Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec City, introduced cattle from Brittany and Normandy around 1610. At the time, arriving French brought with them a taste for cheese – as well as the recipes to continue the tradition abroad. As the rate of settlers increased, so did the cattle, and soon dairy farms and cheese making were vital to local economies. Canada’s history meant that settlers benefited from both French and English influences, and cheese was no exception. After the American Revolutionary War (1775 to1783), a wave of defeated loyalists moved to Canada, bringing the quintessentially English cheddar cheese. With the invention of pasteurisation and the advent of industrialisation in the late 19th Century, cheese production flourished in Quebec. By World War I, Quebecois factories were even exporting cheddar back to England. Where cheese curds fall in this timeline is imprecise. The dominant theory points to a milk surplus from Quebec dairy farms around the 1950s. With a plethora of cheddar cheese factories and an excess of milk, the leftover curds found their way into takeaway shops and diners around the province. Posh poutine Rumour has it the Quebecois harbour a hint of embarrassment over their love for poutine – an apparent juxtaposition to their branded sophistication. Combining French-influenced style and North American affability, Montreal brims with creativity and swagger. And at one hip eatery, Au Pied du Cochon in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood, the city’s penchant for cool meets their not-so-secret love for chips and gravy. Here, chef Martin Picard makes a play on French-Quebecois flavours with adventurous and brilliantly executed nose-to-tail dishes, throwing in a heavy dose of off-the-wall culinary creativity. Heaps of pork, duck, foie gras and boudin (blood sausage) dot the calorific menu, and under low hanging Edison light bulbs and butcher-block wooden tables, you dine on fat. The poutine is no exception. Picard’s interpretation starts with a chicken velouté gravy enriched with pork stock, foie gras and egg yolks. The decadent sauce is ladled over cheese curd-dotted chips fried in duck fat and topped with 100g of expertly seared goose liver. Picard’s poutine is gorgeously fatty, rich, savoury, sublime. It is the kind of dish that inspires scheduled layovers through Montreal just to snag another taste. A messy history But poutine was not born topped with a slab of foie gras. Its origins lie 150km northeast of Montreal in the town of Warwick. History points to restaurateur Fernand LaChance who, in 1957, added cheese curds to a takeaway bag of chips at the request of customer Eddy Lanaisse. Legend has it LaChance replied to Lanaisse’s request saying, “ça va faire une maudite poutine” (that's going to make a damn mess). It is argued that the etymology for poutine lies here with LaChance. Others point to an adaption of the English word “pudding”, while some Quebecois claim poutine is the evolution of the local slang, poutingo, or “bad stew”. Nevertheless LaChance indulged Lanaisse, and soon word of his chips-meets-curds creation spread. However, gravy did not enter the equation until seven years later. It was in Drummondville, a small town 50km southwest of Warwick, that sauce married chips and cheese. At a local restaurant, Roy le Jucep, owner Jean-Paul Roy was slathering gravy on his chips when he noticed diners throw cheese curds, displayed for sale on the countertops, into their takeaway bags. He put the mash up on his menu, thereby effectively creating poutine as we now know it. Roy le Jucep still stands in the same spot today. Word-of-mouth steadily carried poutine from local villages and cheese-making towns around the province into Montreal, and by the 1980s, poutine was so engrained in Quebecois culinary culture that Burger King and McDonald’s had it on their menus. In 2007, Canadian news agency CBC conducted a survey that rated poutine 10th on a list of Canada’s best inventions. Local love In Montreal today, you can find everything from classic to avant-garde poutine. La Banquise in Plateau Mont-Royal is one celebrated eatery where you can do both – even at 3 am. A family-run local favourite, La Banquise opened in 1968 as an ice cream shop before growing into a snack bar specialising in hot dogs and chips. Poutine first hit their menu in the 1980s, but when Annie Barsalou took over the restaurant from her father, Pierre, they started to experiment with the dish and never looked back. Today, La Banquise is a 24-hour dedicated poutine joint with more than 28 varieties on offer, such as poutine with merguez sausages, hot peppers and Tabasco. Lunchtime is saturated with a loyal crowd of nearby workers, while at night the students roll in. This is the kind of rowdy spot you seek out after an evening of boisterous drinking – it is informal, packed and noisy. And their poutines are exactly what you crave after midnight, with fat chips that retain their texture against smooth, well-seasoned gravy. Along with late-night greasy spoons, the Quebecois also have a shared love for poutine from cabanes à patates. These roadside food trucks dot the province serving up classic poutines that make purists swoon. Lucky’s Truck is a contemporary take on the traditional, serving up haute street food out of a repurposed Fedex truck that traverses Montreal’s cobblestoned streets. Theirs comes with duck confit, caramelised balsamic onions and a foie gras and red wine sauce. The confit is melt-in-your-mouth, the gravy is full-bodied and indulgent and the onions are beautifully sweet with a touch of balsamic tartness that cuts through the richness of the sauce. Poutine party. And then, there is Poutine Week, an entire week dedicated solely to poutine. Founded by blogger Na'eem Adam, the first ever celebration took place in February 2013 and more than 30 restaurants featured the Quebecois icon on their menus as the city embarked on a culinary food tour to uncover the best. Diners hopped from spot to spot, taste testing poutines and voting for their favourite on the festival’s website – which got more than 100,000 hits in the week. From amateur eateries to poutine connoisseurs, the Quebecois spent the week indulging in jazzed-up versions – such as Le Porky Pig at St Laurent Boulevard’s Macaroni Bar, which served theirs with sliced porchetta, fontina cheese and sweet potato fries – alongside the classic, where the focus was on hand-cut fries, perfect gravy and the freshest curds. By week’s end, Poutineville on Ontario Street was voted the best for their General Tao Poutine, made with crushed potatoes, cheese curds, scallions, sesame seed and General Tao sauce, a North American-Chinese sweet, sour and spicy sauce. Next year’s Poutine Week is already in the books for 1 to 7 February. Quebec has not one, but two poutine-related celebrations, with the St Albert Cheese Curd Festival taking place from 14 to 18 August 2013. Held each year by one of Montreal’s most prominent cheese curd producers, the St-Albert Cheese Co-operative, the festival celebrates the factory, the small town about 150km west of Montreal and – of course – cheese curds. This year’s event is particularly meaningful; in February 2013 a fire destroyed the factory. For this village of 500 residents, St Albert’s has served as the backbone for the community since it opened in 1894 as a collective of 10 milk producers. Today, the Quebecois are rallying around St Albert’s, supporting the rebuild and working together to ensure the factory’s survival. The soul of Quebec It is perhaps this camaraderie – more so than all of the events, roadside wagons, poutine hotspots and jazzed-up versions – that speak to the deep connection to this iconic dish. Simply, poutine is in the Quebecois consciousness. And from the moment you land in Montreal airport to finding your way through to the city’s beautiful and bustling centre, this feeling of fellowship is palpable, best expressed over a generous plate of warming poutine.
  4. These Chefs Believe in Sticking Close to Home Source: New York Time MONTREAL is not just a good eating town, but an opinionated one, too, with deep roots and a culture all its own. There’s always a debate about where to get the best rotisserie chicken or the most authentic poutine, that classic Québécois belly buster of French fries, gravy and squeaky cheese curds. Or whether to go to St.-Viateur Bagel Shop or Fairmount Bagel Bakery for sesame bagels that are baked in wood-burning ovens and put New York City’s fluffy bread bombs to shame. The epicurean partisanship fight extends to the city’s two venerable food markets, Marché Jean-Talon and Marché Atwater. Even when winter has wilted the local supply of fruits and vegetables, the markets are bursting with stinky cheeses, apple cider and all manner of charcuterie: plump links of black blood sausage; fowl and furred game rendered into terrines and galantines; piles of confit frosted in white fat like the snow that blankets the city for a good part of the year. Not that Montreal lacks for proper, sit-down restaurants. L’Express, the reigning bistro king of this officially Francophone city, is as close to Paris as one gets while on the wrong continent. Toqué, run by the chef Norman Laprise, is the city’s standard bearer for haute cuisine. But over the last few years, there has been a surge in quirky restaurants that are extensions of their chefs’ personal tastes and dedication to Montreal’s regional ingredients. At these restaurants, no part of the pig escapes the kitchen knife, whether it’s the ears (sliced and fried in a salad with frisée) or feet (braised, stuffed and roasted). And foie gras abounds, never far from marrowbones, sweetbreads and steaks so big they’d make a cowboy blush. All are dressed down and welcoming: perfect places to come in from the cold. AU PIED DE COCHON These days, you can’t mention food in Montreal without touching on the chef Martin Picard’s unrepentantly Québécois restaurant, Au Pied de Cochon (536 Rue Duluth Est; 514-281-1114; http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca). P.D.C., as the locals call it, was a pizzeria before Mr. Picard got his meaty mitts on it, and a blazing fire in a wood-burning oven greets guests at the door. Beyond it, the restaurant is long and narrow, bright but not too bright, with a mirror running down one side and an open kitchen on the other. The bare wooden tables are crowded with boisterous eaters of every age and description. And the chef — look for the unshaven man with a shock of untamed black hair — frequently works both sides of the bar, talking and drinking with customers and cooks. Mr. Picard put his restaurant on the gastronomic map when he put foie gras on poutine back in 2004, just after the restaurant opened. Many dishes at P.D.C. are conceived with that same wicked sense of humor — who puts foie gras on French fries? — and carry an unspoken threat of a cholesterol-triggered overdose. There’s a even a whole section of the menu dedicated to the fatty livers: foie on a burger, foie on a pizza and, most compellingly, the Plogue à Champlain — a dizzying combination of buckwheat pancakes, bacon, foie gras and maple syrup. But Mr. Picard doesn’t need to rely on fattened blond duck livers to make a dish worth seeking out: My meal started off with a simple plate of leeks — which crowded the local markets when I visited — poached and dressed with a bright vinaigrette. The salt cod fritters (another Montreal staple) were as greaseless and light as could be. But nobody goes to P.D.C. to diet. The restaurant’s namesake dish is a pig’s foot the size of grown man’s forearm that is poached, stuffed and roasted in the wood oven; a lobe of seared foie gras is laid over it sidesaddle before it goes out to a table. Entrees are reliably heavy and frequently come with some kind of surprise, like the dark brown fritters that accompanied a pot au feu for two (or was it four?) The fritters, which were speared on skewers, were crisp and brown. But it wasn’t until I bit into one that I realized what they were: testicles. Lamb’s testicles. And they were good. Dinner, with drinks and tip, about 80 Canadian dollars a person (the Canadian and U.S. dollars are nearly at par). JOE BEEF On my next visit to Montreal, I will put back another couple of dozen oysters at Joe Beef (2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest; 514-935-6504; http://www.joebeef.ca), a bistro of sorts that opened in the Petit-Bourgogne neighborhood in 2006. Shucked on the night I was there by John Bil, the restaurant’s champion oyster shucker (he captured the Canadian shucking crown three times), we slurped small, sweet oysters from Prince Edward Island and fat Moonstone oysters from Rhode Island, each shell brimming with oyster liquor like a bathtub with the faucet left on. Named after a 19th-century saloonkeeper, the restaurant has the coziness of a neighborhood pub: a chalkboard menu (that changes daily) covers one wall, wainscoting wraps the room, the light is flatteringly low. The chef Frédéric Morin’s menu has a classic bistro slant, though he’s tweaked each dish to make it his own. He eschews lardons and instead tops his frisée salad with strips of pig’s ears cut into matchstick strips and fried to shattering crispness. Pucks of silky foie gras au torchon are served with buttery brioche toast and pears poached in cinnamon-infused red wine. Entrees change nightly, but there are two menu stalwarts: pasta with lobster, and a massive côte de boeuf for the table. The lobster in the former was slightly overcooked the night I tried it, though it wasn’t hard to grasp the appeal of such a decadent cream-and-butter dish. The steak, served with marrowbones and potatoes, embodied the full-flavored, mineral promise of grass-fed steak. Dinner, with drinks and tip, about 110 Canadian dollars a person. LIVERPOOL HOUSE Joe Beef has a new neighbor. Mr. Morin spent last fall covered in sawdust, building his second restaurant, Liverpool House (2501 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest; 514-313-6049; http://www.liverpoolhouse.ca), just a few doors down from his first. Liverpool House is split into a barroom and a laid-back dining room. The woodwork and wainscoting are painted a warm white. The rest is decorated with an eclectic mix of paintings — oversized modern canvases and tiny impressionistic works — and odd, pig-themed tchotchkes like the porcelain porcine head, affixed to the wall at eye level like an extra diner at my table. Liverpool House is ostensibly Italian, though the restaurant’s cuisine owes more to Mr. Morin’s imagination and whatever is in season. One night, the bar plates were undeniably Italian: perfect sausage-stuffed arancini, a ball of buffalo milk burrata cheese (mozzarella’s creamy cousin) and a plate of salumi cured in the restaurant’s basement. But when I returned two nights later, the menu had been hijacked. I ate poached skate with black trumpet mushrooms in a buttery sauce, the mild ropes of fish an unobtrusive stage to show off those tender, earthy mushrooms. Hard-boiled eggs topped with crab meat sounded like a dreary canapé from the 1950s; instead it was a showcase for a snowdrift of sweet crab meat, piled on a pedestal of egg white anointed with house-made mayonnaise. The rest of the meal continued in the same manner: technically assured cooking that typifies the simplicity of the Italian kitchen (like the vitello tonnato), or lets the hand of the nearby market push it toward riskier directions (like a grilled veal chop served with roasted root vegetables and a sauce fortified with foie gras and sweetbreads). Is Liverpool House Italian? French? Or Québécois? Whatever it is, it’s an excellent place to eat. Dinner, with drinks and tip, about 100 Canadian dollars each. GARDE MANGER Another spot that trades the sanctimonious trappings of fine dining for a looser atmosphere is Garde Manger (408 Rue St.-François-Xavier; 514-678-5044). It is one of the few restaurants with real charm in Vieux Montreal, the oldest part of the city. Tucked into a small building on a side street, the restaurant has dark brick walls and a wildly oversized chandelier that looks as if it could have been pilfered from a merry-go-round at Versailles. The roaring fireplace offers a warm refuge from the blustering winds off the nearby St. Lawrence River. Early in the evening, the loud soundtrack leans toward Neil Young and the Grateful Dead, and the crowd is older, the men in dapper suits and ties. After 9 p.m., the soundtrack shifts to clubbier music and a younger crowd sets in and doesn’t mind standing two deep at the bar. One Montrealer commented to me that Garde Manger is a “bar that happens to serve some food early in the evening.” But at 10 p.m. on the night I was there, every table in the restaurant was full. The restaurant is rightly regarded for its seafood platters, which take a place of prominence on many tables. The largest is 120 Canadian dollars and comes in a giant wooden trough that contains enough raw shellfish to feed a romp of otters. A less expensive option, at 70 dollars, is still impressive: a dozen each of oysters and clams, plus Alaskan crab legs and a half-dozen poached shrimp. And though the kitchen, overseen by the chef Chuck Hughes, offers an appealing and ever-changing blackboard menu with its own signature poutine (with lobster and lobster gravy), I would not pass on the opportunity to order the steak frites again. It’s rare to find a restaurant that takes as much care with such a simple dish: the steak (bavette, or what we call flank steak south of the border) is seasoned with an assured hand and charred to a textbook medium rare; the fries were crisp and fresh and tasted like potatoes. Though we had to shout over the gunshots ringing out in the chorus of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” my dining companions and I were impressed that a place as rollicking as Garde Manger chooses to pay attention to what’s coming out of the kitchen.
  5. Montreal restaurant an ode to culinary excess Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:10am EDT By Lionel Perron MONTREAL, (Reuters Life!) - When patrons walk into Martin Picard's popular eatery in Montreal's trendy Plateau district, they'd be well advised to leave cholesterol concerns at the door. As the name Au Pied de Cochon (The Pig's Foot) suggests it's all about slabs of pork, beef, venison, lamb and duck with one recurring ingredient -- foie gras. "It's my favorite gourmet food, but a lot of people are reluctant to try it", says Picard, referring to the delicacy made from the livers of ducks and geese. "But when I mix it with fast-food dishes, they seem to forget they're eating foie gras". He lavishes the stuff on everything from hamburgers to poutine (French fries, gravy and cheese curds), a delirious offshoot of Quebec's alternately beloved and despised fast-food icon, to its signature preserved duck in a can. The menu is a foretaste of Picard's love affair with foie gras and Quebec's culinary tradition of rich, hearty, filling main courses. The "Happy Pork Chop" is in itself an ode to excess; one pound of meat stuffed with foie gras, lots of it. "What Martin does at Au Pied de Cochon is right in my emotional comfort zone. It speaks right to my heart, as a cook and as an eater", says Anthony Bourdain in the introduction to Picard's self-published cookbook. Three years ago, tourism officials invited Bourdain, an American celebrity chef, author and TV personality, to sample some of Montreal's finest restaurants and he fell head over heels for this former pizza joint. Picard roasts almost all his falling-off-the-bone meat dishes on a rotating turn inside a brick oven in the middle of an open kitchen. "I was adamant about removing the brick oven when we took over the building in 2001, but I didn't have enough money to do it. Luckily it's become the soul of my restaurant," said Picard. Young kitchen staffers in jeans and funky T-shirts add to the establishment's laid back atmosphere. "It's the kind of nonsense and frippery-free food that resonates with other chefs -- who inevitably 'get' what Martin is all about: The Good Stuff prepared skillfully and without pretension, and a shared philosophy of 'too much of a good thing is seldom enough'", Bourdain added. Just like the restaurant, the cookbook is unconventional. It opens with a photograph of Picard in a meat locker slugging a split pig like a punching bag while his shirtless staffers look on. With no book advance, tour, let alone a publisher, the book, sold out its first press run of 6,000 copies (5,000 in French and 1,000 in English) three weeks after its release last October.