A temple to pork, foie gras and maple syrup, chef Martin Picard's version of a traditional Québécois sugar shack in the woods just outside Montreal is the perfect getaway for gluttons. Open for just a few months in the spring and the autumn, the barn-like restaurant cements Picard's reputation as the 'wild chef' (he starred in a TV show of the same name) serving epic feasts that are so extravagant that diners often struggle to make it through to dessert.
Sap is extracted from the surrounding maple trees and boiled down into maple syrup, which is liberally applied across the menu in rustic dishes such as maple syrup foie gras with homemade bread, baked beans and boiled eggs in maple syrup. Pork from Picard's own pigs, reared in the woods, is also a staple of the menu, with options including piglet cooked on hay, served with deep-fried duck fat crepes. Diners sit at long communal tables in the rough-and-ready dining room, which builds a raucous atmosphere as the steady stream of food from the open kitchen is matched by a flood of wine, beer and brandy from the bar.
Picard's book Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack was named cookbook of the year by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2012 and a TV show following the day-to-day life of the restaurant aired in 2014.
Images: ©Xavier Girard Lachaîne
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