Montreal: Cooking Demo, Book Signing & Au Pied du Couchon and that Foie Gras Poutine
You must go to Au Pied du Couchon, ran the chorus. Pied du Couchon meaning pigs trotter, I knew there was a likelyhood that I would agree. Famous for rich food, especially the foie gras poutine, I booked a table for after my demo and book signing at Appetite for Books.
My taxi driver got lost, and I was clueless, so I worried when we ended up in what seemed like mountains nearby. Eventually we reached Appetite for Books, and I was delighted and a little surprised to see a full house. I crept up the side and started getting ready in the kitchen.
My book has just come out here, and this is the first signing / demo I have done in North America. A few blog readers have turned up (which was lovely!), and I get started on my chocolate mousse and honeycomb, which went down a treat. Little lentil shepherds pies from Comfort & Spice were also on offer. It was a fun evening.
As I signed his book, one gentleman asks where I will spend my last night in Montreal. Au Pied du Couchon! I reply. And he says: Oh! It is rich! I had my first proper crise de foie at 3am after a meal there.
I love that term, and love even more that it only exists in the French language. A crise de foie is “a set of digestive and neurological manifestations are not serious, such as vomiting and headache, usually in response to a meal too rich.”
Piffle, I am not worried, I am made of tough stuff. I love my food and have eaten many rich things in my time. It sticks at the back of my mind though as I head out for dinner.
Who can resist the pork rinds? Fantastic they were too, like chicharones and light as air while beautifully crisp. A little foie gras cromesqui looks petite and innocent, one bite and my mouth is flooded with unctous liquid foie gras. Wow, this meal is already very rich. And very lovely.
The special of gnocchi with veal ragu just had to be tried. The gnocchi were light as air and tender with a perfect bite. The ragu rich and deep. I knew I was in trouble. I didn’t finish it.
The foie gras poutine was next. It arrived and it looked a mess. Poutine always does, I mean how can you make it pretty? It smelled amazing. It tasted divine. Woah. I couldn’t stop eating it, but I had to for I was headed for my own first crise de foie.
No dessert, just a digestif of calvados. I feel like a womble as I trundle home (would they like poutine?). What a meal though, flavour in spades. Unashamedly punchy, big and delicious. What all food, for me, should always be.