D.A.D’s Bagels. Food Institution & Community. Montreal.

D.A.D.’s Bagels has been an institution in the Montreal neighborhood of NDG for 20 years. Sadly, this independent family business shut its doors last week, as they were not able to continue their lease. The owner of the building gave the lease to Dollarama, located next door, for further expansion. D.A.D.’s may have been a small business, but it had a big impact on the community it served. Owned and run by Kashmire Singh Randhawa and his lovely wife Kuldeep, D.A.D.’s was famous for it’s classic Montreal style handmade wood-fired baked bagels. While St-Viateur Bagel and Fairmount Bagel are the most well known bagel bakeries in the Mile-End neighbourhood, D.A.D.’s was NDG’s equivalent. What made D.A.D.’s special however, was the traditional Indian cooking that Kuldeep prepared and sold at the bakery. This mixed blend of food cultures was a microcosm of the neighborhood that supported D.A.D.’s and of Montreal itself, a diverse city that is home to many different ethnicities.

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Maïs. Restaurant & Urban Rooftop Garden. Montreal.

Restaurant Maïs is a 2-year old Mexican style restaurant in Montreal’s Mile-End, run by chefs & co-proprietors Will Cody, Gil Macnutt, and Dave Schmidt. Maïs is a special and unique restaurant in that is has it’s own rooftop garden, from which some of their summer produce is derived. When I learned about Maïs’ food growing project, I was inspired to visit the urban garden and document the activity! My friend Will Cody, the head grower at Maïs’ garden, generously agreed to let me shadow him around the rooftop over the last few months, to observe the gradual growth of his edible plants.

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The Urban Garden Daycare. Food Education. Montreal.

Garderie le Jardin Urbain aka the Urban Garden Daycare is a unique and inspiring model of childhood education, based in Montreal’s Little Italy. Founded and run by my friends Danny Guarino & Karina Smith, partners in life and work, the team started the daycare two years ago, when they had their own first child. Danny, a chef and Karina an English teacher, have combined their skills and passions to create this special, educational environment for kids. I had the pleasure of visiting the Urban Garden Daycare and was energized and encouraged by this positive experience!

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Noble Bean. Tempeh Company. Montreal.

Tempeh is a cultured, fermented soybean food that originates from Java, Indonesia, where it has been consumed for centuries. This protein packed, probiotic rich food has long been a staple in my own diet, and Noble Bean continues to be my preferred tempeh brand of choice. I was therefore thrilled to learn that the company had recently moved to Montreal, and was being run by Michael and Liam Makhan, the owners of Montreal’s awesome vegan restaurant Aux Vivres. Shawn Arseneau, the kitchen manager at Aux Vivres/head Noble Bean employee, generously agreed to let me visit the tempeh factory, located in the Mile-End. I was highly impressed by the Noble Bean facilities, and learned a lot about the fascinating process of fermentation, and the art of tempeh making!

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Restaurant Day. Montreal. May 2014.

Restaurant Day is a unique ‘culinary carnival’ that takes place 4 times a year, in which people have the opportunity to open their dream pop-up restaurant, cafe, or bar for one day. What began in Helsinki four years ago, has since spread across the globe and become an international food event. I had the pleasure of attending the most recent Restaurant Day last week, on Saturday, May 17th, in Montreal. Fifteen restaurants popped up this time, three of which I visited around my neighbourhood. Not only did I get the chance to try some delicious new dishes, but I also got to meet some amazing new people, all of whom shared a passion for food, cooking, and community.

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My VEGAN SECRET SUPPER {VSS} Experience. Montreal.

I had the pleasure of attending a Vegan Secret Supper (VSS), a roving supper club with pop ups in NY, Montreal and Vancouver, created and run by MTL-based Chef Mérida Anderson. Each delicious dish was well-balanced, beautifully plated, and perfectly sized. I left feeling satisfied, well-nourished, and content.
Read more at http://daniellelevynutrition.com/NewSite/blog/#R4rFOXAQ21UMotYm.99

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Winter Squash. Jean-Talon Market. October.

I’ve been enjoying the many delicious varieties of seasonal, local winter squash available at the market now. These beautiful fruits (yes they are fruits not veggies- they contain seeds) require no ‘recipe’. Simply roast them in the oven until tender, with some salt and a little olive oil to enhance the natural caramelization process. Cooked winter squash has a comforting natural sweet flavour and creamy texture.

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