Martin Picard’s Foodie Sugar Shack

What could be better, in these lean, recessionary times, than some fatty, Quebec-style comfort food? Au Pied de Cochon’s Martin Picard has tapped into the zeitgeist with his new, permanent sugar shack in St-Benoît de Mirabel, where the star chef pays homage to maple products and to Quebec’s terroir with modern twists on Grandma’s classics.

Don’t expect ham and beans at this sleek wood shack in the forest, about a half-hour from town. Picard’s creations of the day, served dim sum style, range from meat pie with homemade ketchup to lobster and foie gras maki, mackerel omelet and duck magret – all with a touch of maple, bien sûr. Sugar addicts will drool over pancakes and tarts, and extremists will beg for a banana split with maple cotton candy, maple marshmallows and maple ice cream.

Reservations are scarce – the website indicates that they’re booked for the season – but waiting list spaces have been opening up. If you can’t make the trip, fear not: Picard’s experiments with maple – as well as the pigs raised at the shack – are available at Au Pied de Cochon in town. And if you do find yourself in St-Benoît de Mirabel, come with a hearty appetite and don’t make any plans for the rest of the day – unless they involve a hammock.

$45 per person. 11382 Rang de la Fresnière, St-Benoît de Mirabel, 450-258-1732.

Image courtesy of Bruce Lee.

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