Marie-Soleil Michon is beaming. She just finished her season It’s worth it, on Télé-Québec, and will return for a tenth season. Two hundred emissions since 2014, it’s not nothing. It must be said that the sympathetic host, curious in life as on the small screen, has a genuine communicative enthusiasm. It also puts the collaboration with Veronique and the Fantastics to Red.
For food, Marie-Soleil is always looking for the right product, in every sense of the word: good in taste, good for her health, good for the environment, good for the local economy and good for Quebec. And these products, she shares them and makes them happy to discover.
In the morning, tea or coffee?
Two coffees and later in the morning a teapot Earl Gray or jasmine green, depending on the day and your wishes.
Croissant or oatmeal, fruit…?
I always start my lunch with fruit, I like variety. I love oatmeal! The traditional or steel-cut oats (steel cut oats), but it takes longer to cook. Gluten-free croissants, I have them delivered by Baked2Go (denser crumb).
Sliced bread or baguette?
Sliced bread! I really like the sourdough kamut from the Inewa Bakery (less than 1% gluten). This is the one I adopt daily. Often with a good nut butter.
Cheese or dessert?
Cheese ! But the ideal is a not too sweet dessert with cheese in it: such as Stefano Faita’s apple ricotta pie, which quickly became a classic with us!
Meat or fish ?
Fish. At home I mainly prepare trout, salmon, cod, zander… In restaurants I treat myself to seafood because I make it less often and I love it!
With steak, salad or fries?
It costs me both! Besides, I hate it when restaurants force us to choose.
Vegetarian or meat?
More and more vegetarian. When my husband is away, I realize that I eat almost exclusively vegetarian. I really like tofu, chickpeas… At the beginning of the pandemic: 6 months of vegan food, I’m glad I tried it and I’ve kept some habits. But I missed too many eggs!
Caramel or chocolate?
Photo Adobe Stock
Caramel with fleur de sel
Caramel. Even better if it’s with fleur de sel.
Cake or cookie?
Homemade cookies. I have three or four favorite recipes: coconut, almond butter and chocolate chips, oatmeal, gingerbread…
Beer or wine?
White or red?
A good mineral white, often dry rosé (not only in summer). If I drink red, it will be light: frappato or gamay.
Bubbles or cocktail for an aperitif?
bubbles. Less complicated, we open the bottle and it’s settled. The impatient in me doesn’t like mixology much, except when I’m in a cocktail bar I ask them to make something to my taste. Fresh, refreshing, with a hint of bitterness.
Tell me about your favorite kitchen accessory and why did you choose it?
Chef’s knife made especially for me by the knife maker Louis Parenteau. It is a beautiful, unique object that I pay a lot of attention to. It’s VERY sharp!
Do you have a little ritual when preparing meals?
Atmospheric music, yes! Glass of wine from Thursday to Sunday.
Do you have a favorite recipe that you make for your guests?
When I babysit my nieces and nephews, we have different rituals, including banana pancakes: 1 mashed banana, 1 egg, 1 tbsp. tablespoon flour (makes 2 pancakes). With my homemade strawberry/rhubarb/maple syrup compote, delicious!
What do you usually serve to your guests?
Photo Adobe Stock
I like to make several small dishes that I put on the counter as an aperitif and then almost become a meal. Marinated olives with citrus zest, a nice dish of raw vegetables served with a homemade dip, I also like to serve smoked fish such as trout, tasty grilled asparagus. It is often very varied and sometimes buffet style to facilitate the choice of different guests.
Tell me about the culinary achievement you are proud of.
I am proud every time I make the orange cake, a recipe that appeared in Châtelaine a few years ago. Whole oranges, almond flour, olive oil: always a success!
Tell us you already served a complete failed dish…lol!
Yes, BBQ duck wings. One day, when I had friends, I forgot the step of boiling them in water before marinating and grilling them on the barbecue. It was as hard as a rock. Luckily there was still something to eat, I often get that with the buffet formula!
Best restaurant dining experience ever?
Pork Leg Hut
I’ve had some memorable experiences, spectacular tables at the Cabane du Pied de Cochon. Furthermore, apart from the restaurant, I am lucky enough to have friends with whom I had a wonderful meal, such as Pasquale Vari, Ricardo Larrivee and Isabelle Deschamps-Plante.
How did your house smell, in the kitchen, when you were little?
Biscuits (with molasses, almonds, candied fruit) and my mother’s late summer beef and vegetable stew. On Sunday it smelled like bacon and baked beans! It must be said that I am the granddaughter of a maple syrup producer, I tap the maples in my spare time with my father and my uncle still makes maple syrup for the family. The syrup runs through my veins, or almost… (laugh†
Terrible to let me choose!
Raw goat’s milk feta marinated in olive oil and oregano, from Cornes et Sabots, in Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge. I have a soft spot for hard cheeses: Comptonne and Alfred Le farmer, from Fromagerie La Station, in Compton (which I had the opportunity to visit in November). And cheese curds from Missiska Farm in Bedford.
Your favorite restaurants?
Park in Westmount, my ultimate favourite, the best fish in town and the must try wagyu in nigiri! Alep & Petit Alep: I love their milk pudding with rose water and orange blossom with cinnamon and pistachios, and Marconi.
Favorite restaurants outside of Montreal?
Chardo restaurant & wine bar, in Bromont. Lumami at Spa Balnéa, roasted cauliflower, served with tahini, almonds, tamari and shiitake, delicious. Not to mention the Spa Eastman restaurant, which serves energetic dishes: the tuna platter served in the evening is DIVINE! Mollies Café-Dinette-Buvette, in Sutton, is a cute little gourmet spot.
Favorite culinary products?
The Dragon sauce from restaurant Aux Vivres. I always have some in my fridge. And the Maison Jacynthe vinaigrette, which I buy when I go to the bistro or cook at home! It really makes the tastiest salads. The magic tofu from Loonie cuisine has also really entered my daily life, you can even find it ready-made at Metro.
Favorite dish in the restaurant
Sushi, nigiri, maki: because I can’t make it at home. The same goes for marrow bones.
What can’t you do without in the kitchen
Anything that adds acidity and freshness, such as Humminghill Farm’s Chive Flower Vinegar.
A culinary crush?
“Le Vert” by the famous pastry chef Patrice Demers, who will serve it for several months in his shop on Notre-Dame Street in Montreal. I also love hot sauce, especially the Sauvage Sauvage sauce, made with organic peppers from the Colline du Chêne farm in the Eastern Townships. Sweeter, the spicy sauce with nettle and spruce from Gourmet Sauvage.
My mother’s Queen Elizabeth cake. I love all date desserts, but this one has a special place in my heart.
Your favorite cooking style?
I like sunny Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines (Greek, Lebanese, Persian, Syrian, Armenian). I would be remiss not to mention Vietnamese cuisine, which I love just as much.