My Montreal

My Montreal: Chef Hakim Chajar of Laurea Restaurant

Hakim Chajar of Laurea Restaurant has a tall order. He has to make a culinary success out of Gordon Ramsay’s Laurier BBQ disaster last year. Ramsay took over the long-standing establishment in 2012, but he was never in the kitchen, and after a $2.7 million lawsuit, the restaurant closed. Chajar...

My Montreal: Chef Stephen Leslie of Le Sieur d’Iberville and Monkland Tavern

Other Montreal restaurants may come and go, but Stephen Leslie’s portfolio of establishments just keeps growing. Earlier this year the chef/restaurateur added brasserie Le Sieur d’Iberville to the mix, having already firmly established himself with his two popular bistros: Monkland Tavern, which opened in 1995, and Tavern on the Square...

My Montreal: Chef Jay Taylor of Sparrow Restaurant

Jay Taylor took over the kitchen at Mile-End’s Sparrow restaurant last April. His first act? Revamping the menu with his own take on affordable British gastro-pub fare: devils on horseback, mussels and fries, chicken liver on toast and a respectable steak. It all sounds pretty standard until he mixes in Chinese, Indian...

My Montreal: Vegan Baker Milène Laoun of Sophie Sucrée

How does one go from studying math to baking cakes for a living? Ask Milène Laoun, the owner of vegan bakery Sophie Sucrée. The pastry shop opened its doors a little over a year ago, but Laoun has been working hard to make her dream come true for the past...

My Montreal: Chef Eloi Dion of Mimi la Nuit

A few years ago, Eloi Dion was a name on many food-loving lips in Montreal, and beyond. The chef at Van Horne, which was among enRoute magazine’s 2011 best new Canadian restaurants, Dion suddenly walked away from the spotlight at the end of 2012. “When my girlfriend got pregnant I...

My Montreal: Fashion Designer Valérie Tolila of VAIKEN

It won’t be the first time Montreal designers invade the catwalk of Toronto Fashion Week, from Oct. 20 to the 25, but it will be a first for Valérie Tolila. The designer behind Montreal label VAIKEN will be taking the stage as a finalist in the Mercedes-Benz Start Up competition, a...

My Montreal: Chef Omar Zabuair of L’Orignal Restaurant

Chef Omar Zabuair learned one of his most important lessons while spending a year working in Italy: Primo grande cuoco, segundo grande chef, which translates into “First you have to be a great cook, and then you can be a great chef.” Born and raised in Toronto, the 37-year-old chef...

My Montreal: Chef Jonathan Lapierre-Réhayem of Laloux Restaurant

Jonathan Lapierre-Réhayem helms the stoves at upscale Pine St. bistro Laloux. The job came with big shoes to fill when chef Seth Gabrielse and pastry chef Michelle Marek left to open the SAT’s Labo Culinaire in 2011. In fact, many a culinary wunderkind has called those stoves home over the...

My Montreal: Fashion Designer Travis Taddeo

To say Travis Taddeo lives and breathes fashion design would be an understatement. The Montreal-based designer, who mischievously declined to reveal his age, lives out of his spacious Old Montreal workshop and showroom on St-Paul St. W. Born in Calgary, Taddeo came to Montreal in 2001 to study fashion marketing,...

My Montreal: Jeff Finkelstein of Hof Kelsten

Jeff Finkelstein recalls eating danishes, cinnamon rolls and babka as a child at Montreal bakeries like Solly’s, Montreal Kosher and Saint Laurent Bakery. “Saint Laurent was where Moishes got their rye bread, and now they’re getting their bread from me,” says the 36-year-old Montrealer who grew up in Côte Saint-Luc....
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