This week was Noshette’s birthday, and among the many things we did to celebrate was to have dinner at Les Jardins Sauvages, which in English means "the wild gardens", a woodland table restaurant in St.Roch de l’Achigan. (Since I no longer go by the name "Nosher", Noshette will now be known as "Megan".) The 30 minute drive out of the city was nice, allowing us to enjoy the fall foliage. The leaves are usually much nicer than the photo I took, but it was raining that day, an unfortunate turn of events that nixed our original plan of going hiking in the countryside for the afternoon .
I first heard about Les Jardins Sauvages when I was surfing the net, looking for Montreal-based sustainable food sources and websites. I found a blog called soupnancy, written by a chef named Nancy Hinton. Nancy is now the chef at Les Jardins Sauvages and the girlfriend of François Brouillard, a master forager. You should all read about François and his rich history – it is the essence of Ethicureanism before it even had a name.
Our dinner was a seven-course, mushroom-themed banquet, almost completely foraged from the area where Francois lives and also from his foraging excursions all over Quebec. As each course was brought to our tables (there were only 49 diners that evening – and that was above capacity) François did the rounds with a giant tray of mushrooms and showed each table which mushrooms they were eating. He seemed shy and slightly anti-social, which would be expected from a career forager. If prodded, and prod I did, François revealed if a certain mushroom was from Ungava Bay or Rimouski, and also what animals he saw while in the bush.
Here is a list of the courses we enjoyed: