If you’re in Montreal during this winter season and want to take a gift back home for that special someone, support local artisans and give a gift with true “Montrealais” attitude…
A Pretty Montreal Calendar: Start off the New Year with a pretty 2013 Montreal Calendar by Chelline featuring photos by Dmitry Gimon. So even if your stay in Montreal was a quick one, getting a fresh reminder every month will definitely have you lusting for a return. Available in English & French from the MACM’s Boutique or online.
Fairs: During the holiday season, there are many artisan fairs that feature products made with tender loving care right here in La Belle Province. The Montreal Buzz has a complete rundown of these fairs here.
Books: Quebec and Food have been in a love affair since the very beginning. Now some of the cities top chef’s are sharing their secrets…
The english version of master chef Normand Laprise’ cookbook Toqué! Creators of a new Quebec Gastronomy hit shelves November 28. I personally will never pretend to replicate one of his signature dishes served at the renowned Toque! restaurant, but y’all can sure give it a shot! $40, Available in French & English.
Martin Picard is a local celebrity chef and owner of the famous Au Pied de Cochon. His cookbook Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack is beautiful enough for a coffee table and an interesting read complete with a short story, and a detailed history of Quebec’s legendary Maple industry. With recipes like “Squirrel Sushi” and “Confederation Beaver,” you’ll have to stick by the “try-everything-once” mantra. $40, Available in French & English.
The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts from the co-owners/chefs Frédéric Morin and David McMillan with former staff Meredith Erickson give a whole new meaning to “from scratch” with tips for welding your own cake mold. The book includes 135 recipes along with personal stories, a Montreal travel guide, and how to make absinthe. $40, Available in French & English.
Gift Cards: Gifting someone an Old Montreal Experience is a unique way to show your gratitude. The Old Montreal Experience Gift Card is available online and is valid at a large number of iconic and popular Old Port restaurants, hotels, bars and spas including Modavie, Taverne Gaspar, Vieux-Port Steakhouse, Hotel Nelligan, Place d’Armes Hotel and Rainspa. Check out the full list and gift card options here.
Bicycle Wine Rack: Montreal is ranked as the most bike friendly city in North America. Sun or snow, Montrealers seem to bike everywhere. In the summer, it’s common to see locals enjoying some wine & cheese in our many urban parks. Jesse Herbert is founder of the “tools for urban living” studio oopsmark.ca. He put 2 and 2 together and came up with probably the most genius thing ever: The Bicycle Wine Rack. Handmade in the Mile End with antique brass fasteners and olive-oil treated vegetable-tanned leather, this thing is as beautiful as it is functional. $29, available online and at local artisan fairs.
Jewelry & Accessories: LALAYEAH is a collection of beautifully handmade necklaces, ornaments and accessories. Made from leather and other raw materials like silver, bronze and horse hair, these are quickly defining what Montreal style is all about. They’re available directly from the atelier (by appointment only) or at local boutiques like Unicorn, Mylène B, White Label, Atelier B and Moug.
For the Kids: A Raplapla is a organic cotton doll with no neck, ears, elbows or nose. What it lacks in body parts, it makes up for with one huge smile and a promise that it will be a trusty confidant to a little one. You can buy one directly from the Raplapla studio & boutique (69 rue Villeneuve West) or from stores like Fait Ici, Musée McCord Boutique, Buk & Nola, or L’Empreinte Coopérative d’Artisans in the heart of Old Montreal (Full boutique list here). P.S If you grab my favorite Raplapla “Monsieur Tsé-Tsé”, which won a Graphika award in 2009, 10% of profits go to UNICEF!
Maple Perfume: When the director of the prestigious French perfume house Galimard passed through Montreal, she didn’t expect to meet Quebecker Pierre Faucher at Sucerie de la Montagne in Rigaud. Or that together they would concoct “Attire-moi” – a unique perfume that captures the essence of maple vapor and honors Quebec heritage and the glorious liquid gold that runs in the land. With notes of maple, café, spices, balsamic, vanilla and crème brulée this parfume smells finger licking good. $45 for 100 ml. Available at Sucrerie de la Montagne or online.