VineRoutes on Threads
Montreal en Lumiere
Events Food & Wine

A gourmet tasting of gastronomy and wine at Montreal en Lumière ‘24

April 1, 2024
The 25th edition of the festival ran from February 29 through March 10 and highlighted the gastronomic diversity that Montreal is renowned for, with a full menu of food and wine events

While it may be a bit cliché to say that Montreal, and Montrealers, know how to ‘winter’, you realize that it’s also a very apt one as you wander around the Montréal en Lumière festival and its Quartier des Spectacles hub that transforms the city into a food and wine lover’s paradise.

Read Also: Montréal en Lumière 2024: A celebration of gastronomy and wine

The goal of Montréal en Lumière, and one of the most important aspects of the festival, is the meeting between the festivalgoer and a chef or a sommelier or a winemaker, whether local or one of our invited international guests,” says Julie Martel, the festival’s head of gastronomic programming. “We want to create events that create a space for conversation and human contact. Where the festivalgoer can meet the artisan directly and discuss the menu, dishes or wine with them. This human contact and meeting space is what the festival is all about.”

Graziella welcomes Chef Caterina Ceraudo (Datillo) and winemaker Sebastian Nasello (Podere Le Ripi)

The evening at Graziella perfectly embodied this human contact and my conversation with Julie Martel. Guest chef Caterina Cerauda from Dattilo (Strongoli, Italy – One Michelin star and Green Star) served up a six-course menu filled with Tuscan flavours, accompanied by seven glasses of Sebastian Nasello’s wines from Montalcino’s Podere Le Ripi estate and his Bakkanali project.

During the evening, Caterina and Sebastian generously shared their thoughts with us on the menu, the importance of cooking and eating seasonally, the beauty and challenges of biodynamic winemaking and the universality of connections made around the table. We then had the opportunity to taste an impeccable menu that married the flavours of Tuscany and Canada.

Montreal en Lumiere

Guest chef Caterina Cerauda (middle left) poses with Graziella Battista and winemaker Sebastian Nasello (far right). (Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich)

Some of the highlights of this modern and creative menu included Podolica veal carpaccio served with Jerusalem artichokes, rose, raspberries and coffee; spaghettone with a wild fennel pesto; Île de la Madeleine scallops and leg of lamb with artichokes and liquorice and a deceptively simple, yet divine dish, of cauliflower, cod and truffles.

Sebastian Nasello, winner of the Giulio Gambelli award for best traditional winemaker under 35 and chief winemaker at Podere Le Ripi estate (one of the few in the Montalcino region to be certified biodynamic), shared his thoughts on the pairings and on the importance of the simplicity of the products and the authenticity of wine. Definite highlights were Podere Le Ripi’s Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Lupi e Sirene 2018 and his IGT Toscana Rosso Bakkanali 2019.

“I believe that wine should be an authentic ambassador for a region’s soils, grape varieties, vintages and territory,” he says. “Everything that I do revolves around wine, from my friendships to my travel to my hobbies.”

Bruno Clair at Hoogan et Beaufort

Sixth generation (the family began making wine at the beginning of the 19th century) Burgundy winemaker Bruno Clair and his son Arthur of Domaine Bruno Clair guided us through the wine pairings to Hoogan et Beaufort Chef Marc-André Jetté’s five-course menu.

Bruno Clair

Winemaker Bruno Clair (Photo by Montreal en Lumiere)

Circling back to Sebastian Nasello’s thoughts on simplicity, he featured a pairing menu that speaks for itself:

  • Prince Edward Island beef tataki, black garlic and bone marrow paired with Domaine Bruno Clair Marsannay, Vaudenelles, 2020
  • Guinea Fowl from Kégo Farms, parsnip, black truffle juice paired with both Domaine Bruno Clair Savigny-les-Beaune 1er Cru, La Dominode, 2002 and Domaine Bruno Clair Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru, Petite Chapelle, 2017

Throughout their descriptions of each wine and vintage, the family also shared their love for the region and its terroirs (their vineyards stretch from the north of the Côte de Nuits to the north of the Côte de Beaune) as well as the importance of family (in 2010, Edouard, their eldest son joined the estate followed by Margaux and Arthur in 2018).

Yves Lowe x Jeremy Charles at the Bell Centre’s Mythik: 25 years later!

The Bell Centre’s farm to table Mythik restaurant welcomed Newfoundland chef Jeremy Charles (from Raymonds, Merchant Tavern) with a “From Newfoundland to the Quebec’s North Shore” coastal menu featuring a stunning seafood platter, fish and game dishes showcasing local produce and a fried ravioli dish honouring the restaurant where they first met 25 years ago, Mediterraneo.

Montreal en Lumiere

Mythik Chef Montreal en Lumiere supper with Yves Lowe and Jeremy Charles. (Photo by Pierre Bourgault/Club de hockey Canadien).

I had the chance to chat with Yves Lowe, Executive Chef for the Bell Center, and Jeremy Charles about their shared passion for hockey, seafood (Yves comes from the boreal Côte-Nord territory, and Jeremy from the Atlantic Newfoundland shore) and this collaboration and reunion.

“On hockey game evenings, or those where we have big events, we serve up to 3,000 covers in an hour and a half around the arena – it’s basically the same logistics as those on a large cruise ship, says Lowe. “The idea behind this, the concept of having us together, came up very fast. I had this idea to invite my friend Jeremy, gave him a call and he was nice enough to say yes and here we are. I’ve known Jeremy since our days at Mediterraneo.”

Lowe continues: “Our first event for Montreal en Lumière was the first year of the festival, and now 25 years later, here we are reunited together. Jeremy and I have similar experiences as kids on the coast, we have those common roots that came together to create the menu. Jeremy is very, very humble. He’s not going to tell you that he sent divers to get the scallops and the sea urchins yesterday, and that we’re waiting for the Air Canada cargo flights to arrive with them this afternoon and tomorrow just before the events. He’s basically a rock star.”

Montreal en Lumiere

Montreal en Lumiere. (Photo by Frederique-Menard-Aubin)

“Obviously this is a special event, so I want to make sure we are able to put our best foot forward, so to speak, and to showcase the wonderful products that we have on the East Coast, adds Jeremy Charles. “We’re both looking forward to that. After spending time here over the last days, I’m kind of speechless in the way Yves is able to run such a large ship. The food goes out beautifully for an incredible amount of people. It’s unbelievable. It’s a true testament to him and he’s a lovely, kind human and a great chef who’s got a big heart. And a lot of patience.”

It was an experience brought to life by the menu, the wine pairings (by Jeremy Bonia, also present, co-owner and sommelier of Raymonds, The Merchant Tavern and Portage in Newfoundland), and by the stories and anecdotes shared by Yves and Jeremy throughout the evening. Marie-Pierre Ferland’s (Yves Lowe’s partner) stunning photography showcasing the chefs on Newfoundland and Northern Quebec’s shores served as the perfect background.

An evening to savour and to remember that embodied the festival’s mission of collaboration and creativity.

“Vin en musique” with François Chartier

François Chartier, the multi-hyphenate (sommelier, cook, columnist, author, researcher, consultant, trainer and lecturer) founder of Barcelona’s Chartier World Lab led us through a unique ‘wine and music’ pairing evening where the vibratory acoustic imprint of wine was transposed into music. Along with his team, he translates the vibrations (or wavelengths) of the free electrons at the heart of the atoms at the molecular core of wine into sounds that were then put into music by renowned jazz musicians Yannick Rieu et Jonathan Cayer.

A unique blind tasting of four wines (and one beer) with Chartier acting as conductor, the musicians improvising music around the wine ‘taste scores’, and participants invited to guess what wine each score represented before tasting the wines.

A unique and unusual pairing bringing the audience’s drinks to life through music.

The Quartier Gourmand
Montréal en Lumière

Photo by: Benoit Rousseau

Featuring events dedicated to various cuisines, workshops, panel discussions, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings and ‘5 à 7s’, the Quartier Gourmand is the festival’s main hub and worth many wanders over the course of the festival.

Montreal en Lumiere, with its blend of culinary experiences, cultural events, and diverse entertainment, is not just a festival but also a celebration of Montreal in the winter. Beyond its gastronomic programming, the festival features live musical performances, cultural attractions and events as well as an illuminated and immersive skating trail, multimedia art installations and ‘Nuit Blanche in Montréal’ – an all-night event with over a hundred exclusive cultural activities including art, poetry, dance, games, cinema and more.

For more information including the full programming and list of participating restaurants:


– Alana Lapierre is a regional editor for VineRoutes, covering eastern Canada


Exclusive content via Email

You have Successfully Subscribed!