|Michel Gaumond is the executive chef and co-owner of Maker Feed Co, a new east end rstaurant located. in Cumberland Village. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
When Chef Michel Gaumond told friends that he planned to open a new restaurant in the middle of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they thought he might have gone a little cuckoo. Au contraire. He was just merely presented with an opportunity he just couldn’t pass up.
The former executive chef at St. Martha’s Brasserie Orléans, was stuck between a rock and a once in a lifetime opportunity to have his own place. St. Martha’s had already been closed indefinitely due to the pandemic and there was no way to tell when it would reopen or even if it would reopen. (St. Martha’s only just reopened with limited seating.)
It was during this period of uncertainty that Gaumond was approached by the owner of the Ferguson House in Cumberland Village to open a restaurant in the property formerly occupied by Ze Kitchen (2017-2019) and the Heritage Ristaurante (2007-2010). Coincidentally, Chef Gaumond worked at the Heritage Ristaurante as a line cook, so when he was approached to start his own place it was an opportunity to come full circle. And what chef doesn’t dream of owning his own restaurant. So together with his business partner Ben Jean from Hidden Trail Farm in Rockland, Chef Gaumond has opened Maker Feed Co.
Gaumond’s philosophy is simple – make delicious comfort food using locally grown product. His farm to table concept earned him kudos from discerning diners at St. Martha’s and judging by my recent visit to Maker Feed Co. it should prove to be a huge success in Cumberland Village.
The menu is simple but varied enough to please most palate.
The appetizers consist of Pork Belly and Scallops served on a pea purée drizzled with a soy maple sauce, or Bruschetta made with roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and charred onions served over fresh baked garlic cheese toast topped with fresh chopped basil.
|Maker Feed Co. os located in the old Ferguson House at 1609 Old Montreal Road in Cumberland Village. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
Your choice of salads consists of a Caesar made with smoked pork belly and croutons and topped with shaved parmesan, or the House Salad topped with goat cheese.
Besides the Soup of the Day, you can also order Chef Gaumond’s unique take on the classic French Onion soup as a appetizer. It’s made with three different types of onions in duck stock and topped with crostini and bubbling cheese. It’s was the perfect appetizer for what was to come.
There are four main courses on the menu. The first is Coq au Vin consisting of a braised chicken leg made in a rich red wine broth with wild mushrooms and charred pearl onions and served with a potato dauphinoise and seasonal vegetables.
The fish course consists of a blackened Tapia filet, baked and then served on crispy saffron rice with a succatash and finished with a compound butter.
Or you can order a pound of PEI mussels which are served with fresh backed bread and hand-cut fries. The sauce varies from day to day.
Lastly, the pasta dish consists of Tagliatelle tossed in a light wine and butter sauce with cherry tomatoes, lemon and burnt leeks and finished with fresh herbs and shaved paremsan.
After giving it a great deal of thought I ordered the Coq au Vin which matched perfectly with the French Onion soup.
Besides the main menu, Maker Feed Co. also serves a classic fish and chips every Friday, or you can opt for the house special which changes from week to week depending on what Chef Gaumond has at his disposal.
Last weekend, it was a lamb lollipops served on the bone with confit potatoes, and wild mushrooms in a pool of pistachio yogurt.
A quick contest of rock, paper, scissors determined that my dining partner would be the one to enjoy the perfectly cooked lamb which they thankfully shared with the gracious loser.
At first I was going to write that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, but then I remembered who created it.
Chef Gaumond knows his stuff. He knows his flavour profiles and he knows how to combine quality ingredients to produce a truly memorable dining experience.
Maker Feed Co. is located at 1609 Old Montreal Road. They are open for lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday and brunch only between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
(Editor’s note: As of press time the restaurant is still waiting to receive it’s liquor license from the LLBO, but don’t let that deter you from enjoying an excellent evening out at the Maker Feed Co.)