Geneviève Filion is the chef at Kóz bistro, situated on the shoreline of Lake Memphremagog. Before being appointed to the position at the brand-new restaurant when it opened, Chef Filion had already put in time in the kitchens of the Grand Cru Escapades Memphrémagog boat, as well as at the OMG Resto—truly a veteran food expert with the PAL+ group!
Wanting to know more about this highly talented woman, we asked her to tell us about her favourite dishes and why she puts certain ones on the menu. Here are Geneviève’s answers!
Your favourite dish at Kóz bistro?
It’s really hard to choose, because I have several favourites! My whole fried fish would certainly be one of them. I came up with the idea to put one on our menu because I’ve travelled a lot to places like Tunisia, Greece and Italy, and their cuisine influences many of my choices. An entire fish is something that is often served on Mediterranean tables, and I promised myself that one day, I’d include it on my menu too. That said, it has to be the right type of restaurant with the right ambience. Kóz fits the bill!
The type of fish I use for this particular dish changes from time to time, because it depends on what’s available at the market—sea bream, wolffish, redfish… When diners see an entire fish arriving at their table, they get quite a surprise. It’s a spectacular sight!
Let’s say the whole fish is one of my top 3 favourites! I also really like lamb kebabs, as well as grilled octopus. Two tasty classics!
Your favourite dessert?
I do have a sweet tooth, but making desserts is not my specialty. My sous-chef makes an exceptional portokalópita. It’s an orange-flavoured Greek dessert made with filo pastry, but it looks like a cake. A pure delight!
Your favourite meal on a weeknight?
It has to be simple! I have two adult children, 19 and 23 years old, and for us, raclette is a practical choice. We empty the fridge of leftovers—meat, vegetables, sauces—then everybody essentially creates their own little caquelons. Easy to assemble, uncomplicated and delicious!
Apart from that, I like braised beef or a vegetarian dish with chickpeas.
Your favourite dish for the festive season?
This is something that I wasn’t keen on before, but I’ve learned to love it: my mother’s tomato and olive aspic. She always made this meat jelly around the Holidays and now I’m the one who follows her recipe. I just make a small amount as I’m pretty much the only person who eats it, but it’s delicious with something hot… And it’s coming back into fashion again!
What do you enjoy most when another person cooks for you?
Everyone goes nuts when they have me over for dinner! Making food for a chef stresses them out… Quite honestly, I’m happy if someone just cooks me a dish of spaghetti with a tasty sauce. That’s my goal in life, to sample as many different spaghetti sauces as possible (laughs!)
Or even pâté chinois—the Quebec version of shepherd’s pie—is always good! Otherwise, if somebody wants to go all out, I would never say no osso buco, braised lamb, fish, a piece of barbecued meat… As long as I don’t have to cook, I’m quite happy!