Masters of the Grill: Ottawa’s Chef Marc Lepine
BY: HARRY ROSEN STAFF
May 25, 2015
In Canada’s capital Chef Marc Lepine is delighting diners at his acclaimed restaurant, Atelier.
The Canadian Culinary Champion and 2x Ottawa Chef of the Year is serving up ‘New Canadian’ food based on hypermodern culinary techniques and technology. Sound impressive? It is.
The restaurant serves a 12-course tasting menu “so we control the entire experience, keeping things as dynamic as possible and building the excitement,” he explains. “Toward the end we serve an edible, helium-filled balloon with an edible persimmon leather string. People inhale the helium and they’re laughing – it makes them feel like kids.”
But it comes to the grill, the best results come from sticking to the basics he says.
On the set of our summer ad campaign, where he and four other top Canadian chefs showcased perfect BBQ attire, he shared his secrets of the grill.
“I like cooking all kinds of summer vegetables on the barbecue at home,” says Chef Lepine “bell peppers, red onions, eggplant, mushrooms, summer squash, you name it. I'll usually toss them with olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped garlic, and thyme.” Simple yet so good.
For a uniquely Canadian take on a traditional beef marinade, Chef offered up this recipe.
Marinated Rib Steaks Grilled Over Juniper Branches
- 500 ml molasses
- 500 ml newfie screech
- 2 T red miso
- 1 T grainy mustard
Leave steaks in marinade for 2-3 hours, do not rinse
Get coals very hot, leaving room between coals and grill for the branches
Add several juniper branches directly over coals and wait for the flames to die down a little
Cook steaks while covering the grill to trap the smokiness
Serve with barley, summer corn, and mushrooms all warmed in butter
What He’s Wearing:
Charity of Choice:
For his participation in our ad, a charitable donation has been made in Chef Lepine’s name to The Ottawa Food Bank. Aiming to ensure that no one go hungry in the Ottawa area, the organization supports 140 emergency food programs that feed approximately 50,000 people per month – 37 per cent of whom are children.