Nearly 20 years after opening Toqué!, his internationally acclaimed Montréal restaurant, chef Normand Laprise has received many of the world’s most prestigious honours, including Maclean’s magazine Chef of the Year for 2012. But he’s not resting on his laurels: Chef Laprise is always jetting off in search of new ideas and travelling is at the heart of his creative process: “Sharing with Chefs around the world is a great source of inspiration for me“, confides the globetrotting culinary star, who has seen his opportunities to travel multiply since he became a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.
When comes time to pack, Normand Laprise admits he doesn’t go light…”I am always afraid I will forget something, and I always do…“, he laughs. In his suitcase you’ll always find:
Plenty of clothes, running shoes, golf shoes, and at least 3 pairs of John Fluevog shoes. “I just love his shoes, that’s all I wear, and on top, he’s Canadian!
Lounge/electronica music for his daily run. “I have a few hours’ worth of Carlos Vasquez.
Magazines. “I always pack four and never read any of them.”
Quebec products. “I once hauled 20 kilos of red-deer venison to France! I consider it very important to tell the world about our products.”
A chef’s jacket, apron, and knives. “I never travel without them. I use mainly Japanese knives.”
Laprise is a perfectionist. His fabulous cookbook, Toqué!: Creators of a new Quebec Gastronomy (Éditions Du Passage), was three years in the making and is loaded with his wealth of experience, including the fruits of his collaborations with local producers and artisans. No wonder it got nominated at the James Beard Award in the category Cooking from a Professional Point of View. « This huge accolade from the James Beard Foundation is a tribute to our gastronomy. I thank my team of professionals and publisher who participated in the creation of this little book of 500 pages! “said the Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux Normand Laprise.
This makes us all so proud: Congratulations!!!
The Award Ceremony will be held at NYC’s Gotham Hall, on May 3rd.
Check out the video of the Making of TOQUÉ! Book