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From Montreal to Ottawa: Ned Bell's Cross-Canada Bike Ride Continues

On July 1st Four Seasons YEW Seafood Restaurant and Bar's chef Ned Bell set off to cycle across Canada. He'll be keeping us posted with his journey from the road for the full eleven weeks. Here now, the sixth of his diary entries.
[Photo via Don Chow]

This week has been full of fantastic chefs! We rolled into Montreal this past weekend for a bunch of cool events, in a very rad city! Montreal is everything you imagine it to be. Cultural, foodie, artistic, old and new at the same time. It's full of unique neighbourhoods; each one with a bunch of diverse restaurants, full of very talented cooks and chefs. We got to co host three dinners & events with four of the best: chef Derek Dammon at Maison Public, chefs Danny Smiles & Chuck Hughes at Bremner and chef Jonathon LaPierre at Laloux. They were all rocking; cooking food that is bold, creative, refined, tasty and sustainable. Perfect for the Chefs for Oceans Journey and a great example of Canadian food; regional, French and global. Loved it.

The message changes a bit as we get further away from the ocean; they ask more questions about: what is sustainable, who is it from, where can I find it? 
Healthy Lakes & Rivers in Montreal are close! Some right in the back yard! Oceans aren't. That's the importance of this journey, showing that sustainable seafood comes from all these places and includes the entire country, coast to coast to coast. 

Monday we hopped on the bike and 'raced' to Ottawa for a sold out event with this year's Top Chef Canada Winner, Rene Rodriguez of Navarra Restaurant. It sold out in 24 hours. Rene is a wicked chef, a great friend and a very handsome man! We filmed a Food Network show together from 1999-2004 called Cook Like a Chef.  His food is Mexican and local, seasonal and Canadian. We had a blast cooking together.

A bunch of Ottawa chefs attended the dinner and we talked about all things culinary for hours. The theme was sustainable seafood but the conversation was about all we are passionate about; artisans, farm markets, local, seasonal, supported food and cooking. It's a message that runs through the journey. We all share the same message; how can we, how should we and how will we source ingredients and cook for our families, friends, guests and future generations. Carefully that is for sure.
Follow Ned's Journey at #chefsforoceans and via @Nedbell on Twitter. See you on the road.
· Chefs for Oceans. [Official Site]
· All Ned Bell Coverage [EVAN]
· All Chefs for Oceans Coverage [EVAN]