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Photograph: Dominique Lafond

Elena has a digital cookbook to support the restaurant relief fund and it's amazing(ly cheap)

Consider the amazing menu at Elena now unlocked for you to make at home.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

We may no longer be able to visit Elena for wine, snacks and some of the best pizza in Montreal, but we've now got the next best thing (and for a good cause to boot): Elena's chef Janice Tiefenbach has worked with writer Stephanie Mercier Voyer and Elena co-owner Marley Sniatowsky to develop a home kitchen-friendly cookbook full of recipes for $15 that's cheekily named Remember Skin Contact? (a reference to wine production), and all of the proceeds are going towards the Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund; already $11,000 and counting has been raised.

If you're any bit like us, you miss going out with a passion. Consider this cookbook to be one small love letter (the purchase of which spreads the love even further) to the city of Montreal, allowing all of us a chance to enjoy many of the recipes we've come to know and love Elena for. Structured by the setup of a classic Italian meal, there are recipes for prepatory antipasti and insalata before revealing the tips, tricks and techniques behind making fresh tagliatelle and fluffy Roman-style pizzas before ending on sweet dolci like a chocoate ganache tart and cocktails to boot.

When we said these recipes were prepared with the home kitchen in mind, we weren't kidding: A wealth of knowledge is made available, from pantry stocking tips (what kind of salt and canned tomatoes are best, for example) to the intricate techniques behind nonna-level qualities of food.


Photograph: Dominique Lafond

No restaurant could've have prepared for what's happened in the past month. While a successful restaurateur, Elena co-owner Ryan Gray and his business partners were among many of the city's highly-lauded names in the culinary landscape forced to close their doors out of concern for the health of their staff and the public at large. "At a certain point we need to be responsible. We need to be the voice of reason that says, “this is wrong”, and even if there’s a massive financial toll for us and for our small businesses, this is just not the right thing to do, to give people a space to congregate en masse," Ryan Gray told Time Out Montreal in a recent interview.

That's what makes the efforts behind this digital cookbook so wonderful, beautiful, elegant and worth the mere $15 to take your next trip to grocery stores in Montreal to the next level. If you love the initiative behind this, be sure to pick up some merch from Elena too; their t-shirts are now available for pre-order here.

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