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.
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.
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)
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.
Find Chuck here:
Restaurant Garde-Manger Inc
408 Rue Saint-Francois-Xavier