Corneille just released his new album Pink Ink and some of his songs are already in our heads! He is preparing a tour of Quebec. Trusting what I saw a few weeks ago from the show at Montreal’s incredible Le Balcon dinner-showroom, Le Balcon, Luck, the real thing, will accompany Corneille and the audience through his performances. In the kitchen, Corneille likes to think outside the box and is spontaneously drawn to culinary curiosities, again with real happiness.
In the morning, tea or coffee?
So since I stopped consuming milk, due to lactose intolerance, I discovered a passion and a pleasure for black coffee, without anything in it, not even sugar. The coffee that wakes you up in the morning with real intensity, that energizes you, that gives you a powerful taste in the mouth and that we keep on our taste buds for a long time. There is something symbolic, joyful and comforting. In fact, drinking strong black coffee brings me back to feelings of another happiness, that of the cigar. The coffee beans I use to start the day have a naturally tobacco flavor and I really like that.
Croissant or oatmeal, fruit…?
Fruit, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, I love yogurt and bananas, I would eat bananas with every meal, it’s like a reward.
Sliced bread or baguette?
Cheese or dessert?
Both, why choose?
But the older I get, the more I realize that I’m more and more salty than sweet, unless it’s a dessert that reminds me of a childhood memory. To finish the meal, cheese with a little port, I like it.
Meat or fish ?
With steak, salad or fries?
Spontaneously I say salad, but a real green salad, only lettuce leaves, not a mixture of all kinds of things, I don’t like that, for example meal salads.
Otherwise, yes, I’m going to steal fries from my husband’s plate (laugh†
Vegetarian or meat?
I’m even meatier, I admit.
Caramel or chocolate?
Caramel. Chocolate is the kids at home who love it especially my daughter she loves it. As for me, white chocolate is my favorite, referring to my childhood memories, again, it’s a beautiful memory, like a little gourmet gift, happiness, always happiness.
Cake or cookie?
Cake and tarts with red currant, I love it. Otherwise, a good cheesecake, very creamy and delicate, is delicious.
Beer or wine?
Wine, really, I am a lover of good wine. It is also so much fun to make discoveries.
White or red?
Rather red. My wine consumption is cyclical, I can drink only Burgundy for three months and then continue to the Rhone Valley. Syrah is one of my favorite grape varieties, which is why I often come back to the Rhone Valley lately, I like everything about these wines. Power, elegance, complexity, it is also a pleasant wine for the whole meal.
Bubbles or cocktail for an aperitif?
Rather cocktail than bubbles. A good gin and tonic, a Hendrik’s with a small piece of cucumber, that makes me happy. But recently I also discovered gins from Quebec.
Tell me about your favorite kitchen accessory and why did you choose it?
I know it’s a classic answer, but cooking with a bad knife is infuriating. It’s no fun fighting an onion, you can cry easily (laugh†
So I rested myself and I don’t regret it for a second.
Do you have a little ritual when preparing meals? Small glass of wine, background music, are you singing along?
I generally pour myself a small glass of wine, wine that I will serve to my guests, the small tasting glass to make sure it will be perfect. I decant it, I let it breathe, I nurture it and this little ritual prepares me and puts me in the mood for what the evening will be like, and music of course.
Do you have a favorite recipe that you make for your guests?
To be honest, when I receive, I’m more of my wife’s co-worker, but we have a good complicity. When it’s summer I take control of the BBQ as I like the game of cooking which I have mastered much more. For everyday life I cook meals at home for the small family, if it is more complicated my wife is the chef.
Tell me about the culinary achievement you are proud of.
Something very simple that I am very proud of every time is when I make pancakes for my kids and they say to me, when they eat them in the restaurant or in the hotel: Daddy, your pancakes are more delicious, it fills me with pride, great happiness.
Your wife’s first meal?
From memory it was a breakfast brunch with a nice omelette with avocado, herbs, vegetables, something very simple, but I had used it myself and she clearly liked it, or she is also very attentive (laugh†
How did your house smell, in the kitchen, when you were little?
Cassava flour, an imperishable memory. I will also introduce it to my children over time. The red beans, which have been cooking for a very long time, evoke incredible olfactory memories. The fried plantain. At my grandparents’ house we made banana beer, it was actually more like wine than beer, but it’s a good childhood memory.
Your favorite restaurants?
The restaurant La Chronique in Montreal rue Laurier is a really great experience every time I come there. Toqué too, it’s a great table to treat yourself. Le Chasse et Pêche, fantastic hospitality and food, especially for their scallops. Bouillon Bilk, again, is always a great culinary experience. To live a musical and culinary experience, you must discover or rediscover Le Balcon à Montréal. Simple, warm, unpretentious, made with passion and joie de vivre, a great place for dinner shows, I did my first post-pandemic show there and it’s a great start to my series of shows all over Quebec.
Photo taken from Facebook
Favorite restaurant outside of Quebec, you traveling for your tours?
My last big, but very big crush is restaurant Le Bon-Bon in Brussels. Exceptional cuisine, inventive, creative, adventurous and daring. I felt like Ratatouille, a great tasting emotion. Otherwise, TUPINA in Bordeaux is a favorite restaurant that I have loved since the beginning of my career. A beautiful and authentic southwestern cuisine, the pasta with foie gras is amazing.
A favorite place?
A small cafe in Bois-des-Filion, simple and warm, it’s almost a ritual place for me and my wife, we’re there often, it’s comforting. Café Louisa for relaxed meals and a good matcha latte.
Favorite culinary products?
I discovered all dairy products without lactose during the pandemic and sincere, it is very good. Especially lactose free Greek yogurt.
What can you not live without in the kitchen?
Butter, impossible to live without butter. For the record, I rank restaurants and if the butter is tasty and good quality, it will be at the top of the list (laugh†
Scotch cigar, a little moment of comfort (laugh†
Your favorite cooking style?
Indian, there is something that fascinates me, especially the spices, the flavors, it appeals to me, maybe memories of spices from my childhood in Africa.