Restaurant Day | Sunday August 17th | Montréal, QC

This past Sunday was Montréal's third time participating in Restaurant Day. Originating in Finland, this event is a worldwide food carnival where anyone can set up a restaurant for a day. Restaurants can happen anywhere and some popular spots are homes, yards, parks, street corners and especially in Montréal, alleyways. Aside from being a student I've made most of my other friends in the city through food. I truly believe that food is one of the biggest mobilizers out there and where there is food, people will follow. So, in February when a friend asked me to join her in hosting a pop-up restaurant for this 'new event' coming to Montréal I was in! Though trying to create a cozy and warm! space outdoors in the middle of winter might have been a tad ambitious of us (space heaters cannot out power Mother Nature), we managed to pull off a pretty good indoor version of what we had intended. In April we carried on the tradition and hosted our second pop-up in the alleyway beside my house. We offered a diverse spread of small, homemade bites and created a space that resembled an outdoor living room for people to sit and enjoy both one another and the spring sunshine. Across the street the MTL Kitchen Collective was hosting a restaurant as well and serving up the best beet burgers I've ever tasted! We got to talking about food-related gatherings and our other interests, and decided to keep in touch about potential future collaborations. Their aim is to create community through food by bringing creative culinary events to Montréal and well needless to say this speaks to my heart. 

And well it happened! This past Sunday alongside the MTL Kitchen Collective & other friends we hosted a BYOB(lanket) strawberry social in the park. On the menu was homemade biscuits with vanilla cream and local strawberries; chai and mango lassies; and savory galettes made by yours truly. The weather all week had been rainy and cool and it didn't feel overly inspiring to have a picnic. However, on Sunday it pulled through and there was food, blankets and a great group of people! Running a restaurant is hard and tiring work that I won't even try to justify that I understand it from my limited experience. However, I think I get why people preserve and do it. To look out and see satisfied faces makes oven mishaps and preparing dough for hours after work on Friday night totally worth it. Of course, 'I get by with a little help from my friends' and I owe a big thanks to those friends who lent a hand (arranging flowers and transporting galettes) and came out to join us on Sunday.

Stay tuned for recipes!

For more information about the MTL Kitchen Collective and upcoming events, check out their website:

Learn more about Restaurant Day: http://www.restaurantday.org/

Photos 10, 14 & 17 taken by: Camille, Nicole & Kate


Lauren Kolyn is a lifestyle photographer based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact: kolyn.lauren@gmail.com