Corneille just released his new album pink ink and some of their songs are already in our heads! He is preparing a tour throughout Quebec. If I trust what I saw from the show at the amazing Le Balcon dining room in Montreal a few weeks ago, happiness, the real thing, will accompany Corneille and the audience during their performances. In the kitchen, Corneille likes to think outside the box and is spontaneously drawn to culinary curiosities, again with genuine happiness.
In the morning, tea or coffee?
So, as I no longer consume milk, due to lactose intolerance, I discovered a passion and a pleasure for black coffee, with nothing 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 flavor in your mouth and that we keep in our taste buds for a long time. There is something symbolic, joyful and comforting. In fact, drinking strong black coffee brings back feelings of another happiness, that of the cigar. The coffee beans I use to start my day naturally have a 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 wine, I like it.
Meat or fish ?
With the steak, salad or fries?
Spontaneously, I will say salad, but a real green salad, just lettuce leaves, not a mixture of many things, I don’t like that, for example, meal salads.
Otherwise, yes, I will steal French fries from my wife’s plate (laugh)!
Vegetarian or meat?
I’m even meatier, I’ll admit.
Caramel or chocolate?
Caramel. Chocolate is what the kids at home like, especially my daughter, she loves it. As far as I’m concerned, white chocolate is my favorite, harking back to my childhood memories, again, it’s a beautiful souvenir, like a little gourmet gift, happiness, always happiness.
Cake or cookie?
Cake and pies with berries, I love it. Other than that, a good cheesecake, very creamy and delicate, is delicious.
Beer or wine?
Wine, indeed, I am a lover of good wine. It’s so nice to make discoveries too.
White or red?
More red. My wine consumption is cyclical, I can spend three months drinking only Burgundy and then move on to the Rhône Valley. Syrah is one of my favorite grape varieties, which makes me, I’ve noticed lately, come back many times to the Rhône Valley, I like everything about these wines. Power, elegance, complexity, it is also a pleasant wine for any meal.
Bubbles or cocktail for the aperitif?
Instead of bubble cocktail. A good gin and tonic, a Hendrik’s with a little cucumber, which 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 annoying. It’s not pleasant to fight an onion, you can cry quickly (laugh).
So I prepared myself and I don’t regret it for a second.
Do you have a little ritual when preparing meals? Glass of wine, background music, do you sing?
Usually, I pour myself a small glass of wine, wine that I will serve to my guests, the small tasting glass to check if it’s perfect. I take care of him, I make him breathe, I take care of him and this little ritual prepares me and puts me in the mood for what the night will be like, and music of course.
Do you have a favorite recipe you make for your guests?
To be honest, when I get paid, I’m more my wife’s collaborator, but we have a good relationship. If it’s summer then I take charge of the barbecue, because I love playing the cooking game, which I master a lot more. For the day-to-day, I cook the meals at home for the small family, if it’s more complex, my wife is the chef.
Tell me about the culinary achievement you are proud of.
A very simple thing that always makes me very proud is when I make pancakes for my children and then they say to me, when they eat at the restaurant or hotel: Dad, your pancakes are better, it fills me with pride, great happiness.
Your wife’s first meal?
From memory, it was a breakfast-brunch with a really nice omelet with avocado, herbs, vegetables, something very simple, but I had applied myself and she obviously liked it, or else she is very attentive too (laugh)!
What did it smell like in your house, in the kitchen, when you were little?
Cassava flour, an imperishable memory. I will also introduce it to my children from time to time. Red beans, which have been cooked for a long time, bring back incredible olfactory memories. The fried banana. In my grandparents we made banana beer, in fact, it looked more like a wine than a beer, but it’s a good childhood memory.
Your favorite restaurants?
La Chronique restaurant in Montreal, rue Laurier, is truly a great experience every time I visit. Toqué too, is a great table to pamper yourself. Le Chasse et Pêche, fantastic hospitality and food, especially for its scallops. Bouillon Bilk, again, is always a great dining 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 played my first post-pandemic show there and it’s starting my run of shows across Quebec well.
Photo taken from facebook
Favorite restaurant outside of Quebec, do you travel for your outings?
My last big, but very big passion is the Le Bon-Bon restaurant in Brussels. Exceptional, inventive, creative, adventurous and audacious cuisine. Felt like Ratatouille, a great tasting emotion. Otherwise, a favorite restaurant that I have loved since the beginning of my career is TUPINA in Bordeaux. Beautiful, authentic southwestern cuisine, the foie gras pasta is amazing.
A favorite place?
A small cafe in Bois-des-Filion, simple and cozy, it’s almost a ritual place for me and my wife, we’re there often, it’s comforting. Café Louisa for casual dining and a good matcha latte.
Favorite culinary products?
I discovered during the pandemic all lactose-free dairy and honestly, it’s very good. Especially lactose-free Greek yogurts.
What can’t you do without in the kitchen?
Butter, impossible to live without butter. For the record, I rate restaurants and if the butter is tasty and of good quality, it ends up at the top of the list (laugh).
Scottish cigar, a little moment of comfort (laugh).
Your favorite style of cooking?
Indian, there is something that fascinates me, for sure the spices, the flavors, attracts me, maybe memories of spices from my childhood in Africa.