For host Varda Étienne, who can be seen on Sucré Salé on TVA, summer in Quebec is great. And it happens in her yard in Brossard where she organizes BBQs. “I don’t understand why people leave Quebec in the summer. To go where ? There are so many beautiful things here, there are festivals, you can go to the countryside, fishing, Saguenay, Gaspésie, I love it! Summer is festive, it’s my favorite season. I am reborn! “, she says.
“I live in Brossard where life is good, and spending the summer in my backyard is ideal. I’m typically suburban. In the summer, I’m in my swimming pool and I love it. I planted flowers, tomatoes, herbs, basil, because I make my homemade pesto. My girlfriends call me an hour before, I have time to go shopping and I’m waiting for them with BBQ and lychee martini! I’m so excited to BBQ that I burn the meat! I make my beer chicken, which is excellent, and my Caribbean grilled fish, with plantain and grilled vegetables from my garden. I have to negotiate my yard with my three children aged 17, 20 and 30, because they all invite their many friends over. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and there are eight of them in the living room! I come from a large family so I don’t mind! »
“My two best friends have cabins in the Laurentians, and I have my room at each of them. One is in Estérel, the other in Mille-Îles, with wharf, boat and lake. It’s very pleasant, especially since I love to fish. I was fishing with my parents. When I was little, we went to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Frelighsburg. I install the worm on the end of the fishing rod myself and clean my fish. I go on the water around 5 a.m., because when the water is not too hot, the fish come to the surface. I appreciate the silence. I don’t have a lot of silence in my life, being on the water does me a lot of good. I love water, I like swimming, walking along the water’s edge. Water is an excellent antidepressant. »
“I’m a big music lover and I really like jazz. So the Jazz Festival is a party for me, just like the Nuits d’Afrique festival that I go to. I realize that the older I get, the more I am attached to my Caribbean and Haitian culture of which I am very proud. I listen to zouk, I love Congolese and Cameroonian music, and I find all that at Nuits d’Afrique. It’s simple, I’m Zsa Zsa Gabor from Brossard! Another activity that I enjoy is picking strawberries. There are plenty of good places where you can pick your own on the South Shore, including the Hubert Sauvé farm in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. As for good restaurant addresses, there is Il Cortile, because the terrace is magnificent, brunches at Le Renoir restaurant at the Sofitel. There is also Chez Daou, because I love Lebanese cuisine, and Chez Faros, my favorite Greek restaurant, and Primi Piatti in Saint-Lambert. »
“I love Quebec from April to September. I do not like the cold ! I hope that one day when I retire, I will live six months in Haiti, when Haiti is better, and six months in Quebec, in the summer. For 30 years I’ve been going to the Denis Charbonneau Orchard, it’s the best sugar shack and it’s the best place to pick apples! There are excellent apple fritters, they make them in front of us, they are all hot, I eat six of them in the car on the way back, they are delicious. There’s also a mini-farm for the little ones! I can’t wait to be a grandma, I’ll be a glam-ma, a glamorous grandma! I like to frolic between two rows of Cortland apples and McIntosh like Carrie Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. I eat as many apples as I pick, I make apple pies, compote, apple turnovers. I’m obsessed with apple picking, and I’m looking forward to it! »
“I do a lot of readings during the summer in my backyard and they are very varied. Right now, I’m reading Papa Doc, portrait of a Haitian Tyrant, by John Marquis, I’m also reading Ricardo Larrivee’s book, Eating Together, because he has the best recipes in the world, and he explains the art of living so I got lots of tips and tricks from it. There is also Marthe Laverdière’s book 100% nature: confidences. I love this woman, I have a lot of admiration for her. She has already come to help me for a shoot at my house and I learned a lot. She has an incredible sense of humor. And in the summer, I also read a lot of magazines of all kinds. »