Every year, the Montreal en Lumiere winter festival showcases the culture and cuisine of both a region and a particular city. This time around, Seattle is in the spotlight, along with Brussels. The festival, known to Anglophones as Montreal High Lights, runs February 16 to 26. Organizers are importing six of our city’s most notable chefs: Jason Franey (Canlis), Jason Stratton (Spinasse and Artusi), Thierry Rautureau (Luc and Rover’s), Jason Wilson (Crush), Matt Dillon (Sitka and Spruce and the Corson Building), and Ethan Stowell (lots of things).
Each chef takes over one of Montreal’s top kitchens for two nights, essentially putting on an upscale pop-up restaurant. As the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Glenn Drosendahl noted recently, Franey’s duo of dinners at Montreal restaurant Les 400 Coups are already sold out (reportedly within a day).
What does this mean for Seattle? Well, our city will be rather bereft of award-winning chefs named Jason for the duration of the festival. But it’s also a chance for some of our culinary talents to share this region’s cuisine with a new and broader audience.
Washington’s wine will also get some love. The festival will showcase Bergevin Lane, Gordon Brothers Family Vineyards, Hedges Family Estate, L’Ecole No. 41, Long Shadows, Milbrandt Vineyards, Precept Wine, and Rotie Cellars.
Montreal chefs are also doing a few Seattle-centric events, like a lunch exploring our local street food (prepared for eat-in or takeout). There’s also a grunge night that celebrates the music, wine, and food of 1991 for $65. Or $95 with wine.