Chef Susur Lee Honorary President of the gastronomy and wine series - Toronto will be treated like royalty at the 9th edition of the MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival



    MONTREAL, March 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival is
very happy to announce that Toronto will be the featured city at the       
9th edition of the Air France Wine and Dine Experience presented by American
Express, scheduled to run from Thursday, February 20, to Sunday, March 2,
2008. Toronto will take over the place of honour from New York, the featured
city in the current edition, which is currently enjoying great success with
most of the Festival's Finest Tables sold out! Toronto is regarded as one of
the great dining cities in North America. Not only is the city flourishing
artistically and gastronomically, it is also well known for its many
festivals. Like Montreal, Toronto too holds a winter festival (The Toronto
Wintercity Festival), and since last September 30, has had its own Nuit
blanche. The MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival has forged close ties with Toronto,
and the 2008 program will be developed in enthusiastic partnership with that
city. Famous Toronto chef Susur Lee will bear the title of Honorary President
of the Wine and Dine Experience. The featured country in 2008 will be Chile,
whose wine products are highly coveted by Quebecers and enjoying growing
popularity.

    One chef, two cultures

    Born in Hong Kong, Susur Lee arrived in Toronto in 1980 after doing his
culinary apprenticeship at the chic Peninsula Hong Kong Hotel. He opened his
first restaurant, the Lotus, in his adopted city in 1987, before returning to
Asia ten years later. There he distinguished himself as both the executive
chef of the well-known Club Chinois in Singapore and as the consulting chef
for 17 other restaurants in the Tung Lok group. Returning to Toronto, he
opened Susur in October 2000. His daring cuisine combined European and Asian
know-how to earn him overnight success. He went on to open a second
restaurant, Lee, in 2004, again winning fans with its more laid-back
atmosphere. Today, this fan of Montreal and its restaurants is Toronto's most
highly acclaimed chef on the international scene.
    As the honorary president of the Festival's gastronomy and wine series,
Susur Lee will follow in the footsteps of Daniel Boulud (New York, 2007),
Emile Jung (Alsace, 2006), Gualtiero Marchesi (Northern Italy, 2005), Georges
Blanc (Rhône-Alpes, 2004), Santi Santamaria (Catalonia, 2003), Serge Dansereau
(Australia, 2002), Charlie Trotter (Chicago, 2001) and Paul Bocuse (France,
2000).

    Chile, its wines, products and talents

    Chile is a country that knows ocean, mountains and winter. Its
agricultural produce have made their way into our grocery stores and to our
tables, especially during winter, the High Lights Festival season. Its wine
industry has grown phenomenally over the past decade, and its vast wine
estates now produce great wines. Chile boasts a dynamic culture and literature
of worldwide fame. And so, this country will be invited to wear numerous hats
as it shares its many talents and showcases the best it has to offer to
Montrealers, Quebecers and tourists.

    A unique event in the world

    No event of this kind in the world has ever welcomed as many star chefs
from the five continents - in fact, Montreal will have received more than  
210 chefs and winemakers within a period of eight years. No event of this
kind, to use the words of Daniel Boulud, Honorary President of the         
8th edition, brings together as many chefs from the host city to prepare
festival menus and welcome guest chefs into their kitchens. Complementing the
program, which will be featured at the 50 Festival's Finest Tables, are a host
of culinary and wine-related activities, many of them free, especially at   
Jean-Talon market and the Festival of Our Cheeses at Complexe Desjardins.

    For more information

    The 9th edition of the MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival will be held from
Thursday, February 20, to Sunday, March 2, 2008. The complete program for the
2008 edition of the Air France Wine and Dine Experience presented by American
Express segment will be unveiled fall 2007. To find out more, visit
montrealenlumiere.com.




For further information:

For further information: MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival: (514) 525-5990;
Information (media): Marie-Eve Boisvert, Media Relations Director, (514)
525-5990, ext. 5666, marie-eve.boisvert@equipespectra.ca; Toronto contact:
Johanna Burkhard, Burkhard Communications, (416) 545-1348,
jburkhard@sympatico.ca; Public information: High Lights Info Line, (514)
288-9955, toll free 1-888-477-9955; montrealhighlights.com

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MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS FESTIVAL

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