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Taste of the Nation - Montreal event

BLM Apr 22, 2007 08:22 PM

The next annual Taste of the Nation Montreal is coming up next Wednesday. It always gets tons of Montreal press, as people from the Montreal media are the celebrity sous-chefs for the restaurants participating. Just for the food, is it worth it to pay $175(which includes the private cocktail reception)? Usually each year several top Montreal restaurants participate. The foods put out by the restaurants for the Taste of the Nation Montreal event, are they putting out their "A" material, or is more like their "B" or "C" stuff. I've never attended as it's very expensive.

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  1. r
    rooibus RE: BLM Apr 24, 2007 05:18 PM

    Have never attended either but from what I hear from friends that have gone it is very crowded and everybody is pushing, shoving, reaching, grabbing. A worst buffet nightmare. It is for a good cause however.

    1. m
      morebubbles RE: BLM Apr 25, 2007 05:17 AM

      I've attended twice. The first time, 3 yrs ago, I though it was great. Fab food offerings etc. 2 yrs ago it was still good, but maybe I'd lost a bit of the first-time dazzle - or I was wearing high heels! : ) You do have to be able to juggle plate, wine glass, napkin & be prepared to stand a lot (there are few tables which are occupied early on). Your question re grading, I'd say pretty much the restaurants put out their A stuff. Wine distributors are there too. If you wish, you can talk to the chefs. Myself, I'm too shy, but there were some known (and charming) chefs around. I remember the Fairmont (formerly QE) hotel rest. had a great 'cooking station' where the chefs prepared the bites on the spot - so delicious too! If I remember it was scallops with an inventive sauce & toppings...(my memory is 2 yrs old sorry!) Someone else had a great seafood salad etc etc. A strategy might be: If you know the restaurant, or there's one you'd like to try the food from, you line up there first before it gets too crazy. Pick & choose, it's do-able.
      It's nice, you get to pick and choose from the restaurants represented (many) etc. And you keep in mind that 100% of the profits go to good causes (this yearDans la Rue etc).
      For details & tax deductible portions check out their website: tasteofthenation.montreal.com

      5 Replies
      1. re: morebubbles
        BLM RE: morebubbles Apr 25, 2007 07:43 AM

        Not too much upselling by the participating restaurants(keeping in mind this is suppose to be a charity event)?

        1. re: BLM
          Venusia RE: BLM Apr 25, 2007 07:51 AM

          What do you mean? It's all you can eat and drink. There's no extra charge, unless you want to do the silent auction. There was a port and cigar lounge in the past, I don't know if they still do that.

          The event used to be huge, but I suppose that top restaurants are so solicited nowadays many take a pass on the event.

          Milos isn't there this year but in past years the octopus they served was top-rate.

          1. re: Venusia
            BLM RE: Venusia Apr 25, 2007 08:04 AM

            Meaning are the restaurants, trying to sell themselves(use Taste of the Nation mainly as a publicity tool). There will be orgy of live Montreal media coverage of Taste of the Nation today(Montreal media celebrities are sous-chefs to the restaurants). I didn't realize the event has gotten much smaller.

            1. re: BLM
              morebubbles RE: BLM Apr 25, 2007 08:43 AM

              I didn't get the impression that anyone was pushing themselves. It was very civilized.

              1. re: morebubbles
                Venusia RE: morebubbles Apr 25, 2007 08:51 AM

                Yes, in general, they are so busy serving that apart from a smile, they only talk to you if you engage them.

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