MEET A MONTREALER: CHUCK HUGHES

Posted on April 30th, 2010 by .

Meet Chuck. He’s a bad boy chef who loves Montréal, who recently opened a new restaurant called Le Bremner. To give you a sense of the buzz that Chuck is receiving, I went to YELP and found the most recent quote about his restaurant, Garde Manger…

“Excellent service. Rarely do you see an owner behind the bar and one in the kitchen these days unless you are at Garde Manger. Food is rich and tasty. Vibe is excellent. No pretension. You’ll love it.”

Chuck is quickly making a name for himself with his cooking show, Chuck’s Day Off, that will be airing soon internationally. Due to his chutzpah, friendliness and success, Chuck is a Montréaler who you need to meet.

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BACKGROUND

Who are you?

An active, sporty kinda guy. I play hockey and I work out a lot, which sometimes doesn’t look that way.

In recent years I’ve become more of a morning person! Ever since turning thirty, I’ve gotten more involved in my life. I’ve got focus now. Growing older is cool, I’m enjoying it. Sometimes I even agree with my mom.

(Editorial note: That’s scary!)

What do you do?

I’m the Chef at Garde Manger. But cooking has become something I am doing less and less. Other opportunities are coming around!

I’ve got a show on Food Network called Chuck’s Day Off. I invite the people that help make my restaurant happen (my fish monger, my baker, etc).  It’s a great opportunity to get to know the people with whom I work, to say thanks. They’re a part of the restaurant success.

(Editorial note: Incidentally, Chuck’s Day Off will start airing in the USA on The Cooking Channel on may 31.)

Why do you choose Montreal?

Montreal is my city. I was born here, and I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s definitely unique. There is no second thought.

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MONTRÉAL FAVOURITES

Restaurant: When I go out in Montréal, I always go to the crappy dives.  Steer Burger, it’s a ratty old deli diner. Get the curry fries. And since I don’t make sushi, I trust in the Chef Antonio at Kaizen. He treats me well.

Boutique/Store: Uniform St. Henri – that’s all I wear!

Neighborhood: Old Montréal. That’s where my Resto is and that’s where I live. My parents live in Habitat 67, I grew up in that mountain of concrete and glass. But with the most beautiful views of the city.

Park: To be honestly we’re pretty lucky in Montréal to have a huge park in the middle of the city; Mount Royal is a real focal point. People should experience it from the top down. Start at the lookout and walk all the way down into Old Montréal.

Festival: Reggae Festival in Old Montréal. It’s different. I’m in the business of going out every night, so it’s a nice change of pace for me. But we’re the city of festivals: Jazz Fest, Just For Laughs, Grand Prix, Film Festival, etc. We have them all. (Ed. note- make sure to check out these great deals on festival tickets from La Vitrine)

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QUICKIES

If Montréal were a dessert, what would it be?

Pouding Chômeur – simple, good, classic Quebecois. Montreal does well with “simple and good.”

When you travel, what snacks would we find your knapsack?

Water – tons and tons of water at all times. I also drink tons of coffee on the road. But my favorite travel snack is a banana. It’s wrapped and ready to rock. I try to eat healthy. Traveling is tough for that.

Incidentally, I’m the fastest guy in the security line at the airport. I’m the guy who’s most conscious of everything – no belt, no change in my pockets. But they always check me because of my tattoos.

Who is the tastiest Montréaler of them all?

I wish Justin Beiber were from Montréal. I’ve got Beiber fever.  I’m not joking.

In terms of Montréal, I’d have to say Tim Rozon… he’s a fuckin’ heartthrob. He’s huge in Ontario strip malls.

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Find Chuck here:

Restaurant Garde-Manger Inc
408 Rue Saint-Francois-Xavier
514-678-5044
www.chuckhughes.ca

Comments

  1. One of the CA 36,000

    / Jul 30th

    Woof! Chuck Hughes rocks on so many levels– and you gotta love that thick-as-poutine-gravy Montréal accent!! And he seems to be a totally cool straight guy who’s gay-friendly. I’ll have to take the hubby to Garde Manger when we go up to Montréal…!

  2. Virgie Mercado

    / Jul 18th

    My family hs been a fan of your cooking show, my sons always look forward to what music is playing for the shows. We are planning to visit Montreal this Aug and hoping to dine in your restaurant. I wish you cook for your audience as well as you do to many people/friends in your show. I always joke my sons, maybe he can have me a guest as too because I always watch his shows ha ha ha….I wish! All the best! Mercado Family

  3. Linda Patnaik

    / Aug 29th

    Hi my name is Linda Patnaik and I have a friend that absolutely loves your show Chuck’s Day Off. I am emailing you on behalf of my friends husband Keith Armstrong. Both Keith and Suzanne Armstrong are like family to me as well as best friends. This summer we have gone through so much as very close families. They both have been there for me as my family has been there for them. On October 11th 2011 it will be there 25th Wedding Anniversary and I was hoping if it would be possible to book reservations at your Montreal restaurant and possibly a meet and greet tour of your restaurant. The reason why I am asking is because this year has been a roller coaster ride for them both. Keith works out of town one week out and one week in he travels from Sudbury to Wawa. Suzanne works part time however her parents have been very ill and she has been taking time off to take care of them leaving no time for herself. I think of her as family as she will put her problems aside to help a friend no questions asked. So it would mean so much to me if they could spend there 25th Wedding Anniversary together at your restaurant as they so deserve to enjoy there Anniversary and to just spend time together and for a few hours forget there problems and just focus on themselves. Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon! Yours truly Linda

  4. Sharon Burton

    / Dec 8th

    arriving home for Christmas (montreal) off to Sutton for a couple of days and then staying with the family in the south shore. Hoping to take my 23 year old son to your restaurant he is always watching that cooking station. Should be a nice surprise for him. merry xmas

  5. Bach Hayer

    / Dec 19th

    Congratulation on winning the Iron Chef show down. You, Bobby Flay and Micheal Smith are my favorite chefs. I started learning cooking watching your shows. Both of you have simple and very effective techniques. I live in Brantford, ON. I will love to visit your restaurant one day.

  6. armande meloche

    / Feb 25th

    Bonjour , y a t-il lien de parenté avec Howard Hughes, qui déjà habitait Waterbury , dans le Connecticut…vers les années 1960-1970..juste curieuse!! à bientôt, j’espère.

  7. Anny

    / Sep 10th

    I was watching on tv the show Chuck’s Day Off. I wanted to change the channel but when I saw Chuck and what he made I really felt courius to know about him, about the show and, of course, of what he was cooking !
    GREAT SHOW, really. He looks on the camera funny, cool, charming and he do a great work.
    That is all we need.
    He has my support.

  8. Anny

    / Sep 10th

    P.s.: And imagine that I was watching it in Greece ! . .

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