Summer cuisine in all seasons, at the table of chef Marc-André Dubois

His gaze is frank, his smile is warm, his handshake is generous and his cuisine is just as generous. Marc-André Dubois is the young visionary chef of the restaurant Summer Kitchenin Comox, and its gourmet formula is worth the detour.

Marc-André Dubois, chef of the Summer Kitchen

Photo: Radio-Canada / Celyne Gagnon

Nestled in the heart of the magnificent Filberg Heritage Park, the restaurant Summer Kitchen is a small gastronomic haven that offers refined cuisine in keeping with the country setting of the place. Its menu highlights the know-how of the many culinary artisans of the region and brings to your mouth the tastes and aromas of the terroir, because the Comox Valley is rich in wine and vegetable crops.

I had never been to Filberg Park. When I arrived, I said: “wow! What a spot! This place deserves more than just soup and sandwiches, he thought.

the Summer Kitchen opens its doors in April 2020, in the midst of a pandemic. This is a bold bet for the young chef from Terrebonne, Quebec, who will swallow up his savings to furnish and equip what was until then only a modest café.

For this self-taught jack-of-all-trades, this project is the culmination of a long-matured dream with chefs who have been his mentors. Among them, David Jorgensenin Vancouver, and Nigel Walker, in Banff. He started as a diver and learned quietly with them.

I have always been curious about cooking. I was lucky to have these chefs who took me under their wing and taught me everything. »

A quote from Marc-André Dubois, chef of the Summer Kitchen

In turn, Marc-André Dubois acts as a mentor by guiding the small team of Summer Kitchen. With his deputy John Rutherfordwhom he knew in a high-end establishment, in Haida Gwaii, he offers dishes that bear his culinary signature.

John Rutherford and Marc-André Dubois standing in their kitchen doorway.

Chef Marc-André Dubois (right) accompanied by his sous-chef, John Rutherford (left).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Celyne Gagnon

With them, we will discover the smoothness of his smoked panisse, a side dish made from chickpea flour reminiscent of polenta, the subtle aromas of his fricassee of wild mushrooms, made up of blue, pink and yellow oyster mushrooms, or even the tangy pan-fried romaine lettuce served on a candied lemon purée and topped with a creamy lemon vinaigrette.

What about the pork loin with pan-fried white peaches, accompanied by a mandarin purée and maple syrup and vanilla gastrique? Vegetarians and carnivores find their account here.

John and I put on the menu the dishes we like. We work with producers in the Comox Valley, we favor foods that are in season. »

A quote from Marc-André Dubois, chef of the Summer Kitchen
A dish of mushrooms, crisp and sprouts.

Crispy spread with homemade ricotta, served with a mushroom fricassee.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Celyne Gagnon

If gourmet visitors take advantage of the enchanting setting of the outdoor terrace of the Summer Kitchen from April until the end of September, they do not have to sulk their pleasure during the winter months.

The summer kitchen is then transformed into a winter kitchen with the formula Filberg Dinner Club, served in the intimate space of the Filberg pavilion. Marc-Andre Dubois and John Rutherford welcome about fifteen guests and offer a fixed menu, which they renew every week.

John and I serve the customers and we explain to them the dishes we are serving them. Quickly, people start talking to each other and the atmosphere becomes family.

This winter formula suits Marc-André Dubois and John Rutherfordbecause the traffic is more modest – the duo serves around a hundred customers a day during the summer – and it allows the menu to vary and weave closer ties with the clientele.

For the young chef, if happiness is found on the plate, he also feeds on the beauties of the place.

I love this terrace. I like coming to work in the morning. It’s of all beauty! »

A quote from Marc-André Dubois, chef of the Summer Kitchen

With such enthusiasm, one might think that the future of Summer Kitchen will be commensurate with this happiness and that the gourmet tables will follow one another for a long time to come.

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