Spike Mendelsohn

The chef visits his hometown of Montreal.

on Oct 17, 2012

Oh, Canada! There is nothing better than going up to Canada to see my family, hit the slopes, and stop by my old stomping grounds in Montreal. I was born in Canada -- which explains my love for hockey and smoked meat.

Skiing in Mont-Treblant was awesome. It’s so beautiful and the Laurentian mountains hold a place close to my heart. My grandfather Sunny, who was the inspiration behind Good Stuff Eatery, had a house in the Laurentian Mountains. I remember sitting at his house as a kid and he would make me the most delicious, juiciest hamburgers in the entire world. He would wrap them up in wax paper -- which is why my family and I serve them that way at Good Stuff Eatery. Sunny used to always say, “Now that’s Good Stuff!” And with these burgers, he wasn’t lying. Spending time with him as a kid was among my best childhood memories.

My cousin’s wedding was a blast. As you can all see, my family likes to do everything together. So when all of us are in the same place, at the same time, it doesn’t get much better. We celebrated, feasted, told stories, and stayed up and out way too late. That’s how Canadians do it.

I brought Brad along on the trip. Brad will be the executive chef at Béarnaise, the steak-frites restaurant that I am opening with my sister, so we really used this trip as an opportunity to do some culinary research for the restaurant. We visited L’Entrecote in Montreal for some inspiration. My mother is a sage, wonderful woman (you’re reading this -- right, mom?) She had an infinite amount of opinions about what we should and should not do at our restaurant. We can try to breakaway and do something on our own, but she is a Grewish (Greek-Jewish) mother, she can’t help herself!

 In all seriousness, I welcome her advice. She knows a lot!