You can spend an evening at the Tanière restaurant3, we should be told about edible Quebec in the most accurate way possible. Every bite is the result of hours of research in the kitchen. In Quebec, this is the most advanced in terms of experimental gastronomy. The awards received by the Quebec Foundation in 2023 bear witness to this.
Last May, at the Lauriers de la gastronomie québécoise, François-Emmanuel Nicole was crowned Chef of the Year. His partner Roxanne Bordelais, director of the room, was a finalist for the Best Service and Bridal Award3 It was nominated for Restaurant of the Year, which Monarch ultimately won. As for Jeremy Bailey, he was honored this fall as Pastry Chef of the Year by the Association of Pastry Chefs and Chefs of Quebec.
To add even more prestige, Relais & Châteaux reached out to the restaurant, which recently regained its CAA/AAA five-diamond rating. The elegant family entered through the front door. This was announced in the fall in the presence of MM. Nicole and Bordelais during the association's conference in Copenhagen. Great cooperation is on the agenda for the coming years.
Many fine forks consider this a den3 It is the best Quebec restaurant to access the most famous international menus. François Emmanuel does not hide this: he aims to reach the “50 best players in the world”.
Annual bonus tables of the caliber of those installed in 2019 in the historic cellars of the houses of Libre and Charest, between the river and the Place Royale. Here the team does not provide meals. It organizes high-class taste entertainment. Think back to the early seasons of Chef's table Or to the movie food menu (Less scary!).
During a shift, there is one employee for every two customers. Guests are greeted and pampered like royalty for four hours. They taste about fifteen dishes while moving from one vaulted room to another. We are even offered poetry written through it. Rarely have we seen such an elaborate production. Take “9 Shades of Tomatoes” for example. The dish is so complex that it even comes with an explanatory sheet!
And then there's all the behind-the-scenes, behind-the-scenes action that we can also get a little access to in a new web series, the first three episodes of about seven minutes long available on Tanière's Facebook page3. There is a lot of talk about the relationships developed with restaurant suppliers.
In 2022, sous chef Sébastien Remillard, “one of our pillars,” says François-Emmanuel Nicole, will be promoted to head of research and development. “He comes into the kitchen at 6 a.m. and goes to work. When I arrived, at 11 a.m., he had already done a lot of testing, and I tasted it,” says the chef and co-owner.
Since many of the ingredients used in this sophisticated cuisine have fallen into oblivion for decades, in Quebec, there is much to be done to rediscover their applications and exploit them to their fullest potential. These are often wild produce such as sweet balm, cattail, American horsetail, wild wasabi, curly-stemmed goldenrod, various seaweeds, pawpaw (a fruit that can be related to mango) and many others.
Biologist Fabien Girard, expert collector and book author Plant secretsis one of the most inspiring people of the Tanière kitchen team3.
“We still find flavors that surprise us,” says Mr. Nicol, beaming. In our forests, for example, there are many things that have strange smells, such as fragrant chamomile with the taste of pineapple. [son nom anglais, pineappleweed, vend la mèche !] And oxalis, with which you can make a substitute for lemon juice, then turn it into sherbet. »
The cocktails prepared by experienced bar chef Simone Faucher are as refined as the dishes.
As mixologists often like to say: it's liquid cuisine! There's even an accord without a single drop of alcohol, which benefits from the juicy acidity of pinot noir, the saltiness of seaweed and sea parsley and the pastry side of sweet and hay clover.
Remember that before you start3There was La Tanière, opened in 1977, near Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. The iconic restaurant was founded in 1977 by Laurier Therrien and Chantal Miquelet, then acquired by the owner's niece, Karine Therrien, and chef Frédéric Laplante in 2002. The tandem remains co-owners of the group that also includes restaurants Légende and L'Orygine, also located in the port the old.
François-Emmanuel Nicole arrives at the helm of Tanier's kitchen3, after a stint at Légende, made the experience even more complicated. A young chef's dream: a vision of the day when Quebec cuisine rhymes with poutine.
We like to say that despite the lack of knowledge of its culinary heritage, Quebec still has a good gastronomic reputation abroad.
The person who received the Relais & Châteaux scholarship at the end of his studies at the Institute of Tourism and Hotels of Québec (ITHQ) was able to obtain an internship in Arzac, Spain and in Mirazur near Nice, France. “I remember the fresh, super local ingredients. The squid, they still had the anchovies inside!”
François-Emmanuel Nicole was born in Gaspésie to Brittany parents whose first job was in Quebec at a shrimp factory in Matan, and he remembers the summers he spent in Brittany with his grandmother. At some point, a man who started working in restaurants at age 15 might have been tempted to work as a sailor. But he chose instead to travel the province on his plate and share its masterpieces beyond our borders.
cache3 Open on December 1st and 31stany January. The restaurant returns to its regular schedule on Thursday, January 4th. The experience costs $235 per person ($275 at the Chef's Table), before cash, tax and service.
“Amateur entrepreneur. Professional internet expert. Zombie maven. Incurable pop culture scholar.”