The Art of Living according to Joe Beef by Frederic Morin, David McMillan & Meredith Erickson - a cookbook of sorts - is a feast for the senses… it’s beautiful to look at, fascinating to read, and it’s full of delicious food. I don’t usually recommend cookbooks, but at this time of year if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for someone who loves food (they don’t even need to love to cook, - just eat), and who loves Montreal, you won’t score higher points with any gift. Trust me! The recipes are almost secondary here, it’s the joie de vivre feeling that comes across for Montreal that is uppermost in the writing, photography (yes! gorgeous photos) and even in the recipes. I’m not sure whether this book belongs on the coffeetable or in the kitchen, it’s that type of book. It’s part travel log, history lesson and biography as well as cookbook. And how could I not recommend a book, a cookbook no less, that has a chapter called Trains! Even the chapter on how the name Joe Beef came to be is an interesting read. The menu and wine list are written on blackboards, the dishes are mismatched, the clientel a hodgepodge of Montreal cultures, and the food deliciously prepared by chefs who, up to the writing of this cookbook, never had written recipes. And the menu changes daily so you can imagine how many recipes they have. The restaurant is located in Little Burgundy, in the southwest part of the city. It’s an area that has seen better times, but those in the know realized the potential of this neighbourhood and are now flocking to this area not only to eat, but to live there as well. Yes, everything old is new again. Reservations are definitely required , and I think you should reserve a copy of this fantastic ”cookbook of sorts”, for your favourite foodie this Christmas. It’s delicious!
On Monday Dec. 5th Shelagh Rogers interviewed David & Fred on her show The Next Chapter on CBC radio. You can listen to the interview if you checkout her show online. It’s a great interview – a bit quirky, just like the guys and the book.