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Here's What the French are Writing About Montreal Restaurants Now

Highlights from a flattering new article in Le Monde.

The kitchen at Toqué!
The kitchen at Toqué!

In "Québec : vive la cuisine libre !", M, a lifestyle magazine published by Le Monde, boldly asserts that la cuisine québécoise is about a lot more than poutine.

Some translated excerpts:

With signs on every street corner (about 5500 restaurants in the city, and more than 70 openings in 2014), the French-speaking city rivals New York in terms of "culinary density" (the number of restaurants per capita).

La Presse critic Marie-Claude Lortie tells M that Montreal's current culinary zeitgeist dates to the 1990s.

The movement began here about twenty years ago. First with the great chef Normand Laprise (Toqué!) and then with Martin Picard (Au Pied de Cochon), who reinvented and enhanced market cuisine and the products of Quebec's regions.

Along the way the likes of Hôtel Herman, Manitoba, Maïs, Le Vin Papillon, Maison Publique and Majestique are cited as exemplars of a new kind of Montreal and Quebec gastronomy. Omnivore founder Luc Dubanchet, who has taken his culinary roadshow to Montreal three times, says the scene has grown by leaps and bounds to the point where there is "plus rien à envier à Londres, New York ou Paris."

Über-Quebec foodstuff purveyors Alex Cruz and Cyril Gonzales of Société-Orignal get some ink too. The former tells the magazine:

Too long we have looked elsewhere. It's time to focus on the riches we have here!

The article ends with quotes from historian and writer Michel Lambert and Vincent Fortier, the co-founder of a new magazine, Caribou, dedicated to Quebec cuisine. Fortier:

We are convinced that a "national" culinary identity is emerging and will soon arrive at maturity.


900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, Ville-Marie, QC H2Z 2B2 (514) 499-2084 Visit Website

Au Pied de Cochon

536 Avenue Duluth Est, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2L 1A9 (514) 281-1114 Visit Website