Marc-Olivier Frappier of Vin Mon Lapin was one of three Canadian chefs invited to participate in Andrea Petrini’s mad-cap world food festival, Sarah Musgrave reports
Having received eight recipes called “the matrixes” a month earlier, he and chef Jessica Noël got busy subbing potato for cassava and spot prawns for langoustine, grinding rare peppers and making sake caramel.
The December 3 event was a recipe exchange on a global scale. For one night only: 148 chefs from 38 countries took a deep dive into a different culinary culture without knowing whose recipes they were cooking. Three Canadian chefs (notably, all in Quebec) joined René Redzepi, Massimo Botura, Alex Atala and Alain Ducasse in reinterpreting mystery menus sent across the world. This 2019 iteration of Gelinaz, a star-powered series of food events, was billed as the Stay In tour: Rather than the chefs travelling, the recipes did, all the better for carbon emissions and work-life balance. In addition to Mon Lapin, Montreal’s Dyan Solomon at Foxy got recipes from Berlin’s Nobelhart & Schmutzig while Colombe St-Pierre in Le Bic reworked dishes from Seoul one-star Mosu.
For diners at Mon Lapin, it was a trip to an unknown destination — from skewered pork belly and octopus in Penja sauce to the danger-zone heat of squid-ink millet (toned down from the original, according to Frappier) to a sublime tallow financier. At 10 pm, the reveal: Jeremy Chan of London’s Ikoyi, who plays on his business partner’s West African roots. (Frappier’s recipes went to Belgium’s Kobe Desramaults, formerly of In De Wulf.) While the crowd tried to source the flavours, pairings from Vanya Filipovic (including rare finds from Pinard et Filles and rebel sake brand Katori) kept us happily located at one of the smartest wine bars in Montreal.