Chef Anthony Bourdain’s day in Montreal

Celebrity taster celebrates city’s ‘great chef culture’

MONTREAL – Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s TV show The Layover features the bad-boy taster in Montreal for an entire episode. He quips that the city’s well-known chefs give it “a great chef culture.”

Bourdain hops around town with local chefs including Martin Picard, owner of Au Pied de Cochon restaurant and Frédéric Morin and David McMillan, co-owners of Joe Beef. The episode shows highlights of Bourdain’s day-long visit in summertime Montreal.

He drinks with his new-found buddies on the back of a moving pick-up truck, peruses a travel guide at Beauty’s diner, samples bagels at the St. Viateur Bagel Shop (He diplomatically says comparing Montreal and New York bagels is like comparing apples and oranges. “It’s unfair to both quite magnificent products to try and compare them,” he says.)

Bourdain checks out Mile End cafés and cookbooks in a Westmount bookstore, Appetite for Books, where he meets up with the bookstore’s owner, Jonathan Cheung. Cheung Bixi bikes over to the Jean Talon Market where he gives Bourdain a tour. He delights in tastes of some raw milk cheese, banned in the Bourdain’s native United States and visits a cheesemaker at the Atwater Market.

The 55-year-old former dishwasher, sous-chef and now executive chef of Brasserie Les Halles in New York City takes the métro which he says “ain’t bad.” He casts a jaded eye on touristy Old Montreal, his swear words bleeped over by the Travel channel as he saunters around. He concludes with a smoked meat sandwich, a cherry soda and a pickle at Schwartz’s deli. “It’s freakin’ good.”

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