Meet the chef and taste the cuisine that made Toqué!, “the best restaurant in Montreal for so long that it is difficult to remember the places that held that position before,” according to Jacob Richler in Maclean’s.
Inspired by our wish to celebrate and collaborate with passionate and artisanal chefs across the country, our Coast to Coast @ Stratus Dining Series launched in 2012. We started from the west with Vikram Vij, Vij’s and finished in the east with Chef Jeremy Charles,Raymonds. Now, with much excitement, we’re moving to the heart of gastronomy — Québec.
Maclean’s Chef of the Year Normand Laprise of Montreal’s legendary Restaurant Toqué! makes his debut appearance in Niagara’s wine country — right here at Stratus. This Saturday July 13, Chef Laprise and his team will bring their downtown savoir faire — along with the bounty of their loyal farmers and growers — to the serenity of our vineyard. Join us and winemaker J-L (Jean-Laurent) Groux, as we sip and savour through five courses of this signature Québecois cuisine.
Just last month, Chef Laprise received a 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for “Toqué! — Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy.” This, and a collection of other choice culinary books curated by The Cookbook Store, will be available for sale. Chef Laprise will be pleased to autograph your copy.
1. So how do you envisage the Toqué Culinary Installation at Stratus?
It is going to be a great gastronomic venue.
There will be long tables so people can really get together. These kind of tables drastically change the ambiance and makes it more convivial.
We will also dress the plates in front of customer so they can see all the creation process of their dishes.
2. And what will you be bringing from Montreal that will surprise those who haven’t experienced your cuisine?
We will prepare peony as dessert with peony jelly and sugar, angelica sorbet, tarragon and meringue.
To that dish, we also found Saskatoon berries and Ontario black raspberries at the market this morning which will also be aded to the dessert…
3. Which ingredients are inspiring your menu this Summer of 2013? (Quebec/Ontario)
Everyday, I get inspired by what is on season. Right now, at Toqué!, it is all about strawberries. It is the time of the year when they are perfect for canning, freezing, juicing and every other way we can make reserves for winter time.
Like every year, we will spend the summer and fall season canning. Because we use only local produces, caning and freezing is the only way we can provide variety in our dishes year along.
That said, I met a great natural peaches producers this morning at the farmers market in Niagara falls and I look forward to use his peaches at my restaurant !
4. Do you have a favourite Stratus wine that you feel sits particularly well with your dishes?
My coup de coeur is the Stratus Red 2007 that will sit perfectly with the Tuna belly dish.
Coast to Coast @ Stratus featuring Toqué!
Saturday July 13, 6:30 pm
$195 per person (gratuity, taxes extra)