Montreal

The Trudeau-Obama dinner: David McMillan on the menu, the mood and the 'ninjas' in the backyard

What was it like inside Liverpool House last night? David McMillan, chef and and owner of Liverpool House, spoke to CBC Montreal Daybreak host Mike Finnerty about the meeting.

Details on the Liverpool House meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former president Barack Obama

Former U.S. president Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pose with David McMillan and his daughter Dylan at the Montreal restaurant Liverpool House. (Dave McMillan/Twitter)

As the owner of several trendy Montreal restaurants, David McMillan is accustomed to serving some big names.

But last night's dinner meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former U.S. president Barack Obama at Liverpool House was at a whole other level.

In an interview with Daybreak host Mike Finnerty, McMillan offered some details about the security precautions, what his guests discussed (he doesn't know) and, of course, what they ate. 

The interview is edited and condensed for clarity.


It looked like a madhouse outside. What was it like from your end?

It was calm and cool. The restaurant is the restaurant. It is what it is for us. We just fed everybody and it went well.

What did you feed them?

Oysters, shrimp, halibut, steak, spaghetti lobster, strawberry shortcake, and on their way. 

Who picked the menu?

Justin eats there regularly. Obama said, "What should we eat here?" and Justin said, "Let them do what they do." And we did what we do usually and it went well.

Did they have much of an appetite?

They ate everything. We cooked a bit cleaner. Both of those guys are pretty healthy, so we put together a healthy menu — a little less butter, less cream. 

Did they put any ketchup on anything?

No, I would tell you right away.

What's the security like for an event like that?

Ridiculous, like I've never seen in my life. Maybe 200 security plus the police, and the streets were blocked. There was SWAT in the backyard. Ninjas.

Do they monitor what's cooked?

There were two security guys in the kitchen, watching us prepare the food. No official testers like the days of Julius Caesar.

Did they have a chance to speak alone?

Had a 30-minute conversation alone. It seemed lighthearted and funny. It didn't seem like world affairs were being discussed.

Did you overhear anything juicy?

Not at all.

Did you say anything to Barack Obama? 

I did. I said, "I look forward to your wife being the next president of the United States." And he laughed, and I think Justin laughed as well.

More coverage:

now