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Issue 94 - A Canadian Feast

Whisky Magazine Issue 94
March 2011


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A Canadian Feast

Martine Nouet heads north for a challenging pairing

Organising a whisky dinner in Montréal was a tough challenge, more than I had imagined. Not that I had worries about the cook. My partner in the kitchen, Denise Cornellier, is one of the most acclaimed chefs in the French Canadian city. She opened her catering boutique 25 years ago after perfecting her art in France. The difficulties came from the liquid side. In Europe, when I design a whisky menu, I have no problem sourcing the whisky. I had not realised how lucky we are until I was confronted to my Canadian challenge. Here the sale of all alcoholic drinks is overseen by a liquor board. Each jurisdiction operates on its own but all of the liquor boards are supervised by the Canadian Association of Liquor Jurisdictions. In Québec, the SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec) operates more than 800 stores.

They supply holders of alcoholic beverage sales licences.

So we had to choose our whiskies from the SAQ list. I still have not figured how it works. You can't find such standard bottlings in Europe as Caol Ila 12 Years Old but the 18 Years Old or the Distillers Edition are available.

Laphroaig is not on the list.

Surprisingly, Aberlour and Benriach feature with a reasonable range.

With the little help of friends who could purchase a few items at the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario), I managed to select a good assortment of various styles and origins.

Denise was one of the first chefs to introduce foie gras in Québec.

Her foie gras cuit au torchon is one of the...

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