Comme c’était bon, actually. This was last spring, as you can see from the fiddlehead photo. We were in the Byward Market, stall number 23, that of Madame Cléroux. She stood on crates, all four feet something of her, selling her usual spring carpet of greenery, a curly crop of fiddleheads, tender young herbs in starter pots, we buy from her year after year, for the porch planters.
This tour of Byward took us from market stalls to cheese shop, butcher to restaurants. There were treats offered along the way. It was led by C’est Bon Cooking School, which offers, among other things, seasonal gastronomic walking tours of Ottawa neighbourhoods. Right now, the only one going meets in front of Stubbe’s on Dalhousie and focuses on chocolate – some of it liquid and steaming. Stay tuned for Winterlude tours.
But the class I want to tell you about happens in Chef Andrée’s cooking school, and will be guest led by French Chef Marc Berger.
Berger’s career took him from his home in southern France (where he worked with Chef Michel Guérard, co-founder of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement, and had his own restaurant for a time) to Japan, then Miami, and then to Canada, where he joined Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute here in Ottawa, as a chef-instructor. I remember meeting him at some Signatures function many years ago. His moustache was memorable. As was his laugh.
Chef Berger is now back in France, working as a private chef, teaching, and leading gastronomic tours through the south.
But his daughter lives in Halifax, and he’s making a stop in Ottawa. And while he’s here, he’ll take a class at C’est Bon. No doubt it will be instructive. And very jolly and delicious. You can read about it here, and buy tickets here.