Genuine Southeast Asian street food at the Snow Village Food Fair
Citeeze chatted with the joyful Alex Winnicki from Satay Brothers. Alex and his brother Matt are causing something of a stir on the Montreal food scene with their Satay Brothers food stand at the Atwater market. Their background is Singaporean and Polish, but their culinary clout is all Southeast Asian. Specifically, their food sways from the exotic and savory cuisines of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The two brothers participate to the Snow Village Food Fair, which is hosted at Parc Jean Drapeau until March 11th, with some of Montreal's top chefs such as Normand Laprise (from Toqué), Samuel Pinard (from La Salle à manger and Pas de cochon dans mon salon), Gita Seaton (from Nouveau Palais). Marc-André Leclerc, from Montreal's first taco truck, Grumman'78 co-hosts this event.
Without further delay let's get Alex Winnicki's insights on street food, Southeast Asian cuisine and other topics all strictly food related.
How did the concept for Satay Brothers come up?
Alex Winnicki: There wasn't any place really where you could eat Singaporean in Montreal. We wanted to bring Singaporean dishes to the city and share them with people. We grew up with our mum, whose from Singapore, cooking these authentic dishes. Matt, my brother, is the chef behind the recipes. We pride ourselves in preparing dishes with great ingredients and we do it consistently.
Can you tell us what you will be cooking at the Snow Village Food Fair?
A.W: Since we're bringing a smaller unit of what we normally use (at the Atwater market) on our stand, we won't be offering our complete menu. We will cook pork and chicken Satay*.
Do you know if you are going to cook with other chefs?
A.W: I think everyone is going to do their own thing.
Can you tell us where Satay brothers buy their meat?
A.W: We buy the beef from Boucherie de Tours in the Atwater market and our chicken comes from Drummondville.
What is your opinion on street food in Montreal?
A.W: The climate is a reality - street food can not be around all year long as it is in South East Asia. But things are moving in the right direction. According to me Street food has only qualities: it's on the go and it's very accessible. But Gaelle Cerf from Grumman'78 knows more than me on that matter.
Can you tell us about your favorite Southeast Asian restaurants?
A.W: For Thai food I would without hesitation pick Bangkok on Ste-Catherine and Guy for their Pad Thai. When I crave other Southeast Asian food I like to go uptown in Côte-des-Neiges and St-Laurent. The restaurants that I like are authentic and owned by Asians. But you wouldn't go there on a first date you know? That's where the Satay brothers want to distinguish themselves. The Atwater area during spring time is adequate to grab a bite and stroll along the canal.
This year Satay brothers are scheduled back at the Atwater market mid-May.
* A legacy of the Middle Eastern influence in Asia, satay is a dish of marinated, skewered and grilled meat, served with a sauce.