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How lucky can you get?

My friend and Torito Chef Carlos Hernandez has invited me to cook with him at the Montreal High Lights Festival.

This year’s ninth annual winter festival includes 14 Toronto chefs strutting their stuff in key Montreal restaurants.

We’re going to be in very esteemed company. The other invited chefs are Honorary President Susur Lee, Bertrand Alépée et Jason Inniss of Amuse-Bouche, Christopher Brown of Perigee, Jason Carter of Lee, Jean-Pierre Challet of The Fifth Grill, David Chrystian of Chez Victor, Keith Froggett of Scaramouche, Jamie Kennedy, JK Kitchens, Lorenzo Loseto of George, Gabriele Paganelli of Romagna Mia, Marc Thuet of Bistro & Bakery Thuet, Anthony Walsh of Canoe and Anne Yarymowich of the Art Gallery of Ontario – some serious heavy-hitters.

It’s a tremendous honour that Carlos has asked me to cook with him. I’ve admired his work for years. He has a beautiful, deceptively simple style, where flavours rule and sing. His ingredients are always the best, and his execution is highly skilled. I’m a regular patron of Torito, because there’s nowhere else in the city that can make simple food with such finesse.

Carlos just got back from Montreal yesterday, where he met with the culinary team of the Pullman Restaurant, our hosts for two evenings of cooking, and he was very excited about our trip next month.

He also told me to keep our first night in Montreal free so that we can go to Pied de Cochon, the illustrious restaurant that got so much acclaimed attention last year.

“Keep the whole evening free,” he insisted. “It’s not the kind of place to drop in to for a taste of this or that. We’re going to be there for the night.”

Sounds good to me.

If you’re going to be in the neighbourhood, come by to see us at Pullman Restaurant on Wednesday, February 27 and Thursday, February 28.

Yours in good food in Montreal

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*Spanish for: "Mmm. Wow. That's good!"