This little piggy went to the recently reopened Saint-Jacques Market on the corner of Amherst and Ontario last weekend. One of Montreal’s oldest public markets (it’s been around since 1872!), the Marché boasts a baker’s dozen of lovely new tenants and a new landlord to bring us a little haven of good food. If you’re like me, easily intimidated and confused by the vast choice at the Jean Talon and Atwater markets, then this is a great alternative. With only one of everything, Marché Saint-Jacques is the perfect pit stop to pick up everything on your grocery list. It also makes it much easier to get to know the people who make it such a treat to shop there.
These are the fine folks to meet at the market:
Siegfried Bachtold – Meyer’s Saucisses Allemandes
Germans are known for their sausages, sauerkraut and soft pretzels, but Siegfried knows how to make them! The German in me was delighted to discover his homemade Weisswurst (traditional Bavarian sausage made with veal), Knackwurst (“knack” for the sound it makes when you bite into it) and spicy sauerkraut. His prized pastry-with-a-twist was twisted even further into a German-Québecois hybrid maple-glazed pretzel. Saturdays see German ex-pats and Germanophiles gather for an informal Kaffeeklatsch.
Chantal Frenkcuec & Stéphane Gratton – Viande S.G.
Chantal got me with her stuffed bunny – no seriously, her deboned, prune-stuffed and bacon-wrapped rabbit is to die for. You buy it ready to go in the oven, cook it for an hour and a half, and you’ve got gourmet! She and her partner run this, their second butcher shop, in the friendliest fashion, offering tips to turn your meat into the finest meal.
Danielle Antaya, manager – La Fromagerie Atwater
Danielle is the big cheese at the Marché Saint-Jacques. Witty and knowledgeable, she’ll introduce you to the best Quebec cheeses, seduce you with brie and charm you with charcuterie. I taste-tested a ready-to-pop-in-the-oven brie with walnuts, a meat terrine and a couple of mini spoonfuls of Bilboquet’s maple ice cream.
Jimmy Provost – Fraîcheurs du marché
Fill up on fresh produce chez Jimmy and his partner Léa. They have everything from fruits and veggies to local products and organic goods. An essential part of the market, they will be even more of a must this summer when they will be open 24 hours!
Fraîcheurs du marché on Facebook
Manon Desgagnés – Le Rouge Tomate
Copy-pasta: taking her popular concept of fresh pasta and other Italian dishes from the Laurentians and bringing it to Montreal at the Marché, Manon offers all sorts of pasta sans preservatives. I especially liked her take-out gaspacho.
Sabiha Merabet & Amel Sabri – Les Pâtisseries Mansoura
From Maghreb to the Marché: Sabiha and Amel introduced me to their delectable North African desserts. Made by hand with ingredients such as almonds, honey and orange blossom water, they are flaky exotic delicacies. Look for their organic and gluten-free versions in the near future.
Gino Akiki – l’Auberge du Chocolat
I’m a sucker for anything chocolate, and when the pusher is wearing a cute bow tie, it’s even harder to say no. I think any chocolate-loving lady will enjoy stopping by Gino’s stand. Not only does he make his own truffles, chocolates and chocolate spreads, he’s happy to let you try before you buy.
Rémy Couture – Pâtisserie Crémy
The boisterous, pastry-passionate Rémy has worked in some of Montreal’s top restos as a pastry chef. Now he runs two pastry shops to be proud of (the other is on avenue Mont-Royal). And proud he should be, because not only did he wow me with his tarte au sucre à l’érable, but he also turns each of his popular pastries into petite pastry pops. These desserts on a stick are perfect for sweet tooths who are always on the go.
Nadim & Nils – Crêpanita du Marché
Visit these fine young men from France for their sweet or savoury crêpes at their street side counter. With nearly 30 crêpes to choose from, it’s on-the-spot satisfaction guaranteed!
Bertrand Gaumer – Pain à Tartine
Although this baker hasn’t received his ovens yet, he introduced me to his (literally) homemade baguette, and it is definitely worth the wait. Originally from France, Bertrand plans on using only quality local ingredients (and mostly organically grown) in his traditional artisanal breads.
Stéphane Deblois – Brûlerie aux Quatre Vents
Every Marché needs a café and this one comes from Châteauguay. Stéphane opened his first café there and now has several in various public markets. Enjoy a fresh coffee, get your joe to go or stock up on one of the 20 varieties of coffee beans that Stéphane roasts himself.
Brûlerie aux Quatre Vents on Facebook
Don’t miss the outdoor sugar shack this month for all things maple, and be sure to head to the Marché for fresh farm produce and flowers under the outdoor canopies this summer.
2035 Amherst Street (and Ontario)
Monday through Friday, 9am–7pm