Seasonality is at the center of chef Oliver De Volpi’s cooking. “I visit Atwater and Jean Talon markets once a week. You walk through and get inspiration. When wild asparagus come in you see them first in the market it’s not the supplier who calls you up.”
“I want to introduce the great products that we have to everybody who hasn’t tried them. We get these scallops live, some are even still clapping. You can eat them raw and when you taste them, they are what a scallop should taste like. To show that off to people is amazing – and we have hundreds of products like that.” De Volpi recounts one of his favourite moments in the last year when he invited producers from the region to come and showcase their goods at a farmer’s market set up in the hotel.
“I’ve always had an interest in Québec products. We have some of the greatest products here, our cheeses are the best, we have amazing seafood, maple syrup, strawberries, so much.” While he lauds the region’s products, De Volpi in his typical unassuming manner is quick to point out that, “no one is inventing completely new things, they’re modernizing, they’re combining ingredients that may not have been combined before.”
This is an excerpt of an original article. For more about Oliver de Volpi see the Fall 2009 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.