Have you ever wondered what brilliant mind is capable of creating a dish from A to Z? Better, by what neural circuits emerged a menu entirely inspired by wine? Œnopole turned into a little bird and we spied on the brainstorm of the brilliant Menu Extra team. In what honor ? THE cooking most cool in town are getting ready to welcome the brilliant winemaker Julien Labet as part of Montréal en Lumière.
It's an icy morning on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. It is 8:30 a.m. and behind the glass front, the glasses are perfectly aligned on the table where the spittoons are also enthroned (thank God). The co-owners of the project , Alexis Demers, Francis Blais and Camilo Lapointe-Nascimento have come together to outline the first features of a tasting menu entirely dedicated to the wines of .
Scoop : This is the first time in 23 years of existence that the Montréal en Lumière festival has welcomed a winemaker!
LEGENDARY BOWLINGS FROM WHICH BEAUTIFUL AROMAS EXPLODE, WHAT DO WE EAT WITH THAT? THIS IS A GREAT CHALLENGE FOR EXTRA MENU PRODIGES.
The man in question is Julien Labet. Its name is said like one kisses and its wines inevitably move. It's because the Jurassien who works naturally from the vine to the cellar makes legendary skittles from which enchanting aromas explode. So much so that one would like to meditate above the glass for hours. However, as soon as you bring your lips to the cup, the low pH and the magnificent acidity call for an immense thirst. What do we eat with that? This is a great challenge for the prodigies of Menu Extra.
The palates are fresh and ready for the first sip of Bajocien 2019. The excitement is palpable from the first sip. Francis says, "It smells like creamsicle ! " Yes ! There is this very slight impression of aged wood and with it floats an ethereal scent of tonka bean. The guys liven up and rekindle the idea of starting with a greasy bite… A bit of frying perhaps? “I feel like champagne… I'm thinking caviar,” Camilo drops, his eyes closed, his nose in the Chardo.
We go to Lias 2019 (still chardonnay). It caresses at the same time as it seizes. It's lively, sharp and it ends on a tickling salinity. And then it's long, so long. This lasting pleasure may inspire scallops. In any case, Alexis talks about this hypothetical pairing by evoking textures more than tastes, noting all the same the tangy side of the wine: "I have immature stone fruit and a little green grass..."
PINCH ME, I'M DREAMING
It's fascinating to see the three companions in the middle of a creative session. For example, the Poulsard 2020, ultra floral and seductive, according to them automatically calls for the delicacy of raw meat. But Camilo and Francis go back to seasoning: we shouldn't kill love with overly powerful herbs. The 2020 Les Varrons Pinot Noir, with its tannins so silky they make you want to cry (with joy), invites small game into the conversation. Hare ? Quail? Pigeon ? Francis insists: “You need gentle cooking so as not to lose the ethereal side of the wine. »
There are three wines left. Ideas abound until mid-morning. We also feel that it will go well beyond that. Later, the guys will taste with the rest of the team. In a few days, Julien Labet will be on the line and Alexis, Francis and Camilo will unpack all their secrets to the winegrower who, as we already know, is excited about the project. Together, they will give the final brushstrokes to the work.
From the printed menu, the delicacies will materialize. All that will be missing is the ultimate test of the tasters who have come to delight their senses and meet Julien during one of the four evenings of the event, in February: the dream come true.