Friday, January 25, 2013
You've heard all the hype and read all the articles about Maison Publique, chef Derek Dammann's new neighborhood restaurant with high-profile investor, celebrity-chef Jamie Oliver behind the scenes. But it's precisely that relationship with chef Dammann's former boss when he held position as chef de cuisine at Oliver's London restaurant, Fifteen that unfortunately continues to usurp the lion's share of attention away from Dammann who is 100% responsible for concept, menu, and operation. We've long since been fans of chef Dammann's cusine at his previous (now defunct) restaurant, DNA. But there was always a palpable amount of disconnect between the flashy old Montreal dining room full of glass walls, modern furniture and all-together odd, bordering on extraterrestrial (though surely expensive) light fixtures versus the down-to-earth, delicious food that came out of a kitchen that cut no corners. Can you name another restaurant, at least in Montreal, that brines their own capers, makes their own mustard, cures their own charcuterie and bakes their own bread - and does it well? The answer is likely, no. And if you can, please send us an email because we'd like to know what we're missing. This type of attention to detail is chef Dammann's fundamental approach to cooking and that's what deserves the attention and credit. It's that passion that will be the focus of this post; not Mr. Oliver, as good a bloke as he may or may not be.