It may be cold out, but at least you can eat well for next to nothing in Montreal.
LeChop’s 5th edition is on and bigger than ever before, serving up three-course table d’hôtes for just $25 with its “fire theme.” Participating chefs will be igniting taste buds with their interpretations of heat, spice, and flavour.
After last year’s cooking competition, the LeCHOP chefs are ready to bring their best cooking skills to the test while impressing Montreal foodies with their imagination and delightful dishes.
The festival lasts eight weeks until March 2nd and features four incredible restaurants including Wienstein & Gavino’s, L’Atelier d’Argentine Downtown, L’Atelier d’Argentine Vieux-Port, and Decca 77.
There will also be an ongoing LeCHOP contest on social media in which four winners will be announced bi-weekly. Each winner will get a free LeCHOP meal for two at one of the four participating LeCHOP restaurants.
To get more insight on this epic foodie festival, we caught up with the three chefs from each participating restaurant to give us an insider scoop. Here’s what Natalia Machado (L’Atelier d’Argentine), Joseph Depalo (Wienstein & Gavino’s) and Jean-Sébastien Giguère (Decca77) had to say.
Since the theme is spicy and hot, what inspired your special dishes?
L’Atelier d’Argentine: In Argentina, we work constantly with fire in parrillas or pits, so fire is very much related to Argentinean cuisine.
Wienstein & Gavino’s: My inspiration was to take Italian favourites and give them a hot kick. This was focused mainly in our mains section.
Decca77: The summer season that will be coming up soon (positive thinking.)
Which dish is your favourite and why?
L’Atelier d’Argentine: The crab salad and the Apple panqueques. They both remind me of my childhood.
Decca77: Terrine de lapin because it is one of my signature dishes at Decca77 and it was fun to incorporate the fire theme into it. I always like to mix it up.
Wienstein & Gavino’s: My favourite LeCHOP menu item is the Budino. It’s a bread pudding and is completely sinful. A perfect ending to a meal.
Was it tricky getting into the hot and spicy mindset with the temperatures outside?
L’Atelier d’Argentine: Especially with the temperatures outside, a little spice and a lot of fire are more than welcome.
Wienstein & Gavino’s: It wasn’t. It was a fun challenge and gave me the chance to visualize hotter cities. It warmed me up!
Decca77: No. It was a nice distraction from the Montreal weather. I love to experiment in the kitchen and it was fun to embrace the heat.
Do you also recommend specific drink pairings with the dishes you prepped?
L’Atelier d’Argentine: A good glass of wine will pair beautifully with all of the dishes.
Wienstein & Gavino’s: The LeCHOP menu dishes can be paired with a number of different options. We have a great team that can help make some dynamite recommendations.
Decca77: Yes. We have a great wine list at Decca77 and our staff love to recommend different pairings. We also have exciting signature cocktails to start the meal off right.
We know it’s all in good fun but has the competitive spirit gotten to you?
L’Atelier d’Argentine: Not really, it’s all about the cooking for me. We all get along so well that to me, it’s more about the friendship and camaraderie.
Wienstein & Gavino’s: The competitive spirit is very important to us here at W&G
Decca77: We are all friends, so after last year’s competition, we all like to have fun and try to outdo each other.
To find out more about LeChop and to make reservations, click here.
Happy eating Montreal!