Posted by Jonas Grupiljonas, July 24, 2015

Image courtesy of Jonas Grupiljonas

Our amazing #DrakeChefs don’t just cook; they compete, travel, hit up industry happenings and take us behind the scenes of our Drake kitchens every #FoodFriday. In today's blog post, Drake Hotel's Commissary Kitchen Manager, Jonas Grupiljonas, tells us about his trip to Montreal + gives us a mini tour of bakeries and patisseries!

“If we take the tube to Mont-Royal then walk for 25 mins eat and get back on the tube we should be able to make it.” A few days exploring Montreal’s intricate food scene is more like a race to see how much you can accomplish and how well you can lay-out a route. Maps are pinned not with stunning Cathedrals and Modern Art Museums, but with locations of the crustiest bread in the west end, or the shop that sells only Tomato Sauce.

Almost as much time goes into scrolling blogs and websites for the location of the best croissant in the city, as the amount of time you actually have to travel; but for me it’s all part of the same experience. Instagram and food blogs can be overused and tedious but can also provide a quick escape to a vibrant city or a quiet table at a local café. As well, it allows you some insight into new ideas in restaurants around the world, all in real time. I can imagine what its like to have an appetizer at Ralae in Copenhagen, a bagel in Mile End or a tasting at the Ledbury in London and all while snacking from a can of tuna at my kitchen table.

For the trip to Montreal, my chef Ted and I were focusing on Bakeries and Patisseries. Even that proved to be a challenge as there is an abundance of choice in Montreal for especially those two things. For myself, Mile End was the new centre of baking landmarks, and the greatest concentration of pins on my map.

Boulangerie Guillaume

Boulangerie Hof Kelsten

Bagel St-Viateur

Mamie Clafoutis

Patisserie Rhubarbe

Olive and Gourmando

Patrice Patissier

Of the ones we got to check out, Olive and Gourmando had the most charm, but the desserts at Patrice stood out as clean, beautiful and were made with attention to detail. Ted and I actually had to make a stop at his patisserie just before boarding so that we could take some delicious treats home. Patrice was kind enough to keep in touch and after explaining to him how much I loved his canelé, a soft custardy French pastry with a crispy caramelized crust and hints of bees wax, he directed me on how I could make them myself. Canelés are notoriously difficult to get consistent. All of your variables have to be in a nice balance. Not to much coating on the molds, just enough heat to create a nice crust without burning, and baked just long enough to keep the interior moist. The other things that are imperative when making canalés are copper molds and beeswax. They both aid in creating a nice even caramelized texture and soft aromas of honey and grass


Image courtesy of Jonas Grupiljonas

Canelés Recipe:

Mix the batter with an immersion blender 2 days before you plan on baking:

500g 3.25% milk 50g butter, melted 1 vanilla bean 110g All Purpose Flour 250g Powdered Sugar 1 tsp Salt 2 Large Eggs 2 Large Egg Yolks 1/5c Dark Rum

To coat the Molds:

50g butter 50g beeswax

Heat the butter and beeswax over low heat and pour inside the copper molds. Pour the excess back into the pot and leave inverted. They will set up quite quickly. Place them in the freezer until you are ready to bake.

Preheat the oven to 475F

Fill cold canelés molds with batter and place on wire rack. Once in the oven reduce the heat to 450F, after 15 mins, rotate and turn heat down to 375F for the remainder of cooking. It should bake for another 45 mins and be left with a nice hard crusty exterior. Allow to cool for about 1 hour before serving.

If all of this seems like a bit too much work, you can always take the Montreal Metro to Station Lionel-Groulx turn down Rue Notre Dame, pull up a chair at the bar and have a freshly baked one at Patrice’s shop. And if you’re going all that way, you may as well pop into Le Vin Papillon for one of the best meals you’re ever likely to have.


Image courtesy of Jonas Grupiljonas


Image courtesy of Jonas Grupiljonas

Posted in: Food + Drink