The back-to-basics restaurant where all the food is from down the block

When Joe Beef chefs Frédéric Morin and David McMillan envisioned what would eventually become one of Canada's top restaurants and feed diners like Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain, they began with this simple concept: serve food that's available down the street in their Montreal neighborhood.

During "Salon Talks" with SalonTV's Manny Howard, McMillan explained how he and Morin brought the quirky eatery and its back-to-the-basics vision to life. "First thing we did is we put a big chalkboard on the menu and we wrote a menu that was accommodating to the people of that neighborhood ultimately."

He continued, "We should be able to just take our bicycles, go to Atwater Market and buy food. There should be oysters here, there should be clams, there should be frosty cold beer, there should be chops, pork chops, lamb chops, veal chops, beef chops."

In a new cookbook, "Joe Beef: Surviving The Apocalypse," McMillan, along with his co-author Meredith Erickson and fellow chef Morin, offer 150 new recipes, some taken directly from the Joe Beef menu, that are a refreshingly unpretentious collection of eats from summers spent on Laurentian lakes to Sunday dinners at home.

Watch the video above to hear more about how Canadian colonial mercantile history plays a role in the atmosphere and menu at Joe Beef and watch the full episode to hear why McMillan always has a bug-out bag on hand for the apocalypse.

Cover image courtesy of Jennifer May

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