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4.4 out of 5 stars14
4.4 out of 5 stars
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I'm lucky to call Montréal home. Québec is truly one of the most unique territories in all of North America...

Simply put, this new book by Dave and Fred of Joe Beef proves it.

This "bouquin" (French for book) manages to seamlessly mix history, art, philosophy, travel, nostalgia, sociology, geography and food & wine into one free-flowing dialogue with the reader. Yes, a cookbook you'll actually want to read! (After looking at all the wonderful pictures first, naturally!)

Oh, it's also got wonderful recipes galore (100+)-most of which you can actually make tonight, but oddly my enthusiastic and bullish recommendation has nothing to do with them!

As a manic collector of items such as records, wine and cookbooks my first reaction upon receiving this "Joe Beef Manifesto" was to mentally catalogue it. I came up with the following sub-categories:

"classic" (i.e. à la Larouse Gastronomique, Julia Child, Jacques Pépin, et al.)
"coffee table" (i.e. keep it handy Dom-everybody that comes over will want to browse trough it...)
"useful" (i.e. I love works on the French Laundry, NOMA, et al. and can't wait for the 11 Madison tome to drop-but I ain't exactly gonna take those out for inspiration on what to cook on a Monday night when I'm alone with the kids..."

Buy this book because it's interesting, different, authentic, real and unique like the characters behind it. (It's even a cookbook too!)

It is also worth noting that the author "lived" firsthand most, if not all, that is described within the pages of the book. Meredith is the glue that holds all the great content together and adds a perspective that could only be attained by someone "not working on a book" during 99% of her tenure at the restaurant with Fred, Dave and the crew.

Everybody deserves a neighborhood restaurant like Joe Beef and this book represents the only "expansion of empire" that Dave & Fred are ever likely to partake in-don't miss out!

It's truly aimed at people from all walks of life. If you simply like food and cool, groovy things then BUY IT.

Uniquely Dave...
Uniquely Fred...
...and only in Montréal!

Disclaimer #1: I know all involved in this project and think Joe Beef is a world class joint! All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and I stand by them to the death!

Disclaimer #2: Some assembly required: Coffee, tea, or glass of good juice (i.e. wine) and comfy couch/chair required to fully appreciate this book upon initial reading/browsing not included.


0Comment11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 28, 2011
It begins with a short history of "eating out" in Montreal that will send anyone who lived here in the 60's and 70's
into a spin of nostalgia.Then you are introduced to these 2 originals who love to eat and therefore must cook. The photography is great, anecdotes or a personal story is served with almost ever recipe and a pinch of quirky humour
is added for good measure. You must have this book even if you don't cook.
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on June 6, 2013
The book is a good translation of what the restaurant offers. Challenging recipes paired with easy ones.
Check out the Lobster Homard for sure.
However, I didn't open the book for sometime, and when we did, noticed that many of the inside pages were damaged. Likely a printing error, which Is why I give only a okay rating.
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on December 9, 2011
I was listening to CBC radio last week, and they were doing a review of the current and best cookbooks for Christmas. So based on what I heard, I ordered The Art of Living by Joe Beef, and Food of Morocco by Paula Walfert. In both cases, I was not disappointed.

The Joe Beef cookbook is a travelogue of sorts on building a restaurant, with great photos, and some very interesting (never heard of recipes)... Absolutely can't wait to dig into this book, so much so that I re-ordered 5 more copies for friends/family - everybody is getting it for Christmas this year.

Highly recommended. Interesting vignettes in the history of Montreal thrown with "where to shop, sighseeing, where to eat/stay" etc. combined with amazing photos and great recipes.

If you are a past visitor or a fan of Montreal - this book is a must have. Guaranteed ... you won't be disappointed. Cheers!
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on January 7, 2014
This is not just a book of recipes (thought the ones included are unique and decadent in many ways), it'a a book about food culture and why food matters. Great insight into Montreal, great stories, historical tidbits and beautiful photos.
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on July 16, 2014
Pretty book. This is full of real food, big hearty food that will rock your taste buds. The book shares several stories that make for an entertaining read. We refer to this book regularly for tasty fill your belly chic dinner ideas.
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on January 13, 2012
The book arrived quickly and was a major hit. I highly recommend this 'cookbook of sorts'! Great images, recipes and stories to accompany. Perfect (especially) for any Canadian interested in food.
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on April 23, 2013
I find the this book being way to heavy as with most of its dishes and have little balancing. They are great for cool weather...good energy food for any place with long cool fall and winter.
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on February 17, 2012
This is an amazing book for anyone who not only enjoys excellent cuisine, but a well written description of it. Bought it for my husband who can't get enough of it. Plan to buy it for gifts!
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on February 7, 2012
Obviously nothing beats the treat of eating at the Joe Beef restaurant in Montréal but this cookbook is a great treasure that will guide you in recreating the lobster pasta and other treats at home ;)
Full of history, philosophies of food and a great aray of recipes, this makes for a perfect gift.
0Comment3 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse