Last Friday, I discovered a super cool place in Montreal’s Gay Village thanks to a workshop about kimchi. A few weeks ago, an event on Facebook had caught my attention. It was a two-hour workshop to learn how to make your very own kimchi. The tickets were only 20$. I would leave with a jar of kimchi and a recipe for tofu kimchi soup. Since I love Korean cuisine and am always eager to learn new kitchen skills, I was sold!
The event was organized by Le Milieu. It’s a vegan café, art studio, and shop. The idea behind the space is to share, be creative, build a sense of community and encourage sustainable living. The guideline for this cooperative, as proclaimed on its website, is the following:
“Abundance is a communal act, the joint creation of an incredibly complex ecology in which each part functions on behalf of the whole and, in return, is sustained by the whole. Community not only creates abundance – community is abundance. If we could learn that equation from the world of nature, the human world might be transformed.” – Paul Rogat Loeb
You can go there to have a coffee or to create something using the art material provided in the studio. You can also, like me, participate in the workshops they offer. All last week, I had a terrible cold that left me drained, voiceless and with an extreme dependence on tissues. After 8 hours spent at work on Friday, the day of the Kimchi workshop, all I wanted was to go home, eat soup and go to bed. However, the ticket for the workshop was paid for and had been very excited to participate. The idea to make kimchi at home had crossed my mind before, but I thought the process looked complicated. I didn’t have all the ingredients and the recipes I had seen made huge quantities. Intimidated, I had put the project aside. The idea to be shown, in person, how to proceed was exactly what I needed to finally make my own kimchi. For that reason, I ignored my persistent cold and made my way to the studio. What I found was a beautiful place full of art and fun that inspires you to create. The studio soon filled with the 20 peoples that were coming to learn to make kimchi and we all settled at a communal table in teams of 3 or 4. Just take a look a the amazing table/canvas we were working on.
For the next 2 hours, all together, we would learn to make an essential condiment from Korean cuisine using a vegan recipe. For those of you who can’t speak a word of French, I wouldn’t recommend this workshop since it’s primarily given in French. However, if you know basic French, you’ll be okay. A lot of people from our group were more English speakers and were able to follow just fine. The instructor speaks English and will provide information in that language if needed.
In the end, the workshop was super interesting and I’m very excited to taste my kimchi! I had a taste of the end product when the instructor made tofu kimchi soup for us using a jar of kimchi from the last workshop. It was delicious. The last kimchi I had tasted wasn’t vegan (it usually contains fish sauce and salted shrimps). But I can’t say that the vegan version was any less good.
From the moment I put it in the jar to the following day, the cabbage mixture shrank a lot as the kimchi matured. It’s totally normal and I still have enough to make something great with it. If you need ideas of recipes using kimchi, check out my post on Korean cuisine. It will also give you addresses of stores you can go to if you want to make kimchi at home.
In case you’re interested, the next kimchi workshop will be held on May 10, 2018. You can click here for the details:
Other workshops from the Coop give you the chance to learn how to make products like kefir and kombucha. You can consult Le Milieu’s website or Facebook page for the calendar of the events. Registration for the classes goes through Eventbrite.
I would do another one of these workshops again in a heartbeat. It’s really great to be given detailed instructions on an intimidating recipe and have somebody there to answer your questions. The whole thing made the idea to make kimchi at home seem very easy and accessible. Plus, I now know you can make small batches of it without problems.
After the workshop, our little group absolutely had to eat Korean food. You can’t talk about kimchi for 2 hours without having an urge to eat more of it. In the end, we tried Chez Bong in Chinatown. The place doesn’t have the fanciest decor, but the food was delicious and inexpensive (15$ or less). That will give you a place to go if you want to eat a kimchi recipe without actually having to make it.
I was very excited to share with you this beautiful space in Montreal that I recently discovered. I love places where you can be creative and learn new things. Please share your experience if you go to Le Milieu. I will be very interested to hear about it 🙂
Have a great day and good kimchi!