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Meet a Montrealer: Plastik Patrik

Montréal nightlife icon and queer androgyne Plastik Patrik has been entertaining audiences for over two decades, before the current generation of club kids was even born! Once, when Cyndi Lauper discovered Plastik Patrik – “What a fabulous name!” she said – and Patrik’s then-band One 976, she invited the glam-punk rockers to sing two encores with her (La Vie en rose and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun) onstage at Le Metropolis de Montréal in 2004. Patrik would go on to form another band, Patrik et les Brutes, and became a much in-demand DJ. Patrik – who keeps fit by swimming laps and running marathons – is also the emcee for the women’s exciting Montreal Roller Derby league. Job: I’m a multi-tasker. Make-up artist, DJ, party planner, performer, emcee, roller derby announcer. Favourite pastime: Exercise. Club nights and gigs have come and gone but I’ve always trained. Obsessively. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? Summer in the city is always a treat, that’s no secret. One of my favorite festivals is MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL. They always have a big show in Parc Émilie-Gamelin. Big outdoor circus in the summer, that’s Montréal full spin. What’s the next big thing you’re… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: David McMillan

David McMillan is without a doubt one of Montréal’s most famous, larger-than-life personalities. The co-owner of Joe Beef, Le Vin Papillon and Liverpool House has been cooking in Montréal for the past 20 years and is one of the driving forces behind the city’s food renaissance and Little Burgundy’s revival in the past decade. We sat down with him to discuss food, wine and the past, present and future state of the Montréal culinary scene. Job: Co-owner of Joe Beef restaurant Favourite pastime: I spend a lot of time at my house in the Laurentians. I’m into “off-grid” living. How long have you been a Montrealer? All my life, born and raised. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I got an old wooden boat from 1962 and I’m going to start restoring it tonight in my garage. It’s a 16-foot sloop that needs TLC. It’s going to be my wife’s boat. I have a fishing boat, which is my boat, my bass boat. This is kind of a “status” boat on my lake. Everyone who lives on a lake in the Laurentians has a fancy boat that they take out for special occasions. It’s like having… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Lesley Chesterman

Montréal is famous for its great restaurants, and Montrealer Lesley Chesterman is renowned as one of the city’s premiere fine-dining critics and food columnists. The widely-respected Montréal Gazette food critic and author – whom you can also listen to on CHOM 97.7 FM and on the ICI Radio-Canada radio program Médium Large – is fearless and sometimes controversial, but always honest. “I was with a big New York restaurant critic last week and he thinks the restaurant scene in Montréal is the best in North America, including San Francisco,” says Chesterman. In addition to her own reviews in The Gazette, Chesterman recommends reading Eater.com’s Montréal page. “I agree with about 36 reviews on their Eater 38 for Montreal – that list is very strong,” says Chesterman. “We’re the only Canadian city to have an Eater’s page – they gave up on Vancouver and Toronto. Montréal is really that good. Toronto and Vancouver get all competitive with us, but a lot of the chefs still look to us to set a trend. You are really looking at cuisine here that is based on Quebecers. There was a time when we looked to the French, but the Quiet Revolution in dining –… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Anne-Marie Withenshaw

One of the most recognizable names on the Montréal media landscape, popular television and radio host Anne-Marie Withenshaw has long been an unofficial ambassador for the city’s thriving arts and cultural scenes. No longer: Withenshaw is official now as the 2015 ambassador for the annual MTL à TABLE restaurant event, 11 days of gourmet festivities and culinary discovery at 159 restos across Montréal, October 29 to November 8. Like Withenshaw doesn’t have enough on her plate(s), she also co-hosts TV show À couteaux tirés with world-renowned Montréal chef Chuck Hughes. It pits two top-shelf Québécois chefs against each other in a friendly, albeit crazy and unpredictable, competition each week. The program airs on CASA TV every Monday (5:30 pm), Thursday (9:30 pm) and Saturday (12:30 and 6 pm). We caught up with the food- and life-loving Withenshaw in between shooting. What’s the coolest, most interesting thing you’ve done so far this year? “I guess probably raise a toddler. It’s funny, my life has really changed a lot since I had a kid. Maybe four or five weeks before I got pregnant I was on tour with Rihanna. I did five cities in five days for [Montréal radio station] The Beat…… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: World-class speed skaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais

In the case of world-class speed skaters Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais, it’s all about heart. It’s what propelled the young Montréalers individually to several Olympic medals (Hamelin has three golds and a silver, and St-Gelais has two silvers) as well as numerous national and international championship titles between them. It’s what caused Canadians to fall in love with them during their incredible medal run at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. And the fact that by that time they had fallen in love with each other didn’t hurt either. We caught up with the winning and winsome couple in advance of the ISU World Cup Short Track in Montréal, the first World Cup speed skating competition of the 2015/16 season, which will be held at the Maurice-Richard Arena in the Olympic Park from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. The elite facility houses one of Canada’s two National Training Centres for high performance short track speed skating, and it’s home base for Hamelin and St-Gelais. First of all, how exciting is it that the ISU World Cup Short Track is in Montréal? Charles: “When we have a World Cup in Montréal it’s always fun because that’s where we live, and… / Read More →

10 (more) Montréal Instagrammers we love

Montrealers have a passion for life and a love for their city that they express in countless ways, from food and festivals to art and photography. When it comes to photography, there is nowhere like Instagram to see this passion so creatively expressed. From breathtaking skylines to intimate neighbourhood vignettes, Montrealers love to capture and share their amazing #MTLMOMENTS. So without further ado, and following the popularity of our first round-up of 10 Montréal Instagrammers we love, here are 10 more local Instagrammers to follow and enjoy! @yellowillow Grab some friends and go out wandering. Loved doing so with @xoveloxo and Emmanuelle Une photo publiée par Anne McIsaac (@yellowillow) le 20 Nov. 2015 à 8h58 PST @urbansniper514 Catching lanscapes with a 50mm 😂 u do what you gotta do with what you have! Une photo publiée par Joel Fernandez (@urbansniper514) le 28 Août 2015 à 12h04 PDT @mevallieres #straightfacades Une photo publiée par Marie Eve Vallieres (@mevallieres) le 24 Nov. 2015 à 20h51 PST @m_lloyd Built and designed by the architect Moshe Sadie, Habitat 67 is a revolutionary urban housing concept widely considered an architectural landmark and one of the most recognizable and significant buildings in Montreal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As a… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Sleiman-Tanios Chahwan, Owner of Adbeus

Sleiman is busy, a free spirit of Lebanese descent raised in Montréal, and a citizen of the world. After spending time in New York and Beirut refining his skills, this entrepreneur, soon to be 27, returned to his adopted city that he deems “passionate and populated with creative, enthusiastic, and open people.” Since 2010, he has been developing Adbeus, a website listing the best independent coffee shops in Montréal, which has gradually transformed into a mobile app and dedicated project. Sleek, aesthetic and practical, this guide focuses on the product quality, ambience, service, and décor of each of the establishments visited. Rather than admitting to being a coffee expert himself, Sleiman prefers to address the experiences that accompany coffee consumption. At the beginning of April, he launched the second version of his app, downloaded over 10,000 times in Montréal alone and offering additional international cities, including Toronto, New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Prague, London, and Istanbul, all managed by trusted local partners. Tell us about the Adbeus app. It’s a handy list that fosters the discovery of independent coffee shops through a geolocation system and allows for customizing the experience with specific criteria, such as roaster, WiFi, the nearest Métro… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer…Marie-Pier Veilleux, owner of Brasserie Harricana

Brasserie Harricana first opened its doors in Amos in 1975. Now, 40 years later, Marie-Pier Veilleux, a young entrepreneur, has breathed new life into the family business, this time in Montréal. Chairs, tables, lights and the cold storage room door were recuperated from the old brasserie and are now part of the décor of this convivial new restaurant. The concept for the brasserie is based on meal-and-beer pairings. Marie-Pier and her associate Cynthia Santamaria offer clients an array of beers to choose from. They have over 40 types of beer on tap in addition to a selection of Québec ciders, cocktails as well as American rum spiced with boreal herbs. The menu, for its part, features an array of dishes that lean toward “family” or “bistro” cuisine. The musts, unquestionably, are the spaghettini with meat, the whole chicken roasted on a beer can (for two) and the Queen Elizabeth cake served with creamy caramel. With yumminess like this, who wouldn’t want a seat at this brasserie? It’s open every day from noon to 2 a.m. And with the arrival of summer, it also offers thirst-quenching lemonades to sip on its new outdoor patio!    Why did you decide to start your… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Julie Gilbert, Owner of Ô Deux Sœurs

Special collaboration with Florence Gagnon, president and founder of Lez Spread the Word Ô Deux Sœurs (which loosely translates as “At the two sisters”) is a restaurant, a caterer and an organic grocery store that has hung out its shingle on Rosemont Boulevard for five years now. Owner Julie Gilbert and her team have made it their mission to continually reinvent the pleasures of eating, adding a philanthropic twist by offering their customers quality food at affordable prices. With its “comfort food” style cuisine using local products, Ô Deux Sœurs also offers vegetarian, organic and gluten-free variations on its menu. On weekdays, you can select from the table d’hôte menu for lunch and dinner. On weekends, the restaurant serves up a sumptuous gourmet brunch. You’ll also find a list of delicious sandwiches, salads, desserts and beverages that are served all day long. As well, their new selection of coffee and a variety of prepared meals are always available on-site. For the past two years, the restaurant has been on a roll – literally – with the Ô Sœurs Volantes food truck, which dishes out equal parts salads in tortillas, meatball dishes and satisfied smiles. Ô Sœurs Volantes hits the road… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Philippe Demers

Montréal’s MASSIVart and Chromatic co-founder Phillippe Demers is living proof that avant-garde art, international business, punk rock parties, cross-country skiing and next-level doughnut-loving are not mutually exclusive pursuits. The 28-year-old Demers is one of the original minds behind Montreal’s highly regarded and hugely active MASSIVart collective. MASSIVart was created to showcase art (and by extension the artists) by making it more accessible through special events and by taking it out of traditional art spaces to places where one might not otherwise expect it. This mission evolved into the model for Chromatic, an annual arts party/festival showcasing some 150 artists which takes place at the summit of Mount Royal. The social mandate of Chromatic – which also has a commercial services arm that provides events planning and art integration – is to promote artists and make sure their work is accessible to everyone. This year Montréal will be represented at the very first edition of Chromatic in Paris (April 2 to 4). Now let’s meet Demers. When at work, who are you? “I’m the general manager and the co-founder of both Chromatic and MASSIVart.” What’s the coolest thing about your job? “The coolest thing is that it’s never the same. I do… / Read More →