Normand Laprise – Montreal’s Best Chef 2

Here’s more about Normand Laprise, whom many think is Canada’s Best Chef, but he certainly holds the title for Quebec and Montreal and he developed Québécois nouvelle cuisine.

His Vieux-Montréal flagship restaurant is Toque! and it is one of the few that prestigious Relais & Châteaux recommends. You will need to reserve even 2 months ahead, sometimes more and dinner for 2 will be at least $250.

Please read my article Toque! Montreal – Best Restaurant and Part 1 of this series: Chef Normand Laprise

Master Chef and owner, Norman Laprise, is concerned about all facets of the food he brings in to create your meal. He is one of the few highly regarded by the esteemed Relais & Châteaux and Normand is in the company of culinary royalty like Patrick O’Connell, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Normand says is increasingly important for us to research where ingredients come from. He cares about sustainability, traceability and methods used by the growers or the suppliers. One particularly sensitive issue is the choice of the fish he serves. Many of the world’s oceans are being severely over-fished, sometimes to a point where certain species of fish are endangered.

While he doesn’t have an official blacklist. He and his team put a special emphasis on purchasing and serving mostly local species and working with well-managed fisheries (one that also use sustainable practices like line-caught or hand-gathered fishing), rather than those using bottom trawling. Trawlers damage the environment severely when dragging a fishing net along the sea bottom. Too many unwanted species are caught and are not even thrown back, if they survived the experience, when hauled aboard.

That’s why it is possible to find tuna on Toqué’s menu only a few times a year; it comes from Nova Scotia where it has been line-caught by a fisherman Normand knows.

So, I encourage you, when you buy fish in a shop or eat in a restaurant, to ask where it comes from first – whether it is from a sustainable source, whether it is an endangered or over-exploited species. Overfishing is certainly preventable and fixable. I hope that, collectively, we will make critical long-term changes for the health of our oceans.

The same is true of land animals and their husbandry and also the farmer’s treatment of their land, for animals and food plants. Normand grew up on a farm, so he knows that excellence can be attained with concern and knowledge, without need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. He offers only the best food — seasonal, usually organic and always grown with care and respect.

This first recipe uses line-fished mackerel from Îles de la Madeleine. In case your budget does not allow you to visit Laprise’s expensive restaurant, try one or more of the recipes listed, as a chance to enjoy his expertise. Follow the guidelines carefully. You’ll find even a few more online if you search.

Normand Laprise’s Mackerel

Normand Laprise – Homemade Potato Chips and Smoked Herring Dip

Chef Normand Laprise – Shrimp Salad with Savoy Cabbage

Normand Laprise recipe – Cauliflower Soup & Pan-seared Mushrooms

Toque!
900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, near rue St-Antoine
phone: 514-499-2084
open for lunch, now, too: 11:30am – 2:00 pm Tuesday to Friday
An affordable table d’hôte menu served in 60 minutes sharp!

His new French brewery style restaurant, Brasserie T! Is now open in the Quartier des spectacles, near the Montreal Contemporary Art Museum.

Brasserie T!
1425, Jeanne-Mance
Montreal, Quebec

At least peruse the recipes to see whether you feel Normand’s palate will be compatible with your palate’s sense of flavor and cuisine.

Enjoy!

Montreal Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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