By Rosemary Westwood - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 0 Comments
He found peace in the mountains, like his dad, who died when Nick was growing up
Nicolas Thomas Voyer-Taylor was born Feb. 6, 1990, in Saskatoon, to Julie Voyer, a francophone school administrator, and Thomas Taylor, an anglophone stockbroker. He had a brother, Gaëtan, from Julie’s first marriage, and a sister, Rachelle. When Nicolas was 10 weeks old, the family moved to Winnipeg.
Nick, as he was known, loved basketball. As a child he “managed” his sister’s team, sitting on the bench beside his dad, the coach. He went on to play point guard for his dad at Winnipeg’s Shamrock School, and they spent endless hours shooting hoops on the back porch. “They were best friends,” says Rachelle. “They did everything together.” Tom also taught Nick to ski, and it was in the mountains where both were happiest, and found peace.
Nick grew up with four female cousins whom he treated like sisters. The families made an annual camping trip to Rushing River, Ont., where the kids would often fall asleep together, watching the stars. From a young age, he loved to cook—a creative outlet. “When he was in Grade 6,” says Julie, “one day I came home and found him sitting at the kitchen table, with three or four recipe books. ‘Mom,’ he said, ‘can I make supper tomorrow night?’ ” The next night, says Julie, he cooked chicken cordon bleu. “He didn’t start small, eh?” Continue…
By Jacob Richler - Monday, April 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM - 0 Comments
After closing his West Coast restaurants, acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud has a surprise for Canadians
On April 6, just 3½ weeks after the incomparable Daniel Boulud beat a long-anticipated retreat from Vancouver, his team in New York was putting the finishing touches on the contract that would enable his return to Canada. His fresh assault is to be launched through the far more sensibly considered bridgehead of Montreal’s Ritz-Carlton, whose general manager Andrew Torriani had been courting Boulud for six months. The hotel is in the midst of a massive renovation that will ultimately see it shed 99 rooms and gain a floor, along with 46 condominiums and a rooftop swimming pool—and when it reopens in January 2012, in place of the venerable Cafe de Paris you will find something entirely new: Maison Boulud.
“It’s a rebirth—a new life for this hotel,” chef Boulud said to me, late that morning at his ﬂagship three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Daniel, on 65th Street in Manhattan, where his windowed office sits dramatically perched a half-level above the rest of his kitchen, to provide a better view of the work stations below. “It will be something new for Montreal, something unique.”
Boulud’s unique qualities as a chef and restaurateur have given rise to an empire that includes five restaurants in New York alone (Daniel, Café Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, Bar Boulud, DBGB Kitchen), as well as outposts in Miami (DB Bistro Moderne), Palm Beach (Café Boulud), London (Bar Boulud), Beijing (Maison Boulud) and Singapore (DB Bistro Moderne). Aside from the Boulud Brasserie, which he closed last summer after a five-year run at the Wynn in Las Vegas, he has experienced but one major setback—Vancouver—where he stepped in to replace the ousted Rob Feenie at Lumière and Feenie’s, relaunched the latter as DB Bistro Moderne, and failed at both, closing their adjacent doors on March 13. “It’s a passage in life,” Boulud says, his disappointment obvious. “Fortunately, ﬁnancially it made no difference. Emotionally, I would have loved to have been there longer.”
By Pamela Cuthbert - Friday, October 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM - 0 Comments
Pawpaw fruit, sea asparagus, balsam jelly: Canadian chefs are crazy for ‘wildculture’
It’s a cornucopia of enticing goods right under our noses—and often under our soles. Wild foods have always been there, naturally, but most have gone unnoticed. Lately, a movement of forest-to-fork eaters is embracing native edibles that are as exotic as any import, and rating them as gourmet fare. As an offshoot of the eat-local dogma, and beyond the Canadian culinary clichés of wild blueberries, wild salmon, and maple syrup, there are hundreds of untamed foods gaining popularity.
“Wild is big,” declares chef Jason Bangerter of Auberge du Pommier in Toronto. “As a chef, you want to think outside the box, to find something different and exciting.” He rhymes off a long list of sauvage items worked into his menus, from wild rose jelly—“it’s nice with scallops or with white fish such as halibut”—to ox-eye daisy capers, wild mustards, elderberry syrup, pickled fiddleheads and more. He’s particularly pleased with one Canadian amuse bouche—a little pot of pheasant and foie gras rillettes with tempura-style wild mushrooms, garnished with truffled cedar jelly and pickled spruce tips, and paired with a champagne flute of spruce beer. “Especially when chefs come in, it’s the showstopper.”
Jonathan Forbes of Forbes Wild Foods, based near Creemore, Ont., supplies dozens of chefs, including Bangerter, with a range of uncultivated goods from across the country. He started his company 10 years ago and has seen the interest increase dramatically in the last two. “I think people are more concerned about knowing where their food came from.” Working with 30 to 40 foragers each year, he sources syrups, fresh vegetables and fruits—from the rare (sweet chestnuts) to the ubiquitous (wild highbush cranberries). “We can have over 100 different items,” he says of a good year.
“Food without farming” is entirely regional, based wherever conditions allow it to thrive. Depending on your locale, you can find cattail hearts, cloudberries, balsam jelly, chanterelles, sea asparagus, Labrador tea, the pawpaw fruit, black walnuts, edible flowers and birch syrup. And that’s for starters.
By Jaime Weinman - Friday, June 6, 2008 at 4:50 PM - 0 Comments
It seems every reality show has one contestant who gets very far, maybe even wins, even though a) the audience hates him/her and b) he/she doesn’t actually seem to be doing a very good job. On the current season of Top Chef, it’s Lisa Fernandes, who fits all the requirements: she displays a bad attitude, doesn’t come off as that good of a chef, is cited as the most-hated contestant in fan polls, and, oh, yeah, she made it to the finals. In interviews she comes off better than on the show, but that’s not unusual; the way people come off in the artificial environment of reality shows tends to be, well, artificial. And the environment turns normal people into heroes and villains.
This may in its way be an advantage reality shows have over the two types of shows to which they are related — fiction shows and game shows. It’s actually really fun, in a strange way, to see the character you don’t like triumph over the characters who were nicer and more talented. This happens sometimes on fictional dramas, but fiction writing has all these built-in rules about how to write make the characters rise and fall based on their own choices and mistakes. Meaning that when the “bad guy” wins in a fiction show, it’s either depressing, because it’s unsatisfying (if there was no dramatically valid reason for him to win), or the villain kind of deserved to beat the wussy good guy, meaning that we can’t bring ourselves to root against him entirely. (This is the J.R. kind of thing, where the supposed villain is really the hero we root for.) And game shows are based on a combination of skill and luck, and the losers don’t stay on long enough for us to get to know them, so it’s rare that we see someone win big whom we really consider undeserving.
Reality TV, because it’s sort of real, is able to violate dramatic rules by letting incompetent assclowns win, or at least make it to the next episode, arbitrarily and doing basically nothing to redeem themselves. A drama show can’t really get away with that.