Browsing Tag



Mario Navarate Jr. leads the Nuevo Latino Cooking in Montreal


With my injury, I must lie down on my sofa most of the time. Therefore, I watch more TV than I used to.

While eating lunch today, I watched Curieux Bégin at Télé-Québec. The show was dedicated to Latino cuisine. I included a tasty Lamb Shank recipe in French at the end of the post. This is how I discovered an amazing and likable Chef here in Montreal.

Born in Lima, Peru Mario Navarate Jr. operated two restaurants in the city. He is a rising star in Montreal. Raza opened in 2005. En Route magazine voted Mario Navarate Jr. one of the top 10 new Canadian Chefs in November 2005.

Two restaurants for this Peruvian Chef

Madre, meaning mother, opened last year (I think) on Masson Street. You will not be surprised to learn that the menu is inspired by his mother’s recipes.

Madre is about stylish simple food, a down-to-earth version of the upscale Raza, his first restaurant. Raza scored 28 out of 30 for its food in the 2006 Zagat guide.

The pencil drawings were inspired by pictures of him with his mother. Theses canvas drawings are hung on the walls of the restaurant. The décor is simple, like a family restaurant should be. The next picture showed Mario with his mother. The bottom pictures illustrates the typical dish styles at Raza.

I am planning to try his two restaurants this summer. I read excellent reviews on the Web from bloggers. What people are complaining about his restaurants is the short wine lists. I can live with that since most people were looking for bottles less than $40. But both restaurants propose food and wine bundles to save money.

The table d’hote at Madre proposes a three-course menu for $35 that becomes $58 with wine pairings. The tasting menu at Raza costs $59 for a 5 courses ($99 with wine pairings) or $70 for a 7-course meal ($120 with wine pairings).

What others are saying?

If you wish to read about an experienced meal at theses restaurants, read the reviews of Madre and Raza by MontrealFoodie. It is the first time that I visited MontrealFoodie so I cannot pledge for their taste but their reviews seem fair.

You can also read what the reviewer of Montreal Mirror had to say about his meal at Madre. Read what EnRoute (OnAir) said about Raza when it made their Top Ten restaurant list.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Menu at Madre Restaurant – a weird navigation since you must press English on every page
Learn more: Menu at Raza Restaurant – same weird navigation
Recipe: Jarrets d’agneau braisés à la coriandre et à la bière by Mario Navarate Jr. [Curieux Bégin]


Introducing the Dinner with Grandma Nights by Laurent Haug

dinner with grandma :: meal planner :  home cooking

I am glad that my very resourceful friend Kelly gave me a tip this morning. It is a cool event concept.

The investigator, Laurent Haug is a Swiss guy that got the brilliant idea to draw attention to the best cooking of grandmothers.

The idea is relatively simple to implement in any city. Grandmothers get more attention and see their expertise recognized by younger generations. Grandmothers can pass on their old tricks to us.

You discovered the best cooking tips only if you cook with someone. Did you know putting some white vinegar on your salad when you wash it brings the insects to the surface? Laurent learned this handy solution from her grandmother while she participated in the first Dinner with Grandma.

How it works?

You find a restaurant that is willing to participate. Ideally, select a restaurant with 30 to 60 places. Plan the event on a slow restaurant night, like a Monday night. Find a grandmother that is an excellent cook. Have a test run of the grandmother cooking. You can use the social networks on the Web to find the grandmother candidates.

Let the grandmother plans her menu with the restaurant owner. The restaurant owner will calculate the food quantity and handle the food ordering. The restaurant owner will calculate the fixed cost per guest. Drinks are not included in the fixed price menu. Advertise the event on your blogs and social networks.

The day of the event

For the public, the event starts around 6 o’clock PM with a cocktail. Plan two kitchen helpers for cutting the ingredients and preparing the plates. Typically, the grandmother meets you and the kitchen staff at the restaurant around 2 o’clock the afternoon of the event. She will cook a little but mostly, she provides instructions to the Chef and the kitchen helpers.

Around 6 o’clock PM, greet the guests. About 45 minutes later, introduce the life story of the grandmother at the beginning. The grandmother will then explain her menu. I think she should be in the room during the entire meal to exchange with the people.

If you want to know more, Elizabeth Bowie interviewed Laurent Haug who shares his experience and vision on How to Host a Dinner with Grandma Event. If you live in the Toronto, Spark is looking for a grandmother that is a truly fantastic cook to participate in their own Dinner with Grandma Event.

March 24th Update: If the grandmother does not mind, you can publish a small booklet with the meal recipes.

A Web site dedicated to grandmother’s cooking

I found a Web community where grandma from the world can show us to cook. What’s Cooking Grandma? is a project to create a cookbook of the grandmothers of the world sharing their special recipes. You can film your grandmother while she cooked her famous recipes. Then, upload the videos on What’s Cooking Grandma?

Grandma’s cooking and baby on Flickr

The vintage illustrations are from a fun booklet on cooking meal planning published in 1957. The artist Albert Aquino apparently drew these charming illustrations that I found on Flickr thanks to wardomatic.

Photo credits: 1957 Home Meal Planner set by wardomatic on Flickr – Illustrations by Albert Aquino
Via: Want to host a Grandma dinner? published on Spark
Via: Hello Grandma, Spark is Calling…