at Fleur de Sel this summer
Regardless of what you think of culinary competitions, or whether you think of them at all, they certainly draw attention to chefs who might otherwise remain largely anonymous outside their devoted local followings. This year’s Canadian Culinary Championship being held in
We first happened upon Fleur de Sel in the summer of 2004. What drew our attention, while we walked down the streets of picturesque Lunenburg, was the large wooden sign in the distance which read “Fleur de Sel” (with all of its subtext of French influence, location-specific, hand-harvested ingredients, and culinary sophistication). Perhaps it was a kitchenwares store? a gourmet grocer? As we approached the beautiful yellow wooden house typical of Lunenburg vernacular architecture, I said to N “If that’s a restaurant, then that’s where we’re eating dinner.” Well, luckily for us, it was and we did. The restaurant is as beautiful inside as out with several intimate dining rooms, pale yellow walls, white woodwork linens and china, wooden floors, and vibrant paintings. Large windows fill the rooms with light by day and candlelight sets them aglow at night.
The back lawn, bordered on one side by a steep hillside, is a perfect place for a summer lunch. The co-owners Sylvie and Martin Ruis-Salvadore are an ideal team (N and I have noticed that many of the best run and consistently excellent restaurants are run by couples--one of the pair in the kitchen and one out front). At Fleur de Sel, Sylvie is in the front of the house making everyone welcome and orchestrating the seamless and professional service, and chef Martin is in the kitchen. The food is spectacular, the kind of food you dream about and long for when you’re 2000 km away. Martin studied at the Cordon Bleu and worked with chefs at both one and two starred Michelin restaurants in
The Canadian Culinary Championships take place this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at various locations in