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When you experience Relais & Châteaux, you experience a whole array of sensations. Each of our properties offers the opportunity to enjoy an unparalleled range of sensory experiences, where the beauty of a particular place, the warmth of the hospitality and the quality of the cuisine are in perfect harmony. Scents and tastes, landscapes and colours make every stay a rare and intense experience.
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Discover the excellent cuisine served in our properties: traditional or contemporary, it never fails to be wonderfully creative. This creativity is recognised throughout the world, as our Grands Chefs are considered to be the pinnacle of fine dining.

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Restaurant Toqué !.

Restaurant of a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux in town. Canada,Montréal

Normand Laprise

Chef
Restaurant Toqué ! Montréal H2Z 2B2

I have always taken my lead from my ingredients. In life as in cooking. When I grew up on the family farm in Kamouraska, on the south bank of the St Lawrence River, I was surrounded by fresh produce, crates of it. My father was a greengrocer. Later, when I graduated from Charlesbourg Hotel School, he took me by the hand again and inspired me further. Freshness has always been all important to me. I like to base my cuisine on absolutely seasonal, top-quality ingredients and treat them with utmost respect. This was something that Jacques Le Pluart at the Marie-Clarisse, where I trained, demonstrated every working day.

Since 1993 and the opening of Toqué! in Montréal, the ingredients themselves give that added extra. This is gourmet cuisine where the role of creativeness and modern techniques is subordinate to outstanding raw materials, locally sourced where possible, and this can be seen in our tasting menu which changes on a daily basis. This philosophy has born its fruits. In 2006, Relais & Châteaux named me Grand Chef. This again was the result of ingredients and also, on this occasion, our efforts.


What was your most moving culinary experience?
Getting drunk in a vineyard in Burgundy. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship with wine…

What was the most amusing kitchen incident you ever witnessed?
Our mushroom gatherer had warned us that we should not eat shaggy ink caps with alcohol because it causes spots on the face within fifteen minutes. I did not believe him, so I tried it out with Martin Picard, my second at that time and I can confirm that he was right! I’m still smiling when I remember Martin who looked like a strawberry.

Your best piece of advice for amateur chefs
Take an interest in the origin of what is on your plate. Who produced it? How? And give preference to local products.
All of that will ensure a better taste for your dishes.
You should also have fun. Fine dining means above all sharing joie de vivre in good company around a nice table.


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