Mangia Quebec | COMING SOON
Mangia Québec is a six-part documentary series that will explore multiculturalism in Québec through the lens of the province’s diverse culinary traditions. Montréal restaurateur Michele Forgione will travel to six communities across the province, meeting and interviewing Italian Canadians on century-old farms, in family owned restaurants, and everywhere in between. Each character he meets tells the story of their family’s history in Québec – from new immigrants to established, generational lines of Québecers. While celebrating the influence of Italian cooking on Québécoise cuisine, Mangia Québec will expose the larger cultural contributions Italians have made to the province.
Chef Michele heads south of Montréal to meet with the Cimaglia family, owners of Livabec, a third generation farm and food production business growing eggplants on a massive scale. MIchele learns the fascinating story of Lino Sr. who immigrated from Italy to Canada after the Second World War. Starting with nothing, he worked hard and bought the farm in 1972. After getting a tour of the impressive farm and processing operation, Chef Michele is treated to a special pasta home cooked dinner steeped in tradition and served family style with both Italian and Québec influences.
As a chef, Michele is very passionate about using the best ingredients, especially buffalo mozzarella that typically comes from Italy. He heads to a water buffalo farm in Mt. Saint Hilaire that is producing some of the best mozzarella he has ever tasted. Michele learns the Italian owner’s family history that led him to import water buffalo and establish one of the only farms of its kind in Canada. After a tour he meets up with the master cheese maker Jason at a production facility where he makes the cheese by hand using an ancient Italian recipe.
Around the world, Québec has a stellar reputation as a beer producer with many
artisanal breweries. Chef Michele heads east along the St. Lawrence to visit Fanelli Birra, a new Italian style brewery, where they use ancient grains from Quebec farms to brew Italian style beer. Michele discovers the family history of the owner Frank Fanelli, who treats him to a special home cooked meal. Frank sits down to chat with Michele in his family home in the Montreal suburbs and recounts the story of his father, the inspiration behind Birra Fanelli.
Few foods are more synonymous with Québec culture as maple syrup. Its one of the most maybe the most iconic exports and the province supplies most of the world's consumption. Chef Michele visits a small sugar shack run by Rosa and her family to learn more about this delicious nectar. The family works hard to run both the sugar shack and two popular local restaurants. The family's passion for bringing Québec and Italian cuisine together is infectious as they integrate maple syrup into many traditional Italian dishes.
Montreal bagels are famous and the most iconic shop is St. Viateur, an operation run by an Italian family. Chef Michele walks the streets of the Mile End in Montréal with the patriarch Joe Morena who recounts the incredible story of how he arrived in Canada, worked tirelessly in the shop and purchased the business from the Jewish founder decades before.
Elena Faita is a legend in Montréal’s Little Italy. Her kitchen supply store has been around since 1952 and has been selling equipment and influencing local chefs for years. She also runs a well-known cooking school and is known as the Tomato Queen. Chef Michele goes with Elena and her son Stefano to one of her favourite farms where they pick the ripest Québec tomatoes. Back at the cooking school Elena incorporates the tomatoes into her famous sauce and treats Chef Michel to a traditional Italian pasta as they discuss the history of Italian cuisine in Montréal