Rendez-Vous Gourmet Quebec QUÉBEC À TORONTO returned for its 8th consecutive year, showcasing over 50 of the province’s best terroir cuisine producers and alcohol providers. This year’s event was held at Toronto‘s Arcadian Studio and Loft.
One of the highlights was the close chef battle entitled “Mitts are Off” that was between Chef Jonathan Lapierre-Rehayem of the Institute de Tourisme et d’ Hotellerie du Quebec(ITHQ) and Chef Charlotte Langley (of Scout Canning and Restaurants Canada).
It was a tough competition between the two outstanding chefs. Chef Lapierre-Rehayem presented his Lamb Tartare and Lamb Quartet with herb salad and Carmelina cracker and Chef Langley‘s dish ” Fallen Leaves” was made with smoked wild salmon, potatoes, yellow carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurt, and brown butter.The four judges were Chef Eyal Liebman, Chef Warren Ford, Brian Shewell, and Marlene Benedicto. They ultimately declared Chef Langley as the winner.
After the competition, Chef Lapierre- Rehayem was busy preparing three different hors-d’oeuvres that were inspired by Nordic Cuisine and featured Quebec products.There was much to sample among the producers. Maple is a massive trend in much of the Quebec food products and drinks. Grizzly maple smoked salmon candy and salmon tartare are ready to eat (no cooking needed). Yogourt De Brebis (sheep’s milk) comes in maple and plain flavours. Some of the beverages that use maple syrup include White Keys Vodka which also uses maple sap water in its blend (along with 70% juniper), Le Caribou Des Bois (French wine and maple syrup) and La Baraque ( Canadian whiskey with maple syrup) and Bec’s Maple Soda.
Gluten-free is also another trend. Mi & Stu bakery products are all gluten-free as are Crickstart’s cricket based protein bars and crackers. Mi & Stu’s vegan apple crisp was quite yummy. Raw Vitality has gluten-free macaroons and super goji energy sticks.
Villa Ravioli offered their beet ravioli with ricotta cheese, and it was quite delicious. Masone prepared their authentic Italian pasta. Fontaine Sante‘s hummus and ice coco cream are great to use as spreads. Agneau nourri aux Algues lamb is tender and nicely marbled. Point G‘s macarons were almost too pretty to eat. Premiere Moison bakery had tasty breads.
Other beverages to try were L’if Gin ( a blend of gin and spices), Le Gin de Marie Victorin, Le Reduit de Leo, La Vodka De Irma, La Creme de Menthe Isabelle, and Sainte Marie Montreal Spiced Rum.
According to Restaurants Canada, over $60 billion in food product trade takes place between Quebec and Ontario, and there are expectations that very soon it will increase even higher.
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