Le Grand Aïoli at Alexandraplatz, by Linda Leith

Yes, Virginia, it is still possible to make things happen without a lot of money. The secret is a lot of work, creative energy, and collaboration, in this case between Popcorn YouthKinfolk MagazineFoodlab chef Michelle Marek, and a brand-new bar called Alexandraplatz, open just for the summer in a rugged corner of Esplanade. 

People are sitting outside at a couple of picnic tables as you turn north from St. Zotique. Inside, long tables are set with baskets of bread, vases of flowers, and ice buckets with bottles of wine. 

Co-hosts Natasha Pickowics and Theo Diamantis of Oenopole introduce the evening and the Domaine du Gros ‘Noré Bandol Rosé.

Chef Michelle Marek prepares the cheese

 

The meal consists of Le Grand Aïoli, breads and cheeses from Kamouraska, and a perfect strawberry tart. The wine is pale, nuanced, and perfect. The company is lively. Fun!

When you leave, about 10 p.m., the second sitting is starting to arrive. Up next, a September date at the newly opened PHI Centre space in Old Montreal. And, in the meantime, an opportunity to check out more of Marek’s work, with Seth Gabrielse, at Foodlab, or Labo culinaire, at SAT Société des arts technologiques on Saint-Laurent.

 

© Linda Leith 2012

July postscript: There's a great New York Times review of Foodlab here.

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The Decision to Publish in French, Part I, by Linda Leith


Abou Farman's Clerks of the Passage is one of seven books LLP published in its launch year, 2012.

In September 2014, LLP embarked on a process that has led, one year later, to the decision to publish books in French as well as English.

The first step was a grant application to the Canada Council, in which we made a committment to disseminate the results of the process. This three-part article was submitted in slightly different form to the agency in September 2015 as part of our final report to the Leadership for Change program. 

This is Part I of a three-part text. Part II is here.

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There have been too many shows of impatience and anger, with each side blaming the other. With few exceptions, this has all been a question of words -- sharp words, throw-away words, unthinking words -- but they have succeeded in hardening attitudes and deepening divisions. Fine words are not all it takes to improve matters, but they can help a great deal in such a language-obsessed city as Montreal.

Launch of $50,000 Montreal International Poetry Prize

Asked to comment on the audacity of launching a global English poetry prize in Montreal, Epp says, “It’s not necessarily audacious. It’s certainly interesting. We think it’s a great thing for Montreal, not just for the English-speaking community.

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