VIDEO: Rendez-Vous Gourmet Celebrates Quebec Producers and Products

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TORONTO — More than 50 Quebec-based producers gathered at the Arcadian Studio and Loft in Toronto yesterday for the annual Rendez-Vous Gourmet event.

Sophie Mendes, Marketing specialist with Restaurants Canada, said more than $60 billion of food-product trade is done between Ontario and Quebec and that number is expected to grow in the near future.

“It’s a great opportunity for the industry to find out what’s happening in the artisan world in Quebec and where the next products and flavours are coming from,” said Mendes. “There’s already 60 per cent of business done between Ontario and Quebec and it’s going to keep growing as Canadians continue to eat healthy and eat local.”

The event also featured the Mitts Are Off Challenge — a head-to-head chef duel. Chef Jonathan Lapierre-Rehayem and chef Charlotte Langley each prepared a unique dish for a panel of four judges.

In the closely contested contest, Langley edged Lapierre-Rehayem with her dish “Falling Leaves,” which featured smoked wild salmon, potatoes, yellow carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, yogurt and brown butter. Lapierre-Rehayem made a lamb tartare and lamb quartet with herb salad and Camelina cracker.

“Ontario is hungry for local and artisan products and this is where it comes from,” said Mendes. “It’s interesting to see the uniqueness of the products that come from Quebec and people are ready for the flavours and textures they weren’t ready for before.”

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