A TASTE OF CHARLEVOIX
BY GEORGE FISCHER AND PASCAL ARSENEAU
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
A Taste of Charlevoix
(Nimbus Publishing) ISBN 978-1551097244
This combined cookbook and travel photo book makes you want to visit Charlevoix, Quebec, to enjoy its regional cuisine. A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, Charlevoix PC is located one hour east of Quebec City, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River.
In A Taste of Charlevoix, a dozen chefs from Charlevoix hotels and restaurants share more than 30 recipes made with Quebec artisanal cheese, organic produce, meats, foie gras, cider and other food specialties.
Visitors can find auberges, restaurants, fromageries, boulangeries and chocolateries on La Route des Saveurs de Charlevoix, also called the Charlevoix Flavour Trail.
Other than a preface about Charlevoix cuisine, activities and scenery, by Elizabeth Baird, executive food editor of Canadian Living magazine, there is no text. Dazzling photos depict the Charlevoix region and mouthwatering dishes.
Recipes from Charlevoix restaurants include simple dishes that home cooks can make for everyday meals, e.g., organic chicken with apples and beer, by Chef Patrick Fregni at Restaurant Au 51. Other Charlevoix recipes, such as beef tournedos Rossini style with ragout of wild mushrooms, are more complex and ideal for dinner parties and more experienced cooks.
Photos of foods and drinks
George Fischer and Pascal Arseneau illustrate A Taste of Charlevoix with beautiful images of landscapes, buildings, flowers and foods. Full-page photos of the finished dishes are so luscious that you will want to cook them immediately, or better yet, visit the Charlevoix hotels and restaurants that serve them.
Captions describe Charlevoix villages like Baie-Saint-Paul and Charlevoix producers such as Cidrerie et Vergers Pedneault. Visitors to the Isle-aux-Coudres cidrerie can sample Le Pedneault, an apple and pear mistelle, as well as ice cider and prune-flavored cider.
Every recipe in the 100-page cookbook lists ingredients in both metric and Imperial measures, making it easy for cooks to use either system, without conversions.
Several recipes include a chef's advice tip. In her tomato and aged cheddar phyllo crisps recipe, Chef Diane Dufour, at Auberge Beausejour, describes an alternative way to make tomato compote if you don't have a juicer.
Many Charlevoix recipes include serving suggestions. For example, Chef Nadia Burgdorfer, at Le Marion Grill in Auberge La Grande Maison, recommends a garnish for her fleurmier (soft cheese with bloomy rind) with pesto recipe. She suggests topping it with roasted pecans and serving it with sliced hazelnut bread.
Creme brulee of foie gras from the Ferme Basque by Chef Jean-Michel Breton at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. Tartiflette of smoked salmon and young leeks by Chef Steve Tremblay at Auberge des Falaises. Salad of golden beets and Deo Gratias (sheep milk cheese) by Chef Dominique Truchon at Auberge des Peupliers. Veloute of Jerusalem artichokes with shredded duck and maple crunch by Chef Jean-Francois Belair at La Pinsonniere Relais and Chateaux. Salted butter caramel ice cream by Chef Mario Chabot at Auberge des 3 Canards.
- Appetizers and Side Dish
- Main Courses
Toronto photographer, George Fischer, has published more than 30 books. He and photographer, Pascal Arseneau, co-authored the culinary book, Le Gout des Iles.