So it has definitely been a while since I posted a blog entry. But good news….the wait is over lol.
Over the holidays, I got to work on a great creative creation with director Edward Pond from Free Society. Edward and I go back some time and we shoot a lot of television commercials together. Commercials are hard, fun, tiring, long, and fun…did I say that already? As tough as they are, I really do love it. The adrenaline rush of getting it all done fast and correctly brings me back to my restaurant days.But after all this hard work sometimes, you need a creative moment.
In the stills world, as a food stylist, when you are feeling like you need some inspiration, you try and team up with a photographer and work on what is called a creative. You and the photographer meet up with some ideas and then get together and shoot them however you want…no rules, no formalities, no restrictions. It gets your creative juices flowing and usually inspires you to do better work moving forward. Well, one day, after a long shoot, Edward and I were chatting and thought it would be cool to do some video creatives that were more personal. There is nothing more personal to me then Montreal. This led to the idea of creating 4 delicious burgers inspired by some of my favorite places in Montreal. Don’t worry these burgers are not inspired by Montreal landmarks but rather restaurants and flavors that remind me of home and my childhood. Here is a description of the first two burger videos with a promo vid to go with it. Check out my YouTube page to see the full fun videos. Follow this link and subscribe!
Noah’s YouTube Page
Burger 1: Ultimate Montreal Poutine Burger
So the Orange Julep is so Montreal! You can see it from the plane when you fly in…it is just so distinct. Not many people know it exists but it has been around for a very long time. Originally built in 1945 and enlarged in 1966, the Orange Julep (Gibeau Orange Julep) lives on Decarie Blvd in the west side of Montreal. Slightly off the beaten track, this destination is definitely worth the trip. The julep drink is AMAZING and the poutine is MEGA AMAZING! So this place was always a treat for us to go to as kids. We would drive up to the big orange, go in and order and then eat outside on the picnic tables. At one point there was rollerskating servers that would bring the food to your car but sadly, that is no more.
For my Ultimate Montreal Poutine Burger, I wanted to recreate the messy ooey gooey experience of the classic poutine in the burger form. I bought this really young one day old cheddar at the Jean-Talon Market in Montreal. This cheese is the same cheese as the cheese curds found in a poutine but pressed together in a squeaky block of cheese….soooooo delicious! I decided to melt that cheese between two beef patties. I then grated some potatoes and white onion, and made a classic latke to pay hommage to the french fries in the poutine. To build this burger, I took a pretzel bun, drizzled some hot gravy over the bottom bun, placed the cheese and patties on top, then the potato latke, and then more hot gravy before putting on it’s “crown”. This was one delicious messy burger!
Burger 2: Montreal Smoked Meat Burger
Smoked meat is definitely a very well known Montreal food. There are a few very well known smoked meat delis that are really good but for me,as a Montrealer, my favorite deli has to be, hands down, the Snowdon Deli. Snowdon Deli on Decarie street has been around for over 70 years. To me, it is the best smoked meat in town. This was a regular family affair and I always ordered the same thing: Smoked meat sandwich, medium, old fashioned #yumm!
For my burger inspired by the Snowdon Deli, I steamed a nice large piece of smoked meat for an hour, until it was juicy and heated through. I made a carraway seed infused butter, and then toasted my hamburger buns in that butter. This was to to bring in the flavor of the rye bread that is always served with Montreal Smoked Meat. By mixing steak spice into the hamburger, it brings it to the next level. Top with sour pickles and smoked meat and cover with mustard and ketchup and voila, the Montreal Smoked Meat Burger.