Saturday, August 22, 2009

Julien Hébert and the Expo 67 Symbol

Julien Hébert was born in 1917 in the municipality of Rigaud. A pioneer of modern industrial design in Québec, Hébert was originally a student of philosophy before venturing into the Arts. He studied sculpture in Montreal at l'École des beaux-arts, and in Paris under famed sculptor Ossip Zadkine.

Hébert's prominent career saw him teach art history and sculpture at the École des beaux-arts and planning and design at the École du meuble. He also played a key role in establishing the École du design industriel at the Université de Montréal, where he taught as well.

In 1979, he was awarded the distinguished Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas.

Julien Hébert's most famous contribution to popular culture is arguably the design of the Expo 67 logo. In the above Radio-Canada archive, Hébert himself sheds light on the Expo planners' selection process, as well as the meaning of the now-ubiquitous symbol.

image montage by author

Saturday, August 8, 2009

GQ, September 1967

From the September 1967 issue of GQ magazine:

"A male model poses in the Man in the Community pavilion at Expo 67. He wears a four-buttoned DB houndstooth blazer by Hammonton Park with square shoulders, peak lapels, straight flap pockets, and deep side vents."

photo: Leonard Nones

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

La Cantine

This has got to be one of my favorite new restaurants!

Opened in August 2008, La Cantine is a trip to 1970's nostalgic heaven.

Owner Pierre-Luc Chevalier says the inspiration for his retro-cool bistro stems from childhood outings to canteens with his grandparents: fond memories of orange vinyl banquettes and dishes such as hamburger steak...

La Cantine's menu is an homage to the type of down-home Québecois comfort food we all grew up with... but with a modern, chic twist.

The "Pogos" are bite sized hors d'oeuvres: little wild boar and mushroom sausages fried in beer batter, served with honey-mustard sauce. The "Pâté presque-Chinois" is a simmering casserole of mixed meats, corn, and cheesy potatoes with crispy, crusty edges (as a kid, this was always my favorite part of Shepherd's Pie...) The "Cheeseburger" platter is a mixed game patty, with goat's cheese and mushrooms, served with a raspberry vinaigrette coleslaw, and some of the most delicious french fries I've ever tasted... (their secret: the fries are battered).

La Cantine's homemade mayo is even pink, my favorite color!

Desserts are generous and equally lowbrow/highbrow... I highly recommend the pouding chômeur which features a hint of fleur de sel, for a heavenly salty/sweet taste...

La Cantine also serves brunch on weekends, available from 9am until 3pm, with clever dish names such as "Mange tes croutes!" ("Eat your crusts!")...

The restaurant's décor can only be described as "rec room chic". Reproduction 1970's wallpaper and vintage metallic objets d'arts give the restaurant its kitschy-cool ambiance. Framed collages of mid-70's catalog images can be seen throughout and have become La Cantine's trademarks. There's even an orange banquette... but this one is velvet!

A sweet next-door café/boutique sells takeout sandwiches and dishes, as well as fab locally-made products (including baguettes and pistachio croissants from Arhoma, an artisanal bakery in Montreal's Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighborhood).

La Cantine celebrates its first anniversary this Thursday, August 6th, 2009. A special 5 à 7 is planned for the evening, with a select menu featuring the bistro's most popular dishes. Guests wearing orange (La Cantine's signature color) will be served a complimentary "Barbie Punch". An exclusive banana and chocolate dessert will finish the evening in style...

La Cantine
212 Mont-Royal E.

photos: Carrie MacPherson