Innovating Through Artistry

Robin Hood Saves the World One Dish at a Time

In Cooking & Food, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, The Idea on September 2, 2008 at 7:41 pm

The story of Robin Hood is so well known that it scarcely needs to be reviewed, but don’t worry, I’ll do it anyway. The “facts “, at least one romantic version of them, are these. In the time of Richard the Lionheart a minor noble of Nottinghamshire, one Robin of Loxley, was outlawed for poaching deer. Now at that time the deer in a a royal forest belonged to the king, and killing one of the king’s deer was therefore treason, and punishable by death.

So Robin took to the greenwood of Sherwood Forest, making a living by stealing from rich travellers and distributing the loot among the poor of the area. In the process he gained a band of followers and a spouse, Maid Marian. Despite the best efforts of the evil Sherrif of Nottingham he avoided capture until the return of King Richard from the Crusades brought about a full pardon and the restoration of Robin’s lands. (In other versions he dies at the hands of a kinswoman, the abbess of Kirklees Priory.)

That, in a nutshell, is the legend, as well as the premise for a very interesting restaurant in Montreal Canada.

The Robin des Bois Restaurant ( Robin Hood in French) truly do take from the rich (otherwise known as any paying diner) and give to the poor. This restaurant has an all volunteer staff of artists, actors, doctors and lawyers, many famous, with a waiting list to wait tables that is backlogged for over a year. The volunteer wait staff show up for their shift and are trained on the spot by Chef Sébastien Courville and Manager Judy Servay – two of the handful people actually on salary there.

Why do they do volunteer and why would a patron, besides hoping to be waited on by someone famous, want to eat there?

Because all the proceeds from diners’ dinners go to a variety of charities including Refuge des jeunes, Sun Youth and Cactus Montréal. Just last year over $30,000 was handed over to those in need. As a three star french restaurant the fare is not bad and what a wonderful way for a Chef to be gainfully employed while doing something really positive for the community.

If you happen to be passing through Montreal and would like to check out the restaurant it is located at 4653 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC. Their phone number is 514-288-1010.

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