Bourdain’s Field Notes

QUÉBEC, May 2013—Food-fucked: to be fed more food of a ridiculously high quality and deliciousness than deemed judicious by any reputable health authority whilst in no position to refuse.

Chefs Martin Picard, David McMillan, and Frederic Morin are masters of food-fuckery. They are loved, respected and feared by chefs from all over the world who’ve visited them at their restaurants in Montreal (Picard’s Au Pied de Cochon and McMillan and Morin’s Joe Beef and Liverpool House). They are justifiably feared for their generosity with fine wines and liqueurs, their profligacy with ingredients like black truffles and foie gras.

They are also, arguably, the most important, most influential chefs in Canada. Even a glancing association with any of their kitchens gives a cook in Brooklyn or Los Angeles an immediate hipster cred. This is, of course, particularly ironic given Mr. McMillan’s frequent threats to beat passing hipsters to death with a shovel.

They are Canadian. They are Québécois. And what they bring to gastronomy is a particular embrace of French Canadian lumberjack appetites and joie de vivre—coupled with a deep respect for the traditions of dining and hospitality unique to their region.

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Travel like Bourdain

“Some things French have stayed firm, unbowed, resiliently unchanged by trends or history.”


Cuisine ancienne: Per Bourdain, “dishes you haven’t seen in like forever.” AKA good, old-fashioned, often homestyle cooking.

Pastagate: In 2013, Québécois language authorities notified Buonanotte, an upscale Montreal Italian restaurant, that they were in violation of French-language laws because they used Italian words like “pasta.” The incident prompted an outcry against officials, as well as a discussion on bureaucracy and the province’s Francophone identity.

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