Montreal, June 2, 2011
It’s a very sunny Monday in May and Jérôme Ferrer has just put together an exclusive lunchtime meal
for one very special occasion at Europea. It’s a meal befitting a superb restaurant whose slogan,
La finesse de l’art culinaire (The finesse of culinary art) says it all. Not surprisingly, the meal was a
masterpiece in every sense—and one for all the senses!
This year is Montreal’s turn to play host to a North American delegation of Maîtres Cuisiniers de
France (Master Chefs of France) during their 2011 conference. As such, Montreal graciously opened
its arms to welcome the many great chefs whose culinary expertise has crossed borders and taken up
root in renowned restaurants in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Today, Chef Ferrer has one
goal in mind: to showcase the distinctive know-how of local chefs and artisans to his peers. And what
better way to enhance the journey of discovery than with the flavours of Alsace Wines, which helped
set the tone from exciting entrée to fabulous finale!
Imagine if you will, a beautifully prepared room filled with master chefs. And almost perfect weather
that is both warm and welcoming, much like Jérôme Ferrer and his team who definitely outdid
themselves this time. For many, it’s their first trip to Montreal. Talk about creating an unforgettable
Direction, camera and editing: Iouri Philippe Paillé
In the belly of the beast
Today’s menu took close to four weeks to put together and was extensively tested and re-tested. In
fact, many of the items being served are “must-haves” from the restaurant’s new menu, created just
We arrive just before “go time”. The servers, all of whom were extremely friendly and impeccably
dressed, were still receiving their final instructions and putting the finishing touches on the already
wonderful-looking tables. There were no fewer than 14 servers, along with a head sommelier and his
assistant—a veritable armada ready to dive right in to the action.
Then a moment of pure privilege as we’re invited down into the belly of the beast: the kitchen, where
many had been labouring their love since five in the morning. It’s a beehive of activity. The kitchen
itself is divided in an orderly fashion with clearly defined areas: hot dishes, cold dishes, garnishes
and a pastry and baking area. In total, we counted just over twenty hard-working individuals.
After all, everything on the menu is cooked from scratch right here.
We had expected nothing less than a kitchen atmosphere in full boil and we definitely weren’t
disappointed. The air was filled with excitement, positive energy and confidence (not to mention
the wonderful aromas). We witnessed a well-knit team with all members working together and
immediately sensed their respect for one another and, above all, a strong sense of camaraderie. Just
minutes before our master chefs arrived, Jérôme Ferrer popped down one last time to shake hands
and share a few hugs with his colleagues.
We followed his lead before heading back upstairs.
Enter the Maîtres Cuisiniers
The clock struck noon and our master chefs made their entrance, all visibly happy to be back home
with colleague Jérôme Ferrer. A few of them were even treated to a trip down to the kitchen… a
courtesy of professional protocol. Above ground, the atmosphere remains lively. Everyone is happy,
excited and ready to eat!
Hospitality and harmony
Restaurant Europea is best summed up in two words: simplicity and refinement. To that end, the
tables are as perfect as they can be with everything in its place—right down to the glasses and silver
plates adorned with the house emblem. At the centre of each table is a single Inukshuk, a symbol
of solidarity and mutual assistance in Inuit culture. These un-worked stones, often in the form of a
human being, are used a marker to point out food caches—making their tabletop presence all the
The art of Alsace on the Menu
An opening bite… to open one’s appetite
After enjoying a selection of cheese sticks and cheese lollipops, we’re treated to lobster cream
cappuccino with truffle shavings as appetizer. It’s simply divine and signals the first shot across
the bow. In fact, the room suddenly falls silent and one feels a sense of extreme concentration and
tremendous appreciation. To enhance our already heightened taste buds, we’re treated to several
house breads including poppy and black seaweed, and a choice of three butters. Mmmm. Exquisite.
Make way for culinary art
The meal turns out to be a whirlwind of excitement. No sooner have our plates been cleared than
we’re treated to a calamari entree served in wonderfully innovative hot stone dishes. The menu
describes it as tagliatelle-style calamari carbonara with poached quail egg and lemon caviar. A truly
remarkable creation. The calamari is cut in the shape of tagliatelle and the quail egg melts within.
Needless to say, it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. To accompany our entrée was a wonderful Riesling
Les Écaillers 2004, from the Leon Beyer house. A pairing that met with unwavering unanimity.
An irresistible pièce de résistance
We’re then treated to our main course: slowly braised veal cheeks Chef’s way, citrus flavoured sauce
— you’d be hard pressed to find anything quite as tender — accompanied by fondant potatoes and
parsnip purée with a Parmesan cheese emulsion, eaten with a spoon. Perfectly nuanced flavours that
have everyone thanking their lucky stars for being in attendance. And all beautifully paired with the
Pinot noir Léon Beyer 2007, a red Alsace wine with a delicate and pronounced taste.
Conclusion: well fed, very happy and gastronomically fulfilled!
Passport for culinary adventure
When you know the house, you know just how much attention goes into creating the delicacies.
Today’s meal was no exception and featured a mouth-watering parade of innovative amuse-
bouches—chocolate lollipops, chocolate spice cake, pistachio macaroons, warm mini-Madeleines and
cotton candy (to name a few)—the crowning jewels of a successful event.
And to complete our star-studded lunch: crémant d’Alsace Brut Wolfberger.
The crème de la crème of chefs, and the nectar of Alsace!
It’s quite rare to find so many great French chefs gathered around tables together as guests. Today’s
lunch welcomed more than fifty of them. Some are known for their restaurants, books or TV shows,
but all of them hail from celebrated restaurants where the crowds consistently flock. Names like
Michel Richard, of Washington’s famous Restaurant Michel Richard Citronelle; Olivier Dubreuil, based
in Las Vegas; and Jean-Louis Dumonet, Jean-Louis Gerin, Christian Têtedoie, Gérard Dupont and, of
course, Jean Soulard. The crème de la crème of Maîtres Cuisiniers…
A standing ovation for a gourmet sensation!
With everyone left satisfied and smiling, our team of cooks assembles in the dining rooms. And in
a spontaneous outpouring of appreciating, they’re treated to a standing ovation from our Maîtres
Cuisiniers. Without a doubt, Chef Jérôme Ferrer has pulled off a masterpiece… worthy of a master
Photos : www.emiliepelletier.ca
Lunch menu at Restaurant Europea
Lobster cream cappuccino with truffle shavings
Tagliatelle of calamari carbonara with poached quail egg and lemon caviar
Riesling Les Écaillers, Léon Beyer 2004
Slowly braised veal cheeks Chef’s way, citrus flavoured sauce, fondant potatoes and parsnip purée
with a Parmesan cheese emulsion
Crémant d’Alsace Wolfberger
My passport to indulgence served to all tables
Cremant d’Alsace Wolfberger