I've said this before, I've even listed them, but there are numerous perks to having a girlfriend who happens to work in one of the most exciting kitchens in Montreal. Sure, there are the occasional freebies, and there's the VIP treatment you get when you visit Les Chèvres/Le Chou, but then there are lots of other nice things, like having gotten to know Patrice Demers, the pastry chef, and M. Beausoleil, the Maitre d' extraordinaire, and sometimes you even get an invitation to a book launch.
You see, last night was the official launch of Patrice's new book, his first. Part of a fresh new series of books published by Les Editions de l'Homme called "tout un chef!" focusing on some of Quebec's culinary innovators, Patrice's book, as the title-- Patrice Demers: chef pâtissier aux restaurants Les Chèvres et le Chou --indicates, is a collection of the recipes he's developed as the executive pastry chef at his twin restaurants on Van Horne.
The launch was a classic Montreal "5 à 7," with a few toasts, a delicious apéro (a Piedmontese sparkling wine), and a selection of a few of the tantalizing little treasures to be found in Patrice's book. Not surprisingly, given the occasion, the focus was on Patrice's mignardises and not on his more elaborate plated desserts, but they highlighted the flair he brings to even the smallest bouchées.
In the photo above you can see his classic Financiers à l'orange et à la cardamome alongside his somewhat devilish Macarons poivrés, filled with chocolate in this case (!), instead of the lemon filling featured in his book.
In the photo below you can get a sneak peek into the Patricerie, with none other than Michelle holding up a plate of macarons in the foreground, while Camilla puts her Protestant work ethic to use in the background.
I didn't manage to get a photo of the most playful of Patrice's desserts, the Crémeux au chocolat Jivara, bananes caramélisées which he'd transformed into ice cream pops that made you feel like a kid again (a kid with a particularly sophisticated palate, I guess), but I did get a shot of the most delicate of the desserts that was served yesterday, the Guimauves aux fruits de la Passion, which, given the hour (i.e. before dinner), were my favorite of the event.
Later, Michelle and I took another look through Patrice's book at home, and Michelle showed me a few of her personal favorites, including the ananas rotis, nougat glacé pistache-cardamom.
I guess our apple kick isn't quite over yet, because she also showed up with a wonderful tarte fine aux pommes et à l'érable she managed to score. We're not sure what to do with it yet, or rather where to place it, but I'm sure we'll think of something.
Patrice Demers: chef pâtissier aux restaurants Les Chèvres et Le Chou is published by Les Editions de l'Homme (www.edhomme.com). Act quickly, apparently it's already selling well in bookstores.