Gourmands gather at FoodCamp 2017

Photo: Shirley Nadeau

These lovely ladies were offering samples of their delicious Camelina oil and honey.

Six hundred foodies congregated in the main ballroom of the Château Frontenac last Saturday to savour the recipes and techniques of 14 of Quebec’s most talented chefs. Freshly-made coffee, made to order on Jura espresso machines, and pastries and cheese awaited the early birds. Mixologist Monsieur Cocktail offered refreshing fruit drinks, tonics and elixirs.
Another six hundred people showed up on Day Two of the sixth annual FoodCamp. Many of them had been there on Saturday, and couldn’t resist coming back on Sunday for more of this grande messe culinaire, to learn, taste and share food.  
One of Quebec City’s best-kept secrets is fast becoming known as the food fair of the year where top chefs give cooking demonstrations and advice on how to make a particular dish, sauce or dessert a success. Everyone in the audience received a sample of what each chef prepared on stage, made ahead of time in the kitchens of the Château Frontenac. During each demonstration, volunteers carrying large trays laden with bite-sized or spoon-sized samples of each recipe, delivered them to salivating FoodCampers. 
The first presentation on Saturday was by chef Maxime Girard-Tremblay – alias Max L’Affamé – who has his own show on Zeste TV. He made a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich with artisanal bread from Ace Bakery, filled with blue cheese and figs. Yummy! One luck member of the audience received the large sandwich all for himself. 
During breaks between presentations, foodies were free to check out various food products on display in other rooms adjacent to the main ballroom. Just some of the goodies waiting to be sampled were: duck cassoulet, foie gras and rillettes from Les Canardises, and meatball stew by Là Là restaurant and catering business. Many other tables offered a variety of cheeses, bread, olive and camelina oil, honey, maple and birch syrup, herbs and spices from Madagascar, beer, wine and aperitifs. There was even seal meat from SeaDNA and gourmet popcorn and popsicles from Pops Art.
At the Ace Bakery kiosk, foodies could make their own grilled cheese sandwiches from a selection of bread and cheeses. All this was included in the price of admission. Naturally, the exhibitors were also encouraging visitors to purchase their products or come to their restaurants.  
Stéphan Modat, head chef of Le Champlain and Bistro Le Sam at the Château Frontenac, prepared a tartar made of fresh caribou meat he had brought back from a recent trip to Newfoundland, the only place in Canada where the hunting of caribou and the sale of the meat is legal. Finely chopped and mixed with mushrooms, chives, shallots and a mayonnaise that contained fish eggs, participants eagerly awaited their sample of this recipe!  
Another dozen chefs gave cooking demonstrations, with samples for all, over the two days of FoodCamp. 
Don’t miss FoodCamp 2018 which will be held at the same location on March 24 and 25. You can sign up now at http://www.foodcampquebec.com/

Chef Stéphane Modat of Le Champlain restaurant demonstrated his culinary skills at the FoodCamp 2017 held at the Château Frontenac. Foodies in the back of the hotel’s large ballroom could observe him at work on the large overhead screen. 
 (Photo by Shirley Nadeau)