I traveled to Montreal this weekend for Pampered Chef's annual National Conference. Normally the conference is located in Toronto but it appears they might be taking the show on the road. This will be my fourth time attending and I LOVE seeing the new fall/winter product launch and networking with a bunch of other gals. My mom's side of her family lives in Montreal so I was lucky enough to be able to dine with them when I first touched down on Thursday. Here are some photos from the weekend and what I ate!

Here is my beautiful aunt and I after being seated at the trendy and scenic Cafe Santropol. Unfortunately the hostess/"manager" was SO exceptionally rude to my family we ended up leaving this restaurant. The woman informed us that if our 6th guest arrived and we had a table for 5 we would be asked to get up from our meals and go back in line. WOW. Completely unacceptable and she was given a mouth full from our assertive bunch ;)

My pretty aunt Joanne and uncle Ronnie aka. DJ Pimp Vortex. HAHA! Love my family they are so unique. It's unfortunate we did not stay here. Look at this beautiful garden patio with a waterfall trickling behind me.

We ended up at  Crudessence which is a raw food, organic, vegan, gluten free company... The Albertan in me was a bit apprehensive at first but the food actually surprised me and was downright tasty. This whole in the wall also sold bags of granola, crackers, and other bulk food. Apparently their cooking classes are amazing and I couldn't believe some of the sauces and "cheeses" made from nuts?! Here is what we had:

These "Kombucha" drinks were DELICIOUS and are actually made by Crudessence. They are fermented tea drinks in flavors like white tea ginger and blueberry maple.

A few of us went for their freshly pressed juices. I chose the middle "hot lips" which had apple, carrot, beet and ginger. DELICIOUS! My only complaint is that they were room temperature on this sweltering day. Ice cold would have been perfecto ;) .. I suppose ice would water down the drink though.

My aunt dined on the special of the day: Pad Thai with noodles made out of zucchini and daikon. Daikon is a mild flavored, very large East Asian radish. This dish had a lot of spice and a great side salad. Weird biting into a cold noodle made of veggies but surprisingly good!

My cousin had the spinach crepe sauvage. The crepes were made out of Brazil nuts, chia and flax seed... She didn't put too much of a dent into this one but there was cashew cheese (yep you read that right), marinated mushrooms and spinach inside.

Two of my family had the "Om Burger" for $15.75 that was a mixture of mushroom, sundried tomato, flax seed and mixed vegetables for the patty served on chapati and garnished with fresh tomato, red onion, lettuce, homemade mustard and ketchup... This definitely was not my cup of tea but I can see how a vegan would enjoy this dish... Once again... The Alberta girl likes her beef. ;)

I really enjoyed my sandwich and was really satisfied with my choice. I got the pesto sandwich for $14.75 that had pistachio pesto, thick slices of apple and avocado, cashew cheese and sprouts. Loved the thick slices of apple and avocado. The salad was also really refreshing.

The large dessert menu really got my attention. They are famous for their lime pie so we split a piece. Super refreshing and a strong lime flavor made this pie a hit for $5.75

My cousins and I at Crudessence

At opening session.. SUPER excited to see the new fall/winter stuff (AMAZING STUFF THIS YEAR!)

The food at conference was a bit disappointing this year in comparison to previous years.. This is "Career Club" lunch (anyone who has sold $100,000+) the first day. This spinach salad with apple and walnuts was really tasty.

Our entree was a mushroom stuffed chicken breast served with risotto and some veggies... The chicken was a tad dry and the risotto a bit off but it was one of the better meals. The little yellow guy is a small squash.

Dessert: lady fingers surrounding a white chocolate mousse with lemon filling. I like the nuts in the foreground and tangy raspberry compote.

Enjoying some drinks poolside before the big gala awards dinner. The Hilton Bonaventure in downtown Montreal had a great rooftop pool with a cabana bar, waterfall and tunnel to get to the indoor pool! Neat!

MMMM! This was probably my favorite dish all weekend. A crostini covered in goat cheese with roasted vegetables on top and surrounded by a good quality balsamic vinegar. I want to recreate this!

Our gala gift

Entree at gala. Beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and mixed veg. This was a great dish and not bad for Quebec beef ;)

They seemed to really like to make mousse! Here is a chocolate mousse with a savory yellow sauce

This was odd... At the airport en route back we were not allowed to purchase any airport drinks unless we bought a pastry or a sandwich?! We were stuffed from lunch so we ended up forcing a danish down our throats. Ever heard of this before?!


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