La Poutine Week 2016. Over 50 restaurants in Montreal make a special poutine for one week, and specifically for La Poutine Week. It’s the fourth edition, and it’s evolved into a creative showdown of food, tradition and fun.
Part of me feels like I’m responsible for bastardizing one of the most beloved and mysterious dishes Quebec has to offer while the other part is excited to see these new waves of dishes keeping the genuine essence of a poutine, but at the same time being something entirely different. When does the poutine dish disappear and this “poutine” being presented in front of us deserve a categorical name of its own?
The poutine trend is now, but it’s not the fad over fries, cheese curds and gravy, it’s the loose definition of what poutine is, and its fusion with creativity. It’s the hot mess that lives on while the real poutine is only found at a select few, honest locations in Quebec alone.
As I wandered around Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City and beyond looking for poutines, it was almost impossible to find a classic, real poutine on a menu. Everyone wanted to ‘wow’ with something beyond imagination. As a purist when it comes to the dish, I have to say, I’m a bit saddened. But at the same time, I’m overjoyed by the sight of these hot messy dishes that just taste phenomenal and display artistry and creativity.
In the end, poutine is an opportunity for something more. While some chefs see the classic as a tabula rasa requiring layers of diverse taste, others see it as a pure masterpiece.
I’m honoured to present La Poutine Week this year as it’s something beyond what I would have ever imagined myself. I feel like nobody will be disappointed by the dishes our restaurants will be presenting, and it’s impossible to suggest any of them, as they are all special.
I’ll leave this little note by saying: enjoy the most elaborate, delicious, toothsome La Poutine Week you could ever dream about. Something I was never expecting.