22 Nov 2023

Time 5 minutes

5 standout chefs in Old Montreal who deserve your attention

5 standout chefs in Old Montreal who deserve your attention

Looking to shake things up for that next business meal, special occasion or romantic dinner for two with some fresh and exciting flavours you won’t soon forget? These 5 acclaimed chefs out of Old Montreal are sure to deliver all the “Wow!” you’ve been craving.

Mathieu Masson-Duceppe, devotee of the raw and grilled - Chef at Jellyfish Crudo+Charbon and Pubjelly

A Chopped Canada 2015 winner, this young chef, who is now in his early thirties, managed to hoist Jellyfish Crudo+Charbon onto OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants in Canada in 2019, following that up with the opening of Pubjelly in early 2022. With these two venues – one decidedly on the chic edge of the spectrum, the other a little more laid-back – this ITHQ alumnus brilliantly combines raw and grilled ingredients for dishes that reflect his travels, as well as his personal culinary journey, from Quebec to Asia and back again.

At Jellyfish, definitely let yourself be tempted by the lobster roll – kicked up a notch by some most welcome wasabi – but whatever you do, don’t miss out on the oyster nachos with short rib marmalade, a combination as provocative as it is beautifully executed. For those who prefer to drive in the classic lane, the hanger steak here is a sure bet. On the vegetarian side of things, it’s the burrata for the win, accompanied by an eggplant caviar delicately enhanced with a miso-yuzu emulsion. The only thing we were missing was the recipe.

Claude Pelletier, mentor to the culinary next generation - Chef at Club Chasse et Pêche

For two decades now, Club Chasse et Pêche has stood its ground firmly in the very heart of Old Montreal, its reputation as rock-solid as the stone building in which it is housed. Discreetly nestled just a skip and a jump away from Château Ramezay and the Marché Bonsecours, this establishment is without a doubt one of the worst-kept secrets in Old Montreal, with good reason. If you still haven’t been, please, do yourself a favour.

Seared foie gras, peanut, sea buckthorn berry, bacon, brioche. Duck magret, rösti, Savoy cabbage, apple, mustard, cider. Venison, salsify, yellowfoot mushrooms, beetroot, haskap berries, sweet gale. The menu here is one big promise of happiness. And therein no doubt lies the magic formula behind Claude Pelletier’s long and illustrious career: creating unforgettable moments by evoking cherished memories while sweeping our taste buds right off their little feet.

Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee: Michelin-starred duo sets up shop and shines in Old Montreal - Chefs at Sushi par Scratch

This husband-and-wife chef team decided that for their first venture outside of the United States, they would hang their hats – and unpack their knives – right here in our beloved old quarter. The fresh Montreal rendition of Sushi by Scratch reprises the formula that led to this outfit’s success back in Phillip and Margarita’s home town of Los Angeles: a tucked-away venue, premium Tokyo-sourced ingredients, not to mention exceptional service of the ultra-attentive sort.

Once you manage to find the place (a small dining room hidden, speakeasy style, in the back of Stillife cocktail bar), sink yourself into one of ten seats facing the chefs and get ready for omakase, a degustation of 17 nigiri, featuring fish and seafood flown in biweekly from the Toyosu fish market in Tokyo. It won’t take long for you to understand why the Michelin Guide decided to pin a star on these folks at their Montecito location two years in a row.

Christian Ventura, wizard of green cuisine - Chef at Bloom Sushi, Bvrger, LOV

Originally hailing from Guanajuato, Mexico, Christian Ventura got bitten by the culinary bug while working in a sushi restaurant once upon a time in Montreal. Emblematic of the multicultural and gourmet spirit inscribed in our fair city’s DNA, this chef’s journey has been marked by achievements as game-changing as they are well deserved.

At Bloom Sushi on Saint-Paul Street, Christian plays around with textures and flavours to the point of delightfully confusing our palate, all the while pushing the boundaries of vegetal umami as we thought we knew it. We’re talking about a savoir-faire so brilliantly executed that, on the strength of this operation’s success, Chef Ventura has even managed to conquer Paris in the form of Bloom Sushi’s little brother.

Bvrger, for its part, is true to its name: the perfect place for a quick bite of the most comforting, 100% plant-based kind. Resistance is futile when it comes to the joy-inducing and sizable burgers on offer here, two of which in particular rock our world: the Santa’s Love with its grilled hazelnut and fig chutney, caramelized onions and then some, and the Big Momo for those of us with a Big appetite, capital B.

Want to find out more about this outstanding chef? Get to know him better in Season 2, Episode 5 of Fabricants d’émotions.

Jérémie Falissard, a Top Chef worthy of our applause - Chef at Barroco

When, back in his home country of France, Jérémie Falissard managed to wind his way to the 11th week of Top Chef in early 2023, it was a confirmation of something that Montrealers had known for a while. The TV show, a foodie favourite far and wide, provided yet another demonstration of the considerable talents possessed by this chef, one to whom our city owes its thanks for a handful of establishments we’ve come to know and love.

Opened in 2008 on Saint-Paul Street, Barroco is Jérémie’s very first restaurant, one where the flavours of France and Spain happily unite in culinary matrimony, where inspired Mediterranean cuisine mingles with exceptional wines for superb results. Bringing together European tradition and North American hospitality, Barroco boasts a popularity that has remained undiminished over the years, and it’s easy to see why. Did we mention the absolutely sublime 12 hour-braised, maple and aged balsamic-lacquered beef ribs? That’s just one reason.

Photos: Sara Megan - Sushi by Scratch - Top Chef - André Cornellier

NOTA BENE: Your establishment could be mentioned here but isn’t? Don’t hesitate to write to us at info@sdcvieuxmontreal.com and it would be our pleasure to include it.