Urban Tales XI at Centaur Theatre

a person on stage

Urban Tales – Patrick Abellard and Harry Standjofski (©Vanessa Rigaux)

The 11th edition of Centaur Theatre’s Urban Tales presents 5 shows until December 16, 2017. Immigrant Song: First Xmas in Montreal is this year’s theme for the storytelling series of rare and unusual holiday yarns, curated and directed by Montreal playwright, actor, director, and educator, Harry Standjofski, who also provides the live music. The Cole Foundation was a major contributor to this year’s event.

Some of Montreal’s best writers with roots in Haiti (Order of Quebec and Order of Canada and member de l’Académie Française novelist Dany Laferrière), the Philippines (Marie Barlizo), Italy (Michaela Di Cesare), Lebanon (Pascale Rafie), Turkey (Harry Standjofski), and rural Quebec (Urban Tales co-founder, Yvan Bienvenue) dip into their memories and imaginations for a behind-the-looking-glass view of Montreal’s holiday season.

a person on stage

Urban Tales – Kenny Wong

Despite living in a country populated by people from around the world, Christmas with all the trimmings is inescapable from the day after Halloween until Santa squeezes down the chimney. For newly arrived immigrants, navigating the onslaught of religious and social customs can be overwhelming as they try to adapt to their new home while clinging to the familiar, comforting traditions and memories of home and family.

a person on stage

Urban Tales – Patrick Abellard

The process of reaching out to local playwrights for material has become less of a necessity over the years as the popularity of the event grows. With Urban Tales entering its second decade, Standjofski now receives unsolicited work from playwrights as well as other theatre professionals working onstage and behind the scenes. Sometimes the scripts coincide with the year’s theme but those that don’t are kept for future Urban Tales, as Standjofski explains. “We usually get more than we can produce in one show anyway but those scripts are by no means wasted efforts. In fact, we’ve built quite a storehouse of outstanding material for future events.”

Eda Holmes, Centaur’s Artistic and Executive Director, said, “We are so fortunate in this city to have such a rich and diverse theatre community. With this year’s Urban Tales, we shine a spotlight on some of these incredibly versatile and talented writers and performers. I’ve heard such fun and intriguing comments about this event; I can’t wait to be initiated into my first Centaur holiday tradition!”

a person on stage

Urban Tales – Kenny Wong

Here is a short teaser…
Unang Pasko Sa Montreal written by Marie Barlizo, told by Kenny Wong
We take the elevator up to the presidential suite; it’s the only room on the floor. When I open the door my jaw drops. The walls look like solid gold in this place. There are topless HOT blonde women in G-strings and high heels surrounding my friend Justin, who’s seated at the head of the dining room table. All eyes are on the Sushi Chef who’s preparing sushi on a naked, big breasted young woman. “Ay Dieus mio!” I pray for strength to fight temptation. A boy screams, “Ay-yia –yia. Did I just die and go to heaven?” Justin gets up from the table. The DJ cuts the music as Justin says, “Maligayang Pasko, Joseph! Tatay … merry Christmas! Join us!”

Centaur Theatre

453 St François Xavier, Montreal

Source: Centaur Theatre

10 Vegan and Organic Soups By La Boîte Du Chef

Soup in bowls

Red tomato and pepper soup with basmati rice – © Stéphanie Morin

Jérôme Ferrer and La Boîte du Chef are proud to present their new box named Cocooning bio, vegan et sans gluten. This cocooning box contains 10 vegan, organic, and gluten free soups ready-to-eat. Available for a limited time only, this cocooning box is perfect for the arrival of the cold season. In addition, delivery is available everywhere in Canada and you can choose to receive the box at your work place. Thanks to the refrigerate box, your products will kept their freshness until the end of the day (box weight: 7 kg).

“By popular demand and following the great success of our first vegan box, we decided to launch this new box with an even more unifying offer. With the festive season, we are proud to offer a practical, healthy and inexpensive solution to all Canadians, ” says Jerome Ferrer, Chef at Europea restaurant, Relais & Châteaux and member of Les Grandes Tables du Monde.

soup in bowls

Squash and fresh ginger soup – © Stéphanie Morin

The cocooning box is offered at the price of 60$ (+15$ shipping fees). Similar to the other boxes of La Boîte du Chef, the dishes are delivered already prepared and simply need to be reheated by following the recommendations indicated on the label. The soups are made from fresh ingredients, sourced from local farmers. The dishes can be kept for more than a week keeping freshness and nutritional qualities thanks to a vacuum packaging process that minimizes the overpack and reduces waste. These ready-to-eat soups are especially suitable for people with active lifestyles. While saving the time wasted at the grocery stores, you can simply relax and enjoy your meal.

The soups offered by Jérôme Ferrer and La Boîte du Chef are all prepared in the kitchens of the training center, CDA-TEQ in Montreal. A team of cooks, pastry chefs and bakers trained according to the requirements of Chef Jérôme Ferrer makes each dish with the utmost care. The soup recipes are inspired by cuisine around the world and are well seasoned. All you need is a piece of bread and your favorite vegan cheese to pair with the soup.

The cocooning box includes the following flavours: Dahl Indian soup, Thai soup with coconut milk and lime leaves, red tomato and pepper soup with basmati rice, green vegetable soup with kale, squash and fresh ginger soup, peasant vegetable soup with millet, forest soup with shiitake mushrooms and buckwheat, green pea soup and red lentils, Tuscan vegetables and legumes soup with navy beans, and French brown lentil soup.

a book on a table

La Bible des Sauces (price: 34.95$)

Looking for a gift idea for a fine gourmet or for yourself? Jérôme Ferrer recently launched La bible des sauces, a book recipes in which he share his secrets, tips, and best finds. With more than 1,000 recipes from entree to dessert, you will be able to do a variety of sauces: light, creamy, vegan, rich, simple, or complex. To elevate your daily menus, the chef offers a section of express sauces and a world tour from 75 countries. Enjoy 🙂

Vegan 5 Course Christmas Dinner

table decor

Holiday Table Inspiration – West Elm

Looking to amaze your guests with a delightful vegan 5 course Christmas dinner? It does not have to be difficult and there are no limits to how creative you can be! Christmas is right around the corner so we would like to give you a dose of inspiration and share those 5 vegan recipes from appetizer to dessert… Enjoy!

Cream of parsnips with roasted hazelnuts (source: Elle.fr)
soup bowls on a table

Cream of Parsnips With Roasted Hazelnuts – © Angélique Roussel

List of ingredients (4 pers. / prep time: 10 min / cook time: 25 min): 200 ml rice cream, 400 g parsnips, 700 ml vegetable broth, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 onion, 100 g hazelnuts, salt, and pepper.

How to proceed? Step 1: brown the minced onion in olive oil. When it becomes translucent, add parsnips, previously peeled and diced. Fry 5 minutes and add the broth. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, until parsnips are tender. Step 2: add the rice cream, salt, pepper and mix until you get a smooth texture. Step 3: Roast the hazelnuts in the pan for a few minutes over medium heat, without adding any fat, then off the heat crush them roughly. Step 4: Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the soup and serve hot.

Wine suggestion: Ruffino Sparkling Rosé is fresh and fragrant with notes of strawberry and slight hints of rose petals.

Tofu Terrine “Vegan Foie Gras”(source: elle.fr)
vegan foie gras

Tofu Terrine Vegan Foie Gras – © Soy/Marie Lafôret

List of ingredients (8 pers. / prep time: 15 min / cook time: 5 min): 200 g silky tofu, 60 g firm tofu, 100 ml soy cream, 100 g chestnuts, 4 tbsp nut oil, 40 g sautéed shiitake, 3 tbsp white miso, 60 ml Armagnac, 2.5 tsp agar-agar, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, 1/4 ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds, 1/8 tsp cloves, and 1/2 tsp salt.

How to proceed? Step 1: crumble and mix the chestnuts and tofu with oil, shiitake and miso. Add the spices and salt, mix again. Step 2: heat Armagnac few minutes. On the side, mix 100 ml of water, soy cream and agar-agar. Pour over armagnac and bring to a boil while mixing with a whisk. Cook for 2 minutes and pour over the first preparation. Step 3: mix and divide in terrines, jars or metal circles. Allow to cool and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Step 4: slice and eat with hot toasts, some fruits, onion confit or figs.

Wine suggestion: Ruffino Prosecco shows clean aromas of apples, pears, and citrus, accompanied by hints of wisteria.

Vol-au-vent with smoked tofu (source: elle.FR)

Vol-au-vent With Smoked Tofu – © Angélique Roussel

List of ingredients (6 pers. / prep time: 10 min. / cook time: 25 min): 200 g silky smoked tofu, 6 pastry shells, 100 g mushrooms, 100 g chestnuts, 2 shallots, 250 ml soy milk, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp flour, salt, and pepper.

How to proceed? Step 1: brown the chopped shallot in an oiled frying pan until it becomes translucent. Add the tofu, mushrooms and chestnuts previously diced. Continue to brown for 5 minutes then reserve. Step 2: in a saucepan, mix 2 tbsp of olive oil with the flour. Mix well and gradually add the soy milk. Thoroughly stir and heat over low heat to a thick consistency. Add salt and pepper. Step 3: add the sauce to the previous mixture. Step 4: garnish the pastry shells with this mixture and bake for 15 minutes at 355°F.

Wine suggestion: Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay (2016) offers flavours of grilled pineapple, lemon custard, graham cracker, toffee, and vanilla bean with baking spices and toasty oak.

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez (source: Vegkitchen)
vegan cheese

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Cheez – © Hannah Kaminsky

List of ingredients (4 pers. / prep time: 10 min / cook time: 2 hours): 1 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup baby carrots, 1 cup rice milk, 1/4 cup agar-agar flakes, 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 2 to 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp smoked paprika or liquid smoke, 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp salt, and pinch of turmeric.

How to proceed? Step 1: combine the cashews, carrots, and rice milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the carrots are tender-crisp. If you plan to make slices, stir in the agar-agar flakes and continue to simmer for 5 minutes longer. Step 2: transfer the mixture to a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth for at least 5 minutes. Step 3: transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled loaf pan (or 2 mini-loaf pans). Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Step 4: Before serving, run a knife around the edges of the loaf pan(s). Turn upside down onto a serving platter. Slice 1/4 inch thick, arrange with slices of baguette and fruits.

Wine suggestion: Meiomi Pinot Noir opens with lifted fruit aromas of ripe strawberry, plum, and sweet Bing cherry, along with light cedar and spicy vanilla notes.

Chocolate almond Yule Log (Source: cuisine-Saine)
yule log

Chocolate Almond Yule Log – © Odelices

List of ingredients (10-12 pers. / prep time: 15 min / cook time: 10 min): 1 butternut squash, 300 g dark chocolate, 200 g almond butter, 50 g coconut oil, and 40 g brown sugar.

How to proceed? Step 1: Peel the butternut squash. Cut it in half to remove the seeds and cut the flesh into cubes. Cook in boiled water for 10 minutes. Step 2: Cut the chocolate into small pieces. In a bowl, blend the chocolate, almond butter, and coconut oil. Place the bowl above a saucepan of boiling water to slowly melt the chocolate. Mix well. Step 3: Pour the mixture into a blender. Add the butternut squash cubes and cane sugar. Mix finely. Step 4: Pour the mixture into a cake mold and refrigerate for 12 hours. Step 5: Unmold the log and sprinkle with cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

Wine suggestion:  Tom Gore Cabernet is dark red in colour with aromas of cherry and currant, and notes of leather and tobacco leaf, along with hints of dark chocolate and mocha from oak aging.