Every time I come into town, my mother has yet another friend of a friend or cousin’s neighbor’s son to recommend, some neophyte writer-director-editor looking to get into show business who just needs that one break to get his foot in the door. And the way my mother sees it, I hold the keys to said door. And so, she’ll present me with resumes, movie ideas, short films, and, on one occasion, a self-published collection of nature-themed short stories that she thought would make for great t.v. While I would love to help these people out, I really wouldn’t feel right granting someone a staff position based on their ten minute short that won the 2002 Laval Young Filmmaker’s Competition, nor am I in a position to greenlight a t.v. series (although, to be perfectly honest, I still probably wouldn’t give the go ahead to a show about some talking marmots and an incorrigible kokkaburra named Cece.). Despite my protests, my mother insists I at least give the materials a cursory look with a: “Give a chance. He’s a good boy.” A good boy? Good God, he’s picked the wrong profession.
To be fair, it’s not just my mother who’ll occasionally mistake me for Steven Spielberg. Everyone seems to be sitting on the next big blockbuster: the gardner, my late grandmother’s doctor, the guy who owns one of the comic shops I visit. At one family gathering a few years back, my cousin’s husband took me aside (always a bad sign) to excitedly pitch me his thriller idea. “The terrorists attack the city,”he tells me, “but they do it by targeting the last place anyone would ever think of.” (The water supply, I think to myself). “The water supply,”he reveals. Un huh. I’m always polite, promising to run their idea through the proper channels and get back to them. In my case, “the proper channels” is Martin Gero. “So in his movie,”I’ll inform Martin, “the terrorists attack the city by targeting the last place anyone would ever think of.” “The water supply,”he guesses without missing a beat. “The water supply,”I reveal. Well, I guess they can’t all be winners. Still, I can’t help but hold out hope that some day, someone will hit me with that golden pitch, that can’t miss idea that I’ll be able to pass along without fear of losing credibility or dignity. And then, I’ll finally be able to say: “I helped that guy get his foot in the door. When no one else would believe, I alone stood up to champion his telepathic detective dog t.v. series idea.”. And mom would be so proud.
For some reason, I wasn’t able to figure out how to upload pics via my cousin’s Mac. I am back on a friendly computer and posting photos of our visit to a restaurant I’d been dying to check out since my sister first mentioned it a year ago: Pied de Cochon. We were offered a choice of either eating at 5:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. We chose the former and arrived early, negotiating the lively dining area to grab our table at the back. Our animated waitress informed us of the specials and then, we were on our way. First up was the onion soup Fondy ordered, an incredibly hearty version literally bursting with onions. Next came the foie gras cromesquis (sic?), tiny deep-fried pockets containing liquified goose liver. The foie gras cru on a mashed potato tartlet was next – another hearty dish, the sweetness of the tartlet off-set by the fleur de sel used to top the foie gras. And as if that wasn’t enough, we then continued the foie gras theme with – my favorite! – the foie gras grilled cheese. Spectacular. We also enjoyed a foie gras poutine – a generous piece of the goose liver crowning a mound of crisp fries and cheese curds topped with gravy. Excellent. By the time the last fry was eaten, we were thoroughly stuffed. At which point, with the appetizers out of the way, the main courses arrived. The Duck in a Can was served, yes, in a can. The waitress opened the can at the table, then upended it and deposited it’s contents onto the plate: an incredibly flavorful, hot piece of duck accompanied by a portion of foie gras. We went off-book by ordering a non-foie gras dish: the Pork Potee which offered four types of very tender pork: pork belly, pork shank, pork sausage, and a surprisingly tasty cinnamon-spiced pork blood pudding. Finally, we went back on-book and had the foie-gras-stuffed pig’s feet. The pork was just as good as the version my father used to make when we were kids.
When the waitress came to clear away the table, I told her: “Nous avons tous trop manger. Tout quand meme, nous aimerions commande du dessert.” And, for dessert, my mother had a creme caramel she adored (too bland for me), Fondy had a lemon tart she really enjoyed (too tart for me), and I opted for two desserts that I shared with the table. The Valhrona 70% dark chocolate mousse was a perfect partner to the sweet Pouding Chomeur, a piece of cake swimming in a pool of bubbling maple lava. I’m going to miss this place when I head back to Vancouver, and I’ve only been here once.