What’s the first thing famous chefs want to do when they visit a city? Check out the markets, of course. And with top-rated Brazilian chef Roberta Sudbrack, in Montreal to cook at Ferreira Café, it was no different…
In town to participate in the High Lights Festival (she cooked for two nights at the perennially-hopping Ferreira Café), on her first day in Montreal, chef Roberta Sudbrack headed off to check out local products – with our crew in tow!
During the years when she was the private chef of the Brazilian president, and also at her fine dining restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, chef Sudbrack has earned a reputation for skillfully transforming humble ingredients from the tropics, like bananas and okras, into delectable creations. Yet while in Montreal she’s been a lot more curious to see what bounty this part of the world had to offer.
Her first stop was at La Mer fish market, where she inspected the beautiful organic salmon from British Columbia and oysters from Québec (Malpèques). A happy discovery: a wide variety of oysters could be tasted right on the spot, as an expert shucker described each one. The chef found a specific variety of corn needed for her High Lights dinners at the oh-so-Italian Milano market on Saint-Laurent Boulevard. She got a kick out of her quick stroll through the heart of Little Italy, with its many quaint coffee shops where the locals go to watch soccer on TV while nursing their double espressos.
Next up was the Jean-Talon Market, where even during winter one can find a dizzying array of fruits, veggies, herbs, jams and, of course, maple syrup products. She seemed particularly impressed by Fromagerie Hamel, Montreal’s top cheesemonger. After tasting six (very) different artisanal Québec cheeses, she quickly elected her favourite: the incredibly complex and nutty Louis D’Or, made in a village two hours East of Montréal by the Fromagerie du Presbytère.
Ferreira Café, 1446 Rue Peel