Quick Quotes: Some of Anthony Bourdain's thoughts on Canada, Quebec and Montreal
Celebrity chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, who was found dead in France on Friday at the age of 61, filmed a number of episodes of his various shows in Canada over the past several years.
Here are some of his musings on Canada, Quebec and Montreal.
"This is a great country because of this city. Without Montreal, Canada would be hopeless. It's where the cool kids hang.'' - Montreal episode of "The Layover'' that aired in December 2011.
"It takes a special breed to live in a province like Quebec. It gets cold in winter, and winters are long. It takes a special kind of person for whom frozen rivers, icy wind-whipped streets, deep seemingly endless forests are the norm. I will confess my partisanship up front. I love Montreal. It is my favourite place in Canada. The people who live there are tough, crazy bastards, and I admire them for it. Toronto, Vancouver, I love you, but not like Montreal.'' - from "Parts Unknown'' (2013)
The great bagel debate:
"So the great debate: Who has the better bagel, New York or Montreal? It's a completely ridiculous apples and oranges discussion. They are completely different creatures. ... I'm a New Yorker so you know where my allegiance lies. But I think it's unfair to both quite magnificent products to try to compare them.'' - Montreal episode of "The Layover'' from 2011.
"It's the most uniquely Canadian food in Canada. In Vancouver the cuisine is a very strong mix of great Asian food from all over Asia, a lot of great homegrown stuff, but the cuisine in Montreal could exist nowhere else other than Quebec. It looks and tastes different from food anywhere else and the chefs, particularly when you're talking about Martin (Picard), or Fred (Morin) or Dave (McMillan), are unlike chefs anywhere else.'' - interview with The Canadian Press in 2012.
"What do we know about Canadians and specifically about Quebec? Not much. Probably not as much as we should. But I think many of you have stereotypical notions about our neighbours to the north. I know I do. One stereotype I found to be true is that Canadians are just about the nicest, most gentle, friendly bunch you could ever hope to meet.'' - episode of "No Reservations'' from 2006.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
"Let's face it. Newfoundland is incredible ... Actual organic, wild traditional food. It's what everyone claims to want now, and it's here.'' - from Newfoundland episode of "Parts Unknown,'' which was broadcast on CNN last month.
"It's like 10 below zero in this freaking town. And that generally does not spell 'good time' for me. A good time for me is more like a palm tree, a beach, a swimming pool, where the only cold thing is my beer. But no. These hearty culinarians of the north like to frolic in the snow and ice. More accurately, they like to obey their genetic Quebecois imperative to risk dental and maxillofacial injury, by skating around, slapping at a hard disk, trying to drive it in each other's general direction. I believe they call this sport hockey.'' - 2013 "Parts Unknown'' filmed in Quebec.
Quebec chef Martin Picard:
"Once every few decades, maybe every century, a nation will produce a hero. An Escoffier, a Muhammad Ali, a Dalai Lama, a Joey Ramone, someone who changes everything about their chosen field, who changes the whole landscape. Life after them is never the same. Martin Picard is such a man. A heretofore unencountered hybrid of rugged outdoorsman, veteran chef, with many years of fine dining experience. Renegade, innovator, he is one of the most influential chefs in North America. He is also a proud Quebecois, and perhaps he more than everyone else has defined for a new generation of Americans and Canadians what that means.'' -- "Parts Unknown'' in 2013.
Compiled by Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal