Raised in Australia by Greek-Italian parents, Harry Lalousis has always had a passion for good, hearty food. Maille appointed Harry to become a mustard sommelier, the profession which La Maison Maille has had in their boutiques since 1747, training at Maille’s boutique in London, UK. Through this extensive training, Harry has amassed a wealth of knowledge on the process of growing mustard seeds, the production of mustard, mustard flavour profiles, food trends and more. Each month, Harry will share his tips for cooking with mustard on Maille.ca.
If April showers bring May flowers, I’m not sure what April snow will mean for you Canadians in the month ahead. One thing is sure, May is one of the most cheerful months of the year with the lilacs and tulips in full bloom. It’s time to celebrate new life and what better way than by honoring mothers and kicking off the summer with Victoria Day, and heading outside to mark both events alfresco.
Mothers’ Day is a tricky fête to juggle. Though breakfast in bed is often how kids (and/or the hubby) choose to make mom feel special, I find it messy and never quite as fun as having quality time with the family around the table. While Victoria day is the weekend known as the unofficial start of summer, "May two-four" is the oldest holiday in Canada dating back to 1845. Traditionally celebrated with high tea or by lighting-up the BBQ for the first time, this year we propose to head for the park, a nearby lake or the country side for a sumptuous, out-of-the-ordinary picnic.
Whether you are hosting for a tête-à-tête or preparing and outdoor edible for an entire family, plan ahead. What makes the perfect picnic is a combination of the right food, location, and company. First and foremost, make the picnic area grand by laying a colourful tablecloth (if you are planning to sit at a table) or a comfortable blanket to sit on. While a straw basket is always romantic, a cooler might be more efficient to keep your lunch and beverage chilled. Though plastic plates and cutlery are acceptable, real napkins and dishes will make the event feel more special.
Ideally, you will want to serve finger-friendly, easy to assemble foods such as sandwiches, cheese boards or dips and crackers. Sandwiches are all about the bread and the look. Impress mom with homemade cheese and mustard scones. Served with butter or cold cuts, they are a sophisticated touch that won’t go unnoticed. If you are in it to impress, make these classic French cake inspired ham and butter opera style sandwiches created by Montreal’s Ateliers et Saveurs. Filled with buttery goodness, they are composed of layers after layers of simple wholesome flavours. Elevate your meal with this Maille salmon spread served with French baguette or crackers. Easy to make, they are also great to enjoy poolside. Want to switch things up even more? Try this salmon sashimi. You can prepare the parmesan tuiles the day before and pack the marinated salmon sashimi separately in a container.
Finally, complete your meal with a nice bottle of chilled Rosé, a refreshing lemonade or an innovative cocktail such as our elegant Que ça Maille. Made with apple juice, vodka and Maille Original mustard, it can be premixed into a thermos to punctuate your elegant fare.
Cheers to May and don’t forget to share your comments and tips on Maille’s Facebook page, or tag me on Twitter or Instagram to show me your perfect mother’s day or Victoria Day picnic by using #AskMaille.