Lauriers de la gastronomie are back in full force and in great shape for a 2022 edition where the best talents of Quebec’s culinary and food scene will be celebrated. The 95 finalists in 16 categories were announced Monday at an event hosted by Christian Bégin at the Time Out Market Montreal.
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“I’m going to ask you something that is virtually impossible for you, people of restaurants and gastronomy,” says Christian Bégin, to open the press conference. This impossible thing: silence! Especially in a room full of cooks, sommelier, agricultural producers of all kinds who gather for the first time in such a large number in more than two years. Recall that in 2021, Laurels developed virtually, after being completely canceled in 2020.
La Capitale stands out
In the famous Restaurant of the Year category, the capital heats up the metropolis, with four choices for Quebec City (Arvi, Battuto, Le Clan, Restaurant La Légende) versus five for Montreal (Beba, Candide, Mastard, Monarque, Mui Mui). The Les Faux-Bergers restaurant, in Baie-Saint-Paul, operates as the sole regional representative.
The work of 10 chefs has been identified in the prestigious category “chef.fe.s of the year”. There are several chefs from Montreal: Jérémie Bastien (Monarque), Luciano D’Orazio (Luciano Trattoria), Simon Mathys (Mastard), Junichi Ikematsu (June), Sean Murray Smith (Floating Island) and John Winter Russell (Candide). Kim Côté (Côté Est in Kamouraska), Fisun Ercan (Bika Farm & Kitchen in Saint-Blaise-sur-Richelieu), François-Emmanuel Nicol (Restaurant La Tanière in Quebec City) and Stéphane Modat (Le Clan in Quebec City) complete the list. .
Opened in the fall of 2021 in Old Quebec, Le Clan is well represented this year, with its sommelier Pier-Alexis Soulière also named in the “sommelier.e de l’année” category, alongside Lindsay Brennan (Alma ), Vanya Filipovic (Vin Mon Lapin), Joris Gutierrez Garcia (Hunting and Fishing Club) and Guillaume Plante (Maison Boulud).
The art of cocktail shines far beyond the island of Montreal, of which Gilbert Lemieux (H3) is the sole representative in the “mixologist or bartender of the year” category. Quebec shines with three quotes: Simon Faucher (Restaurant La Tanière), Samuel Tremblay (Chez Rioux & Pettigrew) and Julien Vézina (Hono Izayaka). Claudia Doyon, of Distillerie de la Chaufferie, Granby, completes the selection.
A top gourmet restaurant in Quebec, La Tanière also stands out for the best service award with the presence of Roxan Bourdelais. Élyse Garand (Noren), Pierre Jullien (Graziella), Perle Morency (Côté Est) and William Saulnier (Beau Temps) complete this category.
The category “revelation.s of the year” provides an overview of people who have left their mark on the world of Quebec gastronomy with new projects and initiatives. For the 2022 edition, Louie Deliglianis and Renée Deschesnes (La Franquette), Matthew Shefler and Vincent Lévesque Lepage (Knuckles Cantine & Vins), Harrison Swewchuk and Darcy Gervais-Wood (Salle Climatisée), all in Montreal, as Dominic Labelle for Parcelles village table in Austin and Emmy Plante with Mexican bar Maria Maria in Chicoutimi.
Honorable artisans and producers
Lauriers also highlight the work of bakers, pastry chefs, brewers, growers, producers and artisans from all over Quebec.
Victor Maupoux (Place Carmin), Gabrielle Rivard-Hiller (La Cabane sur le roc), Gaël Vidricaire (pastry Gaël Vidricaire), Lisa Yu (Monarque) and Chloé Migneault-Levacalier (Lecavalier Petrone) are the finalists in “chef.fe”. confectionery category of the year ”.
Lecavalier Petrone, an excellent Montreal chocolate maker, is also nominated in the “Artisans of the Year” category along with veteran Anicet Desrochers (Miels D’Anicet), Chloé Gervais-Fredette (Les Chocolats de Chloé), by Pascal Hudon . (Pascal butcher) and Carl Pelletier (Couleur Chocolat).
For the “Bakers of the Year” category, Fabien Demandolx (Racines boulangerie fermière, L’Isle-Verte) and Charles Létang (Du pain… C’est tout !, Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies) are competing with Montrealists Thea Bryson (Miette Boulangerie), Jeffrey Finkelstein (Hof Kelsten) as well as regular Seth Gabrielse and Julien Roy (Automne Boulangerie), for whom this is the third selection in this category.
For the category that highlights the work of brewers, winemakers or beverage producers, there are companies from all over Quebec: Domaine du Nival (Saint-Louis), Menaud (Clermont), Lieux Communs (Oka), Vignoble de la Bauge (Brigham) and Cidrerie Chemin des Septs (Saint-Jean-Baptiste).
The work of Christian Lefebvre and Carole Marcoux (Le Porc de Beaurivage), David Robert (La Jardinière), Alexandre Faille (Chez Muffy), Mathieu Roy and Catherine Baltazar (La Récolte de la Rouge) as well as Louis-Charles and John- William Faille (La Ferme aux Mille Cailloux) is recognized in the category of “producer of the year”.
The Gastronomy Tourism Award highlights companies promoting their region. This year, Bleuetière Marland (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce), Fromagerie Le Détour (Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac), Gourmet Sauvage (Mont-Blanc), Hydromel Charlevoix (Baie-Saint-Paul) and the vineyard Le Ruisseau, in Dunham.
Chasse-Marée, La Transformerie, Les Filles Fattoush, Manger Notre Saint-Laurent and Sel Saint Laurent are the finalists in the Business or Initiative category, while Cuisine, Cinema and Confidence, Kamouraska Forest Mushroom Festival, First Friday, Montreal en lumière and MYCO: Forest gastronomy rendezvous have been nominated for the event of the year.
Host of the Lauriers de la gastronomie québécoise since its first edition in 2018, Christian Bégin has once again been nominated for the Culinary Culture Impact Award, along with chefs Normand Laprise and Stéphane Modat, from the magazine Caribou and the Mordu platform.
From Brigade to gala
It is the Brigada des Lauriers, made up of more than 5,000 industry professionals, who vote to determine the finalists and winners who are awarded each year. To this vote, which counts 50% of the final result, is added that of the jury. This year, it is headed by chef Marc-André Jetté and brings together Anita Feng, Alexandre Taillefer, Lesley Chesterman, Paul Toussaint, Marie-Fleur St-Pierre and Colombe St-Pierre. Note that jury members withdraw their institutions from the competition.
The only category that escapes this rule is that of the Public Prize. This year too, the public can vote for his favorite personality between Bob le Chef, Soeur Angèle, Stefano Faita, Josée di Stasio, Normand Laprise, Marilou, Martin Picard, Colombe St-Pierre, Daniel Vézina and Ricardo, the undisputed king hers. category, which has won this award in the last three editions.
The winners will be announced during the gala, which resumes face-to-face for the first time in two years and will be held June 20 at the Montreal Science Center. “We keep it as affordable as possible, with $ 95 tickets. It includes a meal, drinks and a show. It seems worth it! says Christine Plante, founder of Lauriers.
More than a rewarding evening, the event is also presented as a great gastronomy celebration. Guests will be able to enjoy a real feast, the collective work of former contest winners including Stéphane Modat, Anita Feng, Marc-André Jetté, Antonin Mousseau-Rivard and Benjamin Oddo. Wine and cocktail lovers will not be left out with a menu signed together by Véronique Dalle (Foxy), Sophie Allaire (La Belle Histoire) and Kate Boushel (Atwater Cocktail Club). Tickets are on sale today.