A delicious weekend at FoodCamp

Photo: Shirley Nadeau

FoodCamp in the Château Frontenac ballroom kept hundreds of local foodies well satisfied all weekend.

About a thousand people attended the third annual FoodCamp at the Château Frontenac last weekend. The event was so popular that the first 200 tickets pre-sold less than two minutes after they went on sale in February. 

"Foodies" soon scooped up the remaining 800 tickets for this grande-messe culinaire of famous chefs, including Baptiste Peupion (executive chef of the Fairmont Château Frontenac), Jean-Luc Boulay (chef and co-owner of Le Saint-Amour restaurant in Quebec City), and Martin Juneau (chef and co-owner of Pastaga restaurant in Montreal). 

The event was hosted by Jonathan Garnier, chef and co-founder of La Guilde Culinaire in Montreal, and host of the popular TV cooking shows Ça va chauffer! and Chef à la rescousse

 The recipe for FoodCamp is simple. The main ingredients are a dozen chefs and one mixologist (a person skilled at mixing cocktails and other drinks). In the course of the weekend, these experts gave workshops where they demonstrated ingenious techniques, tricks and recipes to foodies, who madly took notes and photos in hopes of later replicating the chefs' masterpieces. At the end of each presentation, the audience was treated to delicious samples of the chef's know-how. Mousse de foie gras de canard on toast anyone? Capuccino de fraise crémant?  

During pauses between workshops, gourmets cruised tables to sample various cheeses, breads, chocolate, hors d'oeuvres, wines, beer and gin. There were also various cooking appliances, cookbooks, herbs and spices for sale. 

Among other novelties, the Salon Ace Bakery offered samples of grilled cheese sandwiches made with various products of the Laiterie Charlevoix, matched with wines! 


AVRassell.JPG (photo Shirley Nadeau)

Allison Van Rassel, a former QCT journalist and well-known food blogger (foodiequebec.com/), was on hand to present her soon-to-be-launched A Foodie Guide to Québec City, a bilingual guide to the best restaurants in town. She referred to FoodCamp as "the foodie event in the province. It has gotten bigger and better. Chefs with a lot of credibility are taking time out of their calendar to be here. As chef Jean-Luc Boulet said, it's all about taking the knowledge [the professionals] have and putting it in the hands of the people who can make a difference, and that starts with consuming local, eating local, and putting Quebec [products] on your plate. That's the most important thing you need to learn from this event." 

The crème de la crème of chefs at FoodCamp included: François Chartier (Papilles et Molécules) accompanied by Stéphane Modat (Château Frontenac), Louis Pacquelin (Restaurant Panache), Alex Cruz et Cyril Gonzales (Société-Orignal), Isabelle Plante (Centre de congrès et d'expositions de Lévis), Olivier Perret, Mathieu Brisson (Le Clocher penché), Patrice Demers (Patrice Pâtissier), Louis Bouchard (Le Pied bleu), Jérôme Ferrer (Europea), and Antonio Park (Park Restaurant).

One happy first-time FoodCamper, Jean Robert, former dean of Champlain-St. Lawrence, said, "[FoodCamp] is a nice relaxed way to spend a weekend. These are very good chefs. It's really well organized. I'll come back next year for sure." Robert, whose son gave him tickets to the event, admitted to being the one who does most of the cooking at home but added, "Jennifer is the pastry chef." 

He and hundreds of other FoodCampers went home with very full stomachs and lots of ideas for future feasts. Many also took home yummy door prizes provided by the exhibitors and some of the restaurants.