Antoine Sicotte

Antoine Sicotte is a very odd Janus sort of individual in that at one level he’s known as one of the two musicians who founded the chez nous R&B pop rock group Sky, and at another level he’s a rather wild and wacky television chef known as Le Cuisinier Rebelle on, the chez nous specialty cooking channel. He also has a second show called Le Cuisinier Rebelle prend l’air on Évasion (the chez nous specialty travel channel), where he travels around and cooks stuff in unfamiliar places, but I’ve never seen this show.

I don’t know Sky’s music at all, because I’m not exactly a hep-cat and my tastes run to Benny Goodman and Rammstein. I have however watched episodes of Sicotte’s cooking show, primarily as part of Air Canada’s in-flight entertainmen offerings. How is he? A bit… different. He gets his protein from Les Épicurieux, an Ile-Bizard-based boucherie that’s been very uneven the few times I’ve purchased from them, and his food leans way over to the casual/rustic, with the occasional menu des gars kind of manly man food that I don’t ever do (I’m not afraid to admit it – I make some pretty prissy food). Very liberal use of Frank’s Red Hot in his recipes too, a condiment I use myself on ruffled potato chips.

I actually like watching his knife work because he uses Japanese blades (probably purchased at L’Émouleur) and he’s a southpaw. There are times that he shows some impressive dexterity and there are others where you’re wondering how he’s managed to keep all 10 fingers. My pal Butter Boy would be agog at the butter quantity used as Sicotte seems to slice off lobs of butter as required.

Sicotte is also an author, publishing two cookbooks and a mixology book:

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Anyway, you can read more on him via either French Wikipedia or his website Antoine Sicotte. His father Gilbert is an important figure in the chez nous entertainment industry, but I really have no idea who he is because my general response when someone talks to me about a provincial media figure (film, television, music, etc etc) is “who?”.

So why am I bringing up Antoine Sicotte? Because I actually met him this morning, and in the the most unlikely and unexpected of places.

“But Ivan, there are so many bald white men covered in tattoos. How can you tell them apart?”

Or so you would think it would be difficult, says I.

If this were oh, Seattle or some parts of the northeast (I’m looking at you, EWR and PHL), it would be really difficult, because there are a lot of bald and tattooed white men running around in those parts of the continent. However, when said bald white man covered in tattoos is looking lost and a little out of place, you tend to take a closer look. Besides, I’m a pretty observant kind of guy and it was very easy to recognize him because Air Canada only has a handful of show episodes that I’ve (re)watched more than a few times over. That brings a whole lot of familiarity.

My photo proof that I’m not making any of this up:

Antoine Sicotte, Le Cuisinier rebelle

By the way, today’s encounter is another example of how television has (occasionally) lied to me because Sicotte is really not anything like his on-air personality. While he does wear his persona outfit of jeans and a T-shirt, he is definitely not wild and wacky; he is very nice and I found him very articulate and actually quite shy that someone would have recognized him outside of the chez nous.

He’s also not bald – the pumpkin is definitely very close-cropped but the man’s grey. We had a short but  interesting chat as to what he’s up to – apart from telling me about the other show on Évasion (news to me), I’ll decline to share that other information with you.

One more thing… Sicotte is definitely taller than I am, but he is also a whole lot shorter than I had expected.

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