Illustration by Rupert Bottenberg

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The Art of Living According to Joe Beef (Rover Arts, July 2012)

In September, I went to a friend’s farm in Aquitaine, France, and the first thing I saw when I entered the converted pigeonnier, on the big French farmhouse table, was an advance copy of The Art of Living According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of Sorts. Then, in October in San Francisco, a cookbook store in the Mission had an elaborate display in the window. I felt elated and a bit helplessly selfish – there’s this tiny only-child part of me that can’t help wanting to be the one to show my city off, probably a lot like fans of Arcade Fire felt when they won the Grammy. When your Montreal precedes you, it takes some getting used to.

I’m accustomed to being the one who espouses my adopted hometown’s singular gastronomic glory in far-flung places, but all of a sudden, everywhere I went, people were already excited about Montreal as an it food destination with new, or at least renewed, voraciousness.

I attribute some of this enthusiasm to the big, beautiful coffee table “cookbook of sorts” full of recipes, rants and savoir-vivre by co-authors Fred Morin and Dave McMillan, chef-owners of Joe Beef, and former colleague and food writer Meredith Erickson. Read article