In the kitchen of… Julien Masia and Ariel Pinsonneault


They are chefs, market gardeners, fishermen, hunters, photographers or winegrowers. They are all immensely curious about the flavors of Quebec. The duty went to meet them to learn about their favourites, their recent discoveries and snoop a bit in their cooking and their memories! Today, an incursion into the gourmet universe of new winegrowers Julien Masia, chef-owner of the Arvi restaurant, and Ariel Pinsonneault, pastry chef.

The pandemic has disrupted many career paths. For you, it was a reason to settle in the countryside of Saint-Charles-de-Bellechasse, to start the Domaine Arvi, to have your garden, your chickens and even a horse! What conclusion do you make?

Ariel: Looking back, we’re happy with our choice. I’m so happy to work the land and be outdoors every day. The work is not always easy, but it is so exciting and changing. For us, it’s also a chance to have a family project.

Julien, you were born in Lyon, France. As a child, what was your culinary world like?

Julien: I ate a bit of everything. My mother went to the market and bought lots of vegetables: artichokes, endives… But the thing I hated to death was endives with ham, and there were often some at the table. My brothers and I only ate the ham and the cheese and left the endives aside, it didn’t work! Otherwise, in the French classic, all meals ended with a salad and cheeses. We can’t escape it! You ate, but we bring you more!

I’m so happy to work the land and be outdoors every day. The work is not always easy, but it is so exciting and changing. For us, it’s also a chance to have a family project.

What was your greatest culinary discovery?

Ariel: Fine cheeses and my mother’s lasagna. Children, we were so excited for her to do it! It’s something I’ve always loved and now do for my kids. I passed the recipe to Julien, he adapted it and he surpasses me! I don’t really like that! (Laughs.)

When did you realize the importance of food trades?

Julien: I knew it all the time, but I didn’t realize it. It all clicked when I went to bake bread at Le Panetier, in Trois-Rivières: as a Frenchman, eating bread, I love it, and I got what I needed when I learned the job of a baker. It turned me on to all the work behind this product which, at the end of the day, is not that expensive and that everyone eats.

What does your kitchen look like?

Julien: Our current kitchen is the worst room in the house! (Laughs.) In terms of ergonomics, colors, storage, we improved it to survive, let’s say… It’s not very glamour, but it is the reality! It must be said that we had made a superb kitchen on the island of Orleans, where we lived before. When we moved here, I told Ariel that I wouldn’t be able to live in it for more than a year! We have a beautiful house over 250 years old, but it’s as if the kitchen was made for people who don’t cook. Doing it again is our next project, because it’s where we are all the time.

Ariel: All my baking supplies have been left in boxes because there is no place for the
put.

Julien: Ariel has too many kitchen items! It would take 10 cabinets just for that!

What are your Proust madeleines?

Ariel: The smell of spag sauce simmering all day until we’re making lasagna.

Julien: The pot-au-feu in the large casserole dish. Steam, the smell of meat, vegetables.

What is the kitchen tool you can’t live without?

Ariel: My KitchenAid mixer.

Julien: A board and a good knife. And a bread knife. We eat so much bread!

An essential ingredient?

Ariel: Cheeses, including Clos-Des-Roches, from Fromagerie des Grondines. And I really like his business philosophy; for me it is also important.

Julien: Salted butter. The other, it should not exist!

When you receive your loved ones for dinner, what does it look like?

Julien: Lots of bites for the aperitif. And then we cook a meal. We put no pressure on the food, it’s a moment of relaxation and pleasure. We don’t plan dinner long in advance, we go there instinctively. Before, when we were younger, we used to cook on the plate. Now that time is pretty much over — maybe because in restaurants I just do that! There are the desserts that Ariel still loves to plate.

Ariel: I don’t work in a restaurant! (Laughs.) Most of the time, when we entertain, there are oysters and something sweet, our must-haves.

We put no pressure on the food [quand on reçoit], it is a moment of relaxation and pleasure. We don’t plan dinner long in advance, we go there instinctively.

Do you have a must-visit address?

Ariel: Since we moved to Saint-Charles-de-Bellechasse, our new neighborhood restaurant is Bleu Citron. We go there almost once a week! It’s really close to our house. It has super nice products and a
megaterrace.

Do you have a favorite address to give us?

Julien: Unanimously, our favorite is the Verre Pickl’ [à Québec]. It’s a must. If we had a romantic evening, we would go there. We like the Mexican touch just perfect, not too spicy, and the techniques of French cuisine. alexandra [Romero, la cheffe] is so smatte. It’s a small restaurant, the wines are good, everything is fun. In my opinion, this is the best restaurant in Quebec.

Where would you like to sit right now?

Julien: In Spain, in Barcelona, ​​at Bar Brutal or Bar Mut. These two restaurants, anytime!

To see in video



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