Stephanie is THE COOLEST chef I've met in my life. Ok, I don't know a lot of chefs, but she has to be one of the most interesting people I've ever met. She is the famous executive chef at LOV, where she taught us that vegan food doesn't have to be dull or boring. She is also an active member of Les Femmes Chefs de Montréal, a group created by Dominique Dufour to highlight the work of women in kitchens across the city. I kind of wanted to do the same thing, so I contacted Stephanie to tell her about my project of profiling 5 women chefs, and she agreed to be my first subject. Merci beaucoup Stéphanie!
In a few words, what's your approach to food?
Botanical cuisine. Puting plants forward, and breaking with the taboo that vegetarian/vegan cuisine is no fun. Here at LOV, I really like to play with colors, textures, and taste; we are in a beautiful environment and I want the dishes to be beautiful and pleasant as well.
What do you love about LOV?
I love that hundreds of people get to eat this food everyday. This is basically why I'm here.
A lot of the clients are not necessarily vegan or vegetarian, but they like to eat here!
Have you ever worked for a female chef?
Yes, I did when I was in Austin, Texas. Her name was Ciara, and she was younger than me… much younger! She was amazing, I became her sous-chef and she gave me my first nife.
Miso. I think in vegetarian cuisine umami comes from Miso, which is fermented soy bean.
What would your last meal be?
The last meal of my life??? Soup, I love every kind of soup and it always makes me happy. I even have a tattoo of soup right here in my arm.
If you wouldn´t work in Montreal, where would you like to work?
Lisbon or Barcelona
Best food is in ___________ .
Sri Lanka! All the food was so original and so good.
A chef you admire or look up to:
Alain Passard, because he understands what organic and fresh truly means. At one point he removed all of the meat from his Michelin-star restaurant in Paris, and began to grow everything that he serves in his menu.
Yotam Ottolenghi, because he wrote the book "Plenty", which is vegetarian. I´ve had his book for a while now, and I am still impressed by every single recipe.
Dominique Dufour, she is an amazing chef and she has so much drive in herself. She created the Association of Women Chefs in Montreal, and she's just so passionate and creative. You have to interview her too!
What did you have for dinner last night?
Mushroom risotto here at LOV.
Place you eat most often in days off?
Manitoba, because my boyfriend works there, and I trust them with the food.
I also like "pupusas", it's a Salvadoran dish. They are so good and so cheap!
Wine, dark rosé wine.
Someone you would love to cook for:
My grandma. She passed away a long time ago, but I remember she was always cooking and she was really good. I would love to cook for her.
When you are not in the kitchen working, what do you like to do the most?
Visiting my friends, and taking walks with my boyfriend.
What are you most excited about right now?
I'm going to Amsterdam in two weeks, travelling is always exciting.
Special thanks to Kéven Poisson for taking these beautiful pictures that shows perfectly what Stéphanie was talking about when she said "fun, colorful, and tasty dishes".