It took chef Normand Laprise close to 20 years to decide to write a cookbook and 3 years to put the finishing touches on the Toqué! book, which is coming out in English on November 28th. The most famous of Quebec chefs didn’t take the easy way out by writing a straightforward cookbook. The Toqué! Creators of a new Quebec gastronomy book is first and foremost, an ode to all the artisans who have contributed on a daily basis in making Toqué! the best restaurant in Quebec for the past 20 years.
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It seems to be the thing, these days, to see celebrities flying in, making a splash, and flying out. Jean Paul Gaultier, überchef Gordon Ramsay – who’s opening a restaurant in town in February! – and also…. Charlie Trotter, who’s a veritable culinary legend in Chicago, where his restaurant Charlie Trotter’s has been among the highest-rated for as long as there have been reputable restaurant guides. And yes, we spoke to him, too.
Montreal may not be New York, with dozens of media-crazed chefs and restaurateurs, but it has a vibrant yet easy-to-grasp restaurant scene, with a handful of true restaurant-world stars. Locals know them on a one-name basis: Picard. McMillan. Chuck. Ferreira. Laprise. These are some of the biggies. But more on this later…
Toqué is arguably Montreal’s most revered restaurant. It is a white tablecloth institution that has long been known for its fabulous service, contemporary décor, and extraordinary tasting menus. I’ve celebrated some special occasions here, including a very romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. (Note to any gentlemen readers: My date got bonus points for having superb taste in venues.)