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May 13, 2020

The wonderful MIDI-DOLORÈS

I still rave about this incredibly flavourful sandwich that’s so easy to make with regular ingredients that can be found in anyone’s fridge. It’s been a popular fixture on our menu since 1989.

It all started with the mother of one of the partners at our third Cora restaurant. Arriving unannounced on the bus from Rimouski, Mme Dolorès Bédard was so excited about surprising her daughter Martha that she entered our new Vimont restaurant singing and dancing. “Martha, Martha, my dearest” exclaimed the sexagenarian a little too unrestrainedly. Martha, who was arranging the fruit counter at that moment, dropped the basket of oranges when her mother’s voice came booming across the 100-seat restaurant.

-Mom…Mom! What are you doing here?

-I wanted to surprise you, my sweet Martha. I wanted to see your restaurant.

Mme Dolorès then insisted on shaking my hand, and without batting an eye, asked me for a big favour. She wanted to have her name included somewhere in the jumble of cardboard words that made up our menu at that time.

-What would you like for lunch, dear Dolorès?

-Do you have egg sandwiches? They’re my absolute favourite.

A sandwich filled with hard-cooked eggs mashed together with some green onion, finely chopped celery, a little parsley and lots of mayonnaise. All served between two golden slices of toast.

When I returned from the kitchen with the plate containing Dolorès’ most favourite meal in the world, generously garnished with beautiful fresh fruit, the woman had burst into tears of joy. Her daughter had just announced that I had decided to name the dish MIDI DOLORÈS* in her honour. 

That moment, I also wanted to cry joyfully: Once again, I had succeeded in bringing delight to someone with my food. And since that day, we sell thousands of MIDI DOLORÈS* plates each week in Quebec and across Canada.

Years later, only after much reflection, recounting, and even occasionally, putting down on paper the story behind this or that new creation, I came to understand the recipe for my success.

The moment the shimmer of an idea alighted in my mind, a restless energy would commandeer my arms and hands, filling them with creativity and my heart with so much love.

Just like a mother, I suffered, waiting impatiently for the new breakfast dish to show its limbs and face.

From the simplest to the most spectacular creations, each dish filled me with happiness. And all that work during those years, as tough as it was, seems today like a long journey of fabulous adventures.

I am not really a cook, but my desire to delight others overpowers me. Even today, I am constantly playing with new combinations of ingredients and flavours. All my efforts have a constant goal: to see a customer’s eyes open wide or hear them loudly exclaim their joy when the dish is placed before them.

In fact, I’ve never worried whether I had the skills required for the task. I love to believe that it’s the invisible arm of fate or that of a guardian angel that guided me along. Sometimes pulling me towards a wonderful new location, sometimes pushing me out of bed after the 25th day of working straight without a moment’s rest.

Mme Dolorès, and a few years later, her daughter Martha, left on that final great voyage to a world that surpasses all our expectations.

I ❤️ you.


Life like a tree

That never stops dying.

*Named “Famous egg salad sandwich” in English Canada