Chez Montier

“I believe, the most successful event is born from an

intimate understanding of and a friendship with my clients.”

 

Chef Juan Montier Sketches His Food And Infuses It With Love

By GABBIE WATTS  FEB 13, 2017

City Lights with Lois Reitzes

Chef Juan Montier sketches his food in advance of any meal he creates.

Atlanta chef Juan Montier approaches his food much like a designer. Before cooking, he sketches. He even sketches the cocktails. This is very unusual.

“I primarily started sketching the food because I needed to communicate my team exactly what I wanted it to look like,” Montier said in an interview with Lois Reitzes. With a background in architecture and interiors, this design savvy probably influenced one of his cooking philosophies, which is “your eyes eat before your mouth doesMontier traces his love for cooking to his aunt and to decadent meals that he and his friends prepared in college. Today, he and his wife Judith run Chez Montier, which provides services in food, décor and lifestyle.

Along with hosting pop-up dinners like his upcoming Valentine’s dinner at Bloomingdale's, Montier has cooked for celebrities like Diana Ross. No matter who he cooks for, though, he makes sure to infuse his food with love.  

“For me, cooking is how I express my love … It’s my love language,” he said. “I really try to express that love with anyone who comes in contact and revels in my food.”

For Valentine’s Day, he pointed out that artichokes are a very romantic food item.

Lights, Camera, Cooking! A Father Son Journey

The smell, vivid, and strong.  I know what it is before I walk onto the stage. Rounding the corner I see the different colors and shapes jump out at me.  The green, the orange, the red, and the glossy brown glaze.  I feel my mouth getting wet with saliva as I inhale the delicious aroma.  My legs get weak and I just can’t wait to shovel the food into my mouth.  The green beans, the tomatoes, the steak, the carrots, and the chicken.  The smoky aroma of the mesquite charcoal makes its way to the tip of my nose and I feel like I’m floating, the smell carrying me to my wonderful fate as I wallow in the amazing food.  Then, I wake up.

“My fine, fine son, Austin William Montier!”  I hear as my eyes and ears start to emerge from my amazing food dream and back to reality.  My dad, Juan Montier, introduces me as I walk onto the stage.  It is a large black stage with carpet. There is a tall table draped with a long black cloth.  On the table is a large arrangement of vegetables and meats.  I see the roaring flame under the burner and the incredibly large crowd.  The smile slowly drops from my face as I start to get really nervous and scared.

I started cooking with my dad when I was about two years old.  He taught me, and as my knowledge of cooking expanded, I too taught him.  We taste each other's creations and critique them, most of the time his being better. Regardless, cooking with my dad has brought us closer together and given us a way to communicate through the arts.

My dad is a local celebrity chef and for many years he was invited to go to Centennial Olympic Park and do an outside cooking demonstration.  This time though, it was very special.  It was my birthday; my tenth birthday.  Everyone knows that a tenth birthday is one of the most important in a kid’s life.  I was having one of the best birthdays spending it with my dad.  At that time, many of my friends did not have the best relationship with their dad and now I realize that my relationship might not be as strong if we had never cooked together.     

I look out into the crowd and start to see some familiar faces.  My dad proceeds with the instructions explaining blanching and shocking green beans. He states his number one cooking rule, “Add this combination to anything to enhance the flavor of your dish: salt, pepper, an herb and a spice.”  He said this in a slight melodic tone.  He asked the crowd to repeat it.  He saw me standing off to the side with a fake smile.  He knew what was going on.  Immediately, he pulled me in.  I felt the warmth of his body and his big hands as he wrapped me up in a big, loving bear hug.  Sounds of “Ooo” and “Aww” came from the crowd as they could clearly see the father son bond between us.  I proceed to season the vegetables with him right at my back reminding me what to do.  I feel a sense of security and love.  

All my prior cooking knowledge floods my brain as it all comes back to me in a flash. I start to get more comfortable and maybe even a little cocky.  I could do things that the pros would do.  Flipping the food out of the bowl and mixing the liquids with lighting fast speed.  I cooked with a level of expertise that most adults did not have.  I stopped for a second and saw the mesmerized faces of the crowd.  They were genuinely impressed with my ability.

The time finally came.  I could tell that everyone was ready to eat.  We promised them that we would let them have a taste of the food after we finished cooking it. My father and I had a dynamic that could not be matched by anyone.  We set up a two-man food line where we both placed the food methodically on the clear plastic plates.  I would place the green beans in a spiral staircase like design, then put the beautiful tomatoes on the plate, and then hand it to my dad where he would put the final touch on the plate.  He sliced steak and chicken checking it to see how well it was cooked.  He gave a satisfied nod and started to place the beautifully cooked meat on the plate.  When we were done, the plate looked like a meal out of a dream.  Colors overwhelming the eye matched with an aroma that made the nose plunge into a food coma.

We pumped out the delightful plates, and eventually everyone in the crowd had a plate.  They all waited as if all at the same time, they took the first bite. Like cartoon characters, their eyes widened as they looked down at the plate anticipating the next bite.  Roaring sounds of “Mmm” and “Oh my gosh” spread through the mass of people.  My dad and I locked eyes as if we were reading each other’s mind; we gave one another the same satisfactory smile with his smile spreading to his ears.

I didn’t know it then, but that day was going to be one of the most important days of my life.  During this time I strengthened my bond with my dad.  It taught me that investing yourself to develop a strong relationship can stand the test of time. My dad and I still have a very strong relationship as we continue to cook together.  The bond that we built through his taking time to invest in me, teach me, and share with me will continue to impact my life.  I plan to use these lessons to one day develop as strong a relationship with my child. 

 

Austin William Montier

FATHER’S DAY – IT’S A “CHEZ MONTIER” FAMILY AFFAIR

Chez Montier is pleased to announce its participation in the 2016 Family Food Fest Atlanta, a Multicultural Father's Day Food Tasting Celebration on Sunday, June 19, 3PM – 6PM at the Georgia Freight Depot. Family Food Fest Atlanta, now in its second year, was created to provide a multicultural celebration on Father’s Day bringing families together in a fun and energetic atmosphere where cooks, chefs, caterers, restaurants and everyday dads display their culinary talents.

Chef Juan Montier is one of four featured chefs who will provide an engaging onsite food demo, as well a dish that will be sampled by attendees during the tasting. A proud father of two sons, Chef Juan is excited to participate with his family and to give back to our community during this afternoon of family fellowship, food and fun. 

Chef Juan, his wife and business partner, Judith Service Montier and son, Austin Montier will be featured on WSB-TV’s People2People show on Saturday, June 11 at 5:30am and Sunday, June 12 at 12:30PM where they worked together to do a practice run of their demo dish, three different Japanese maki rolls made with tuna, vegetables and a southern favorite, fried chicken.

This year the Family Food Fest Atlanta welcomes as Honorary Chairs and Guest Hosts Actress Kim Fields and her husband Christopher Morgan and Egypt Sherrod HGTV Host and Author and her husband DJ Fadelf. Kiss 104.1 FM Personality Art Terrell, Stepp Stewart, Dance and Fitness Guru on the Dr. Oz TV Show, and MC Rick Joyner of Sheridan Gospel Network are all returning.

The event, which will benefit VSNS Inc. (Visions) a 501c3 nonprofit focusing on the eradication of health disparities in inner city communities through free health screenings and education, also features a health pavilion, silent auction, and kids zone.

Ticket Info: $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under in advance. At the door $5 more $30 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under. www.eventbrite.com or www.familyfoodfestatlanta.com for on line purchases. 

WSB-TV in the House

Excited to have WSB-TV in the house (literally!) as they film Chef Juan and Team Montier for the Family Food Fest Atlanta on Father's Day. Set your DVR this weekend for People2People Sat 5:30am or Sun 12:30pm as we practice making makis for our demo.

 

Celebrate Father's Day with the entire family at this multicultural food festival on 6/19! Tickets available at www.eventbrite.com. 

‘Spring Fling 2016’ Pop-Up Restaurant

CHEZ MONTIER “SPRING FLING” POP UP RESTAURANT

Using Culinary Arts to Nourish and Renew

Pop-up restaurants are a growing concept in the culinary world. More than dinner, pop-ups offer a dynamic encounter that combines the excitement and energy of new acquaintances with a unique dining experience.

For chefs, pop-ups are a chance to create beyond the boundaries of a standard restaurant or catered events, allowing them to explore the “fantastical”. Chez Montier takes the concept of the pop-up from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

On the heels of a successful Valentine’s Day Pop-up Restaurant, and in response to overwhelmingly positive feedback, Chef Juan Montier celebrates the new season with a “Spring Fling” Pop-up Restaurant. The evening begins with specialty cocktails and live music followed by an inspired seven course gourmet meal and wine pairings in an intimate environment. Diners will enjoy an exquisite dining experience that promises to renew their spirit and excite their “inner foodie.”

Chef Montier prides himself on his ability to delight and surprise his guests so that in addition to diners being fed, they also feel nourished. When you combine a warm, intimate environment, where people are engaging, laughing and conversing with an exciting menu, you get the feeling of renewal and rebirth that represents spring.

VALENTINE’S DAY PATRON FEEDBACK:

We had a grand time! At our table, and everywhere we looked, people were clearly enjoying each other’s company.  And the food–the food was simply superb! Thanks to Chef Montier and his great team.

Blake Leland, Associate Professor GA Tech

Thank you Chez Montier for an amazing pop up experience! Always so nice to try something different and this did not disappoint. From the seven courses, to the specialty cocktails and the company at our table, we had an amazing night of love, food, and fun.

Mo Ivory, Radio Personality, WHUR-FM

Thank you for a wonderful Valentine’s weekend. It was refreshing and romantic.  Really enjoyed couples engaging, laughing, and actually having conversation. I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to share in such a wonderful event.

Ella Bailey, Cancer Next Step

 

 

 

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