My love for food, and for nurturing those I love, comes from my family, mostly from my Mother Muriel and her mother Helen, my Grandmother, who taught me the art of making crepes and the wonders of the kitchen!
For most of us, food, companionship, and love are all closely intertwined, which is why magazines such as WomenSphere devote an entire column to food and dining—they’re a necessary part of life because food and dining connect us to others, as much as they sustain us.
The covid measures have been hard on us all, and particularly on small businesses like restaurants. As an aspiring chef, I’ve watched with sadness as so many of the beloved places I’ve loved to frequent have had to close their doors due to high overhead and staff costs and government relief that proved too little, too late.
A case in point is Mezcla—a Peruvian-French fusion restaurant in Montreal, Canada. While it’s tagline was, “When Life Serves You Lemons, add Salt and Tequila!”, it, unfortunately, couldn’t do the same, and bankruptcy forced it to close its doors.
However, I’d like to shine some light on its aspiring Nuevo-Latino chef, Marcel Larrea, who emigrated to Canada from Peru and wanted to bring his beloved grandmother’s recipes to the world at 1251 rue de Champlain. I identified with his tales of growing up in his grandmother’s warm kitchen, surrounded by tantalizing tastes and smells.
He’s now running a Peruvian-Japanese spot called Tiradito in downtown Montreal but when he ran Mezcla, he would bring more experimental cuisine such as octopus and duck hearts, and create tasty amuse-bouche that wowed his patrons. Even my little daughter whose mantra usually is, “If it comes from the Sea it doesn’t go in me!” surprisingly tried the octopus because the dish looked so beautiful, and delightfully exclaimed to the amazement of us all that she “…could taste the love in the food!”
Take it from me and my little family, Larrea specializes in food that enchants even the most discerning critic, and is refined yet affordable.
If you happen to find yourself in Montreal, search out chef Marcel Larrea—you’ll be glad that you did.