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Montréal is considered to be the digital arts capital of North America, so it’s no surprise that the Phi Centre was imagined here. Artists and businesswomen – and especially BFFs – Phoebe Greenberg and Penny Mancuso won their gamble to create a place for artists of all genres, their work, the public and the business community to come together, tidily or untidily.


Moved by an insatiable desire to make culture accessible to as many people as possible and to break down the invisible wall created by the public’s fear of art in all its forms, they have given to Montréal – and the whole world – spaces for creation and exchange that match the digital reality of up-and-coming generations. “Geographical boundaries to artistic creation are disappearing,” explained Phoebe Greenberg. “Young artists don’t even talk about ‘technological change’ because for them it’s just the world they were born into.”

The perfect melting pot for society, technology and art

In 2007, Phoebe Greenberg began transforming a building in the heart of Old Montréal into a high-tech creative complex. The components of the Phi Centre are spread over four stages and include exhibition rooms, a 380-seat performance and conference venue, a 3-D cinema and a “digital brain” with its own production suite (recording studio, postproduction studio, captation facility and Webcast). Artists in the process of creation as well as organizers of corporate events will find something here to like. They can “resonate” around the world through the magic of technology, live or via streaming. The Centre also has a cutting-edge experimental kitchen. Phi is really the melting pot for the arts in all their forms.


Madonna, Arthur H and the Governor General’s Awards

It’s also somewhere that Arthur H, who decided to record a few songs here in 2014, could meet Madonna, who accompanied Win Butler for a DJ set when she was passing through Montréal in September 2015. It was also the venue for the Governor General’s Awards for the Performing Arts. The ceremony was broadcast over FaceTime using the Phi Centre’s equipment.


This multi-faceted, multi-functional and extremely multi-usage space bathed in natural light is where wood meets metal and oil paint smells of pixels. “I like to think of it as a place where music sounds more intense because of perfect acoustics, a building with a wide-open heart (many of the walls have been removed) where exploration knows no limits,” explained Phoebe Greenberg.


Dialogue. Reveal. Resonate.

These words keep coming up when you talk to Phoebe Greenberg and Penny Mancuso. “Our ambition is to establish a conversation among music, cinema and the visual arts,” explained the cofounders. Incidentally, they were the associate producers of Denis Villeneuve’s film Incendies, nominated for an Oscar in 2010. If they want to be ambassadors of Art with a capital A, this art has to touch our humanity, as Wajdi Mouawad is so skilful at doing with his stories.


They say it themselves: it’s hard to describe the Phi Centre very accurately, because its nature is to keep changing day by day.


How to describe it? A garden of virtual reality, an unequalled acoustic experience, a place where intuition, passion, exploration, ideas and perspectives can flourish – the Phi Centre is all that.


Penny Mancuso, the instigator of Phi’s revolutionary and evolving business model, concluded by saying with a hearty laugh, “Phoebe lets me keep dreaming and I let her keep her two feet on the ground.”


There are no limits to what friendship can bring forth…

He immortalized the union of Kate Middleton and Prince William in 2011, then Queen Elisabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee the following year. He has exhibits in Paris, London, New York, Seoul, Singapore, Montréal, Dubai and Hong Kong. And yet he’s only been painting full-time for ten years. A visit with André Monet, a Québec artist with a meteoric career.


Everything started when his babysitter drew a mushroom for him when he was three years old. “I was immediately fascinated,” the painter recalled. He hasn’t stopped drawing since. After studying graphic design at Université Laval, André Monet went to work for an advertising agency in Québec City. At the same time he began a career as an illustrator. He developed his own technique that gave glimpses of the style he uses today. “I cut pieces out of magazines to make a kind of impressionist mosaic,” he explained. He was then hired by Groupe San Francisco in Montréal, where he worked for three years as creative director in the world of fashion. Unfortunately, the firm had financial difficulties and André was laid off. What could have been a tragedy, however, turned into a unique opportunity to live out the dream that had never left him: to become a painter.


André used the severance package from his ex-employer to devote himself to painting and prepare an exhibition. The initiative bore fruit and all his canvasses sold. His works appeared in a number of galleries around the province. During a visit to Montréal, American star Halle Berry fell in love with his portrait of Yves Saint-Laurent. That’s all it took to launch the artist’s career. Soon, André was a regular at the prestigious Opera Gallery in New York and was exhibiting around the world.


A passion for history

Although he started with abstracts, André soon turned toward portraits. “The face is the centre of our emotions. It reflects our soul, who we are.” Yves Saint-Laurent, Kate Moss, Brigitte Bardot, David Bowie and even Winston Churchill appeared under his brush. Adopting a technique that mixes collage, acrylic paint and a toothbrush for the finishing strokes, the artist creates portraits that are so realistic that the subjects seem to have been photographed. Pages of old books or maps are torn and then glued on to form a richly textured background that, when you look closely, can be read to various degrees. Whoever his subject is – artist, politician, celebrity – André spends long hours learning about them. He gets inside his characters, then offers his personal version in order to rewrite history in his own way. The final result is always breathtaking, alive with elegance and emotion.

From Montréal to London

André adores history. Winston Churchill, of whom he made an immense portrait, is undoubtedly one of the characters who fascinates him the most. In 2010, while he was living in London, the director of the Opera Gallery, who is close to the princely family, asked him to make a portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton as a wedding gift. This was an unhoped-for challenge for someone who loves the major figures of our century. Media coverage was exceptional. In Europe, Canada, India, Dubai: everyone was talking about the painting by this Québécois living in London. In a few weeks André had sold all of his works on exhibit in Montréal, at skyrocketing prices. But it didn’t end there. A year later, the Opera Gallery came back and commissioned a portrait of the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee. “The portrait was put on sale in the gallery. Soon after, Prince Harry came in. He wanted to buy the portrait of his grandmother, but it had already been sold,” said the artist with a laugh.


Back home for two years, André has just launched a series of erotic canvasses that are all the rage in New York and London. Wanting to make his works accessible to as many as possible, he is also preparing pieces based on digitally reworked photos of his own works and will offer them at reasonable prices. Fans take note!


For more information:
Galerie de Bellefeuille
1367 Greene Avenue
Tel.: 514 933-4406


Text: Diane Stehle

In the heart of the Var region 25 kilometres from Fréjus in France, the magnificent Château d’Esclans estate covers 267 hectares, including 44 hectares of vineyards. Owner Sacha Lichine is a visionary who has been passionate about wine since childhood. He has established a range of exceptional rosés in collaboration with oenologist Patrick Léon (former director of Château Mouton Rothschild). Together, they have created a world-renowned brand that has catapulted rosé into the universe of great wines. LUXE went to France to meet Sacha Lichine.

How did you get the idea of producing a great rosé wine?

After I sold Château Prieuré-Lichine in Margaux back in 1999, I was looking for a property where I could play out my somewhat crazy idea of making rosé into a great wine. When I visited Château d’Esclans, I thought it had exceptional terroirs. I bought it in 2006. Back then, rosé was seen as a mere diversion. Only Tavels were considered to be high quality, but they were dark. My oenologist Patrick Léon and I wanted to make a very pale rosé that would be of excellent quality.

Your facilities are impressive. How do they contribute to the quality of your wines?

It’s easy to make an average rosé, but very hard to make an excellent one. We had to work out a huge number of details to get the results we wanted. The key is protecting the wine from oxidation, so we provided ourselves with leading-edge technology so that we could control the fermentation temperatures, and thus the coolness and flavours of the grapes.


It’s easy to make an average rosé, but very hard to make an excellent one.


Tell us about your range of rosés.

We designed our brand of rosés based on the model used in Champagne. We make four wines, ranging from our mid-range Whispering Angel to our top-of-the-line Garrus. One was designed to be sold by the glass, the other to be on the wine list. That’s the interesting bit.

You’ve gone from 140,000 bottles sold to 2,000,000 in ten years. If you wanted to restore the status of rosé as a fine wine, you seem to have succeeded!

You never know if you’ve really succeeded or not, but in any case we’ve succeeded in making people love our wine. Champagnes were a great help to us. For a long time no one wanted rosé Champagnes. For the past twenty years they’ve been selling at a higher price than other Champagnes. This fad has helped to change the way people see rosés.

Today, you’re successful around the world. Your wines are distributed in 85 countries. That’s impressive!

Yes, we work with 135 distributors and export 90% of our production, 50% of which goes to the United States. Our wine is sold in Dubai, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Ukraine, South Africa and Australia.

And in Québec?

Whispering Angel (1.5 l) and Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel (750 ml) are sold in SAQ outlets ($47.25 and $24.45 respectively).



Le Garrus: the most expensive rosé in the world

Le Garrus, an exceptional rosé selling for 90 € a bottle, consists of a blend of 90-year-old grenache (70%) and rolle (30%). It is comparable in quality to a fine white Burgundy. “We pick the grapes by hand, something extremely rare in Provence. Today we produce 18,000 bottles and we sell out quickly.”





Text : Diane Stehle

Located between the effervescent Quartier des spectacles and the vibrant Griffintown, YUL is the most prestigious residential project in downtown Montréal. Led by the Brivia Group and Tianco Group, two renowned real estate promoters, this audacious project will offer magnificent townhouses and condominiums with an unbeatable view over the city, for occupancy in 2017.


Experience the downtown life. A magical place where work, entertainment and recreation come together is what YUL, the most chic residential destination in Montréal, has to offer. Just minutes from the Bell Centre, businesses on Saint Catherine Street and internationally famous museums, YUL will be the ultimate personification of luxury urban living.


This prestigious project designed by the architectural firm Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux features two 38-storey towers offering exceptional unobstructed panoramic views over the city — a rarity in Montréal’s urban landscape. YUL stands out with its balconies and the rhythmic design panels on its façade. It also boasts a 23,000-square foot private garden that constitutes an oasis of green in the heart of the city.

The sky is your horizon

Sky-high penthouses are offering future residents space on the 36th and 37th floors, with the freedom to combine condos and create the design of their dreams on one or two levels.


Bathed in natural light, these luxurious penthouses will offer a magnificent panorama over the river and the city. With their high ceilings and immense windows, the generously proportioned rooms will showcase contemporary design characterized by attention to detail and superior finishing.


Luxurious townhouses

Located behind the towers on a quiet street, seventeen townhouses will delight those who want the independence of a house with all the advantages of fully equipped shared spaces. They will include 2,500 square feet of living space over three storeys (with terrace) leading onto an extraordinary landscape garden.


Four bedrooms, personal elevator, outdoor kitchen, private two-car garage, back yard and rooftop terrace: these luxurious dwellings will be determinedly modern and the most sought-after in the city, both by families and by those who love a chic urban lifestyle.


Shared spaces by Armani Casa

Along with incomparable indoor comfort, future residents of this exclusive community will enjoy incomparable living spaces. Common areas, designed and furnished by Milan’s inimitable Giorgio Armani, will offer a comfortable, harmonious environment with sleek lines and refined materials and colours.


All year long, the YUL community can unwind in the longest lap pool in downtown Montréal and the outdoor four-season spa. Healthy living starts in YUL’s fitness centre, and residents also have access to the private garden. YUL features 24-hour concierge service, and access will be controlled by a system of chip cards and video cameras. Soundproofing will be excellent, guaranteeing matchless privacy for residents.


Ready for Montréal’s 375th anniversary in 2017, residents will have a ringside seat for all the city’s celebrations. Up on the 38th floor, they will be carried away by the magic of fireworks in the bright skies over Montréal.

Sales Office

1400 René-Lévesque West


Tel.: 514-903-8989


Office hours
Monday to Friday: 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: noon to 6:00 p.m.


Text: Diane Stehle

At the end of an alley in a little village in Provence named Lorgues sits a flower of French gastronomy: Chez Bruno. This world-renowned restaurant has been specializing in truffles for 35 years. Its success is due to its founder, Clément Bruno, and now he is leaving to his sons, Benjamin and Samuel, the task of carrying on the tradition.


“This location originally belonged to my grandmother Mariette. I poured all my heart and energy into it,” explained Clément Bruno. The “Pope of Truffles”, as they call him, comes from peasant roots and has spent his life making this famous mushroom more accessible. Faithful to his values and his roots, he has always insisted on serving a menu of exceptional quality, yet accessible to all. In 35 years, the restaurant has built its reputation on classics like brouillade à la truffe, truffe en feuilleté and pomme de terre aux truffes cuite en robe des champs. He has served not only local residents and tourists but actors (Brad Pitt, Al Pacino), politicians (Bill Clinton, Pierre Eliott Trudeau) and crowned heads. All have succumbed to the black diamond.

Cooking: An act of love

How do you explain this much success? It must be Clément Bruno’s hard work, talent and personality, for everyone who knows him calls him an exceptional, generous visionary. He himself would rather talk about “loving the product and wanting to share it with others”. For instance, he remembers how his mother used to prepare tomatoes à la provençale, simmering them for hours until they were properly stewed. “Good cooking requires time, and respect for the products you’re working with,” he said in his musical accent.


Good cooking requires times, ans respect for the products you’re working with.


Clément Bruno has always preferred old-time cooking to the passing trends. It’s simple, but it makes any dish sublime. Now that he’s passed the torch to his sons Benjamin and Samuel, his dearest wish is that they carry on the tradition by continuing to prepare the classic dishes that have made his restaurant into a true institution.


A new generation

Clément Bruno has nothing to worry about on that count. When you look at his sons’ talent and professionalism it’s obvious that the restaurant is in good hands. He knows it, too, because the family is very tight-knit and both boys have been relying on their father’s advice and experience for years.


Benjamin, the chef, started working with him at 14, before leaving to prove himself in a number of other restaurants, including famous chef Alain Ducasse’s Plaza Athénée and the Blue Bay in Monaco. Then he created his own establishment in Nice. He’s been back in Lorgues for four years and took over enthusiastically. He loves the old recipes as much as his father does, and has brought his own touch of creativity and refinement while respecting the soul of the house. Some dishes, like truffe en feuilleté, have been revisited. The young chef has also added lots of vegetables to the menu and had fun creating new truffle desserts. Samuel has been the maître d’ for ten years. The two brothers form a solid team and the clientele quickly adopted them.


Don’t think for a moment that Clément Bruno’s retirement is going to be restful. Not only is he often at the restaurant (“I like being here”, he said with a grin), he is preparing a book on truffles that should be out next year. Now that he has the time to travel, he’s been visiting Saint Petersburg in Russia. Not all his trips there have been for pleasure, either, and he confided to us that he is getting ready to open a restaurant there. The light of Bruno’s savoir-faire is definitely not going to be extinguished any time soon, and that’s all for the best.


For more information

Chez Bruno
2350 des Arcs Route
83510 Lorgues, France



Texte : Diane Stehle

Simple, accessible, light: the protected origin labelled wines produced at Château les Crostes (mainly Côtes de Provence) resemble their producer, Prince Félix of Luxembourg. Passionate about wines, the young man took over his father-in-law’s business two years ago. Surrounded by a group of experienced experts, he has developed a very affordable range of rosés.


In the Middle Ages, Les Crostes (which means “the caves” in Provençal) produced olives. Abandoned after a terrible cold snap in 1956, it was reinvigorated in 1986 thanks to a passionate French investor who decided to create a 55-hectare vineyard. An ultramodern cellar, fully automated and air conditioned, was installed. The estate emerged from the shadows and acquired a certain fame. In 1998, a German firm belonging to the father-in-law of Prince Félix of Luxembourg bought the estate, giving the young man a chance to engage in viticulture full time. “I’m passionate about wine and I’ve always loved to work in relationship with the soil, he said. To make wine, you need a melding of nature and man. The result is a magnificent product that you can share with your loved ones around a table.”



The estate produces mainly rosé (75% of production), but also some white and red. “Our oenologist, Ted Garin, is from Saint-Émilion, near Bordeaux, so that explains that,” noted the Prince. These wines, which have won many national and international competitions, come from local varieties: Cinsault and Grenache for the rosés, Sémillon and Rolle for the whites and Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet for the reds. All the grapes are harvested by hand, then sorted and destemmed to produce Provençal Grands Crus. Vinification takes place in ultramodern stainless steel barrels with automatic temperature control. This preserves the most flavour possible. These wines are of excellent quality but are reasonable priced, going from €5.90 to €10.90 a bottle. The Prince insisted on the pricing. “We wanted wines that were easy to drink, light and affordable,” he explained.


The Amalia Vintage



To celebrate the birth of their daughter, last year Prince Félix and Princess Claire launched a new vintage, Amalia, a pale rosé with notes of grapefruit and clementine, made from old Grenache and Cinsault and making up the brand’s higher range. For each bottle sold, €1.50 goes to a charity helping children with Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, an orphan disease. “Our baby came into the world in good health,” said the Prince. “We know how lucky we are, and we created Amalia to mark the birth of our daughter as well as for the Association.” Every year, funds are also raised in partnership with a famous rugby club.





Wines from Château les Crostes, unfortunately, are not distributed in Canada yet, but “it could happen in the long term,” confided Linda Schaller-Gallet, who is in charge of marketing the wines. In the meantime, you just have to go to the South of France (or Luxembourg) for a taste. It’s an excellent reason to discover Provence and its wines, and wine tourism is very popular in the region.


Text: Diane Stehle

Photos: Domaine Les Crostes

Nestled in the heart of Provence near the picturesque village of Lorgues, this magnificent twelfth-century château is part of a 200-hectare estate, 55 hectares of which are vineyards. Its owners, Princess Claire and Prince Félix of Luxembourg and their adorable daughter Amalia, live there half the year, but Château les Crostes may be rented between May and September. LUXE invites you on a guided tour of this exceptional estate.



The crickets’ song, endless olive orchards, rolling landscape covered with vines and green oak thickets… Château les Crostes is a real haven of peace only 40 minutes by road from Saint-Tropez. Here is where Prince Félix of Luxembourg and his wife, Princess Claire of Luxembourg, have chosen to drop anchor since they were married in 2013. While Princess Claire is finishing her doctorate in Bioethics, Prince Félix is managing the winery belonging to his wife’s family. From October to April, they live there like any other young couple, balancing work and family life (little Princess Amalia is now a year old). When the good weather arrives, however, they leave their cosy nest for a few months so that visitors who want to discover the region can take advantage of it.


Luxury, calm and bliss

The majestic two-storey châteauhas an area of 7,530 square feet. It has largereception areas, including two salons and two dining rooms with fireplaces, and is decorated with true Provençal charm. There is also a fully equipped kitchen, a library decorated with old-fashioned charm, a billiard room, a sauna and a fitness room. Upstairs are nine warm, spacious bedrooms, each beautifully decorated and with its own bathroom.


The outside has not been neglected. A pool with Jacuzzi, pétanque andtennis courts and an immense park inhabited by a few goats: the château has everything you need to take advantage of the good weather. Of course, anyone who wants to hop over to Saint-Tropez or Monaco in a few minutes can do so easily from the estate’s heliport. The services of a major-domo, chef and housekeeper are included.


The estate can be rented between May and September and can host weddings, seminars or other events.

Things to do

  • Savour the delicious truffle cuisine at Chez Bruno
  • Visit Saint-Tropez, Cannes or Monaco, by car or helicopter, and go for a swim
  • Discover the beautiful Gorges Du Verdon
  • Visit the region’s picturesque villages


John Taylor


Text: Diane Stehle

Reopened this past April after major renovations, the Louis XV has a majestic interior décor that combines vestiges of its heritage with contemporary furnishings. Its culinary repertoire, orchestrated by chef Dominique Lory, is even more exceptional than before.


The cuisine at the Louis XV – Alain Ducasse, located in Monaco’s Hôtel de Paris, is totally a creation of the Riviera. Products, flavours, colours – the restaurant has them all. The fish are caught locally; the herbs and vegetables come from the neighbouring countryside. A few signature recipes are still on the menu, such as the Primeurs des jardins de Provence à la truffe noire, a star since 1987.



However, the lyrics to this melody celebrating a Mediterranean terroir have all been rewritten. Chef Dominique Lory and Alain Ducasse have devised a modern menu bursting with youth. Vigorous juices, intense bouillons and fresh condiments all reveal first and foremost accurate, precise flavours. “Ours is a seasonal Mediterranean cuisine, a bit more feminine than before. Our dishes are light and delicate, so customers can appreciate each of them without feeling too full,” commented chef Dominique Lory, who has been working with Alain Ducasse for eighteen years.


After starting with a range of tasty appetizers, you can choose among langoustine with chickpea purée, grilled wolffish with squash garnished with tart grapefruit, Chanterelle and lemon risotto or lobster with peaches, myrtles and ginger. Of course the menu changes with the seasons, but authenticity, freshness and respect for the products are year-round constants. “We work with many local producers, because product quality is an essential requirement,” explained Dominique Lory.


The desserts, concocted by the head pastry chef, are also remarkable. Spring honey mousse, hazelnut shortbread, rum baba: these creations always include the perfect surprise touch, something that piques the customer’s interest without being disorienting.

In the dining room: enchanting the customers

One thing that’s new at the Louis XV since it reopened is a magnificent and stately piece of furniture – the servery – located in the centre of the dining room. This is the hub around which the ballet of customer service revolves. Everything that is usually hidden away is front and centre here. This astonishing piece of furniture unfolds during the meal. An attendant is always there to prepare breads and dairy products. The sommeliers pick up glasses there. A cook is on the spot to season salads. At the end of the meal, a pastry chef prepares an ice or a sorbet, and the attendant readies the chocolates and coffees.


Decidedly, the Louis XV isn’t just a culinary experience. It’s an experience.


A few dates

  • May 27, 1987: Prince Rainier III made Alain Ducasse manager of the restaurant and head chef for the Hôtel de Paris.
  • 1990: The Louis XV was the first hotel restaurant to receive three stars in the Guide Michelin.
  • July 2, 2011: Prince Albert II asked Alain Ducasse to design the dinner celebrating his wedding to Charlène Wittstock.
  • November 2012: Over 200 famous chefs from 25 countries celebrated the Louis XV’s 25th anniversary.
  • April 2015: The restaurant reopened after undergoing upgrading.


Hôtel de Paris
Place du Casino
MC 98000 Principality of Monaco


Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: Pierre Monetta