Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy
CONTENT cookbook, photography
FORMAT 21 x 28 cm
LANGUAGE French, English
This is the first book on and by famous Québec chef Normand Laprise of restaurant Toqué! in Montreal and his team of more than 20 cuisiniers. It’s a culinary discovery and a wonderful intimate encounter with one of Canada’s most respected and famous chefs along with sous-chef Charles-Antoine Crête, trained by Laprise and Adria of el Bulli. And it’s a mix of explosive freshness thanks to a selected group of food producers and zealots. The book gives Laprise the chance to explain his philosophy and desire to change our notions of food and cooking. It gives insight into his career, childhood, education, mentors, sources of inspiration and all the people who have made his career quite an adventure that took Toqué! to the top and opened doors to the Relais & Châteaux family.
Readers will be taken on a journey from the chef’s kitchen to rivers, forests and the open sea to discover the worlds of sea urchin fishermen, woodsmen, gardeners and cattle breeders. The book includes signature recipes from his restaurant as well as simpler dishes that will appeal to everyone – from how to recycle 100% of a tomato to how to prepare the finest and most delicate scallop. A glossary and various indexes complete the book.
Moving photography by artist Dominique Malaterre unveils the beauty of this fascinating universe. True to Normand Laprise’s approach as well as publisher les éditions du passage’s own personality, this unique book combines aesthetic finesse with practical knowledge.
In 1993, chef Normand Laprise opens with his associate Christine Lamarche restaurant Toqué! on trendy Saint-Denis street in Montreal. Immediately the restaurant becomes a reference of excellence and redefines the standards of Québec’s gastronomy by offering a cuisine that is modern and inventive. Toqué! becomes one of the most reputable and famous restaurants in North America. His divine obsession for local products of utmost freshness is now a standard practice for reputable establishments across Québec and Canada. He has since accumulated many awards and accolades including the CAA/AAA 5 Diamond Award, Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and Québec’s Chevalier de l’Ordre National.
At the heart of Toqué! is the desire for a flourishing Quebec gastronomy. It is essential to highlight the origins of our cooking and to pay tribute to our precursors and peers. For us, cooking in Montreal means developing techniques around local food, mainly from the Saint Lawrence Valley, Maritime provinces, Laurentians, Ottawa Valley, Eastern Townships, Ontario and beyond.
Inspired by the ingenuity of our mothers and grandmothers, reusing scraps and trimmings has become a guiding principle. Now, not only do we cook locally sourced products with zero waste, but this creative process, pushed to the extreme, has become our top priority. Our know-how and techniques ensure the complete use of every product. After all, a quality ingredient will necessarily have quality trimmings. Today, this commitment to second-use is part of our everyday cooking. It’s gone so far that sometimes we even run out of scraps!
« This cookbook is a veritable gold mine of knowledge that will show you how to turn food into gold. But if you read this book properly, it’s not just your food that will turn to gold, but your attitude toward food as well.
Buy yourself this cookbook for Christmas, you will not be disappointed : the stories entertaining and illuminating, and the photographs are beautiful. And while the recipes might appear complicated at first glance, this complexity stems only from the visual beauty off of each recipe. Read through the recipe and you’ll discover that Laprise’s approach to food is not one of complexity, but of honesty : take a few, simple ingredients, make sure they’re the best and freshest ingredients you can buy, grow or somehow procure, and love them until they’re cooked with style. […] » The Hungry Italian
« It’s not only a fascinating look behind the scenes of one of Canada’s top restaurants, but an essential record of the evolution and state of modern Quebec cuisine.
[...] It is Laprise’s book that takes the risk of exploring the outer extremes of the craft, delivering the artistic rather than artisanal cuisine that’s found in the world’s top restaurants. And this is no longer the controlled cooking of Laprise circa 2002 to 2010, but a far more artistic and refined version, assembled by skilled hands and inspired by ingredients unique to this province. Few people are willing to acknowledge there even is a Québécois culinary identity, but this book proves them wrong. Here is a restaurant that speaks of a time and place, that isn’t jumping on any bandwagon or looking for inspiration beyond its own backyard. A restaurant that is making a mark by uncovering how Québécois cuisine can find its just place by melding tradition, inspiration and innovation. Perhaps it’s time we acknowledge as much, a distinct society ... on the plate! This book does just that. »
Lesley Chesterman, Gazette Fine-Dining Critic – Ottawa Citizen