This fall, the Outaouais’ top chefs and sommeliers gathered at Zibi for le Rendez-vous des saveurs.
Image: Head Chef Jean-Philip Cloutier pictured with the Grande Tablée on opening night
The acclaimed culinary event celebrated its 23rd year by bringing together the crème de la crème of local bistros, restaurants and bakeries including Le Cellier, Quai St Raymond, Olivia Bistro-Boutique, Maison ODDO, Piz’za-za, Bistro Coqlicorne, Les Fougères, Le Rustiek, Soif Bar à Vin, Les Vilains Garçons and La Femme à Marier & Cie.
This year’s edition kicked off with two evenings of La Grande Tablée, an 8-course gourmet dinner curated by chef Jean-Philippe Cloutier, where guests won their seat at the table by entering a contest at participating restaurants. This encouraged the public to frequent a number of local restaurants that had struggled during the pandemic.
More than 1500 people then attended the weekend’s food and wine tastings, which took place in blocks of 250 guests on the Saturday and Sunday, and highlighted 10 of the region’s best chefs and restaurants and more than 80 wines.
“I am very happy that le Rendez-vous des saveurs has returned, after a necessary break of two years. The restaurants have suffered greatly these last years”, stated Claude Hamelin, the event’s president at a press conference held at Zibi on October 20th.
To further support the industry, all profits from the event – more than $55,000 – were equally distributed between the participating chefs and restaurants, thanks to financial contributions from Tourisme Outaoauis and le Ministère du tourisme du Québec.
Having worked at some of the best restaurant in the world and named one of the top 10 young chefs in Canada, Jean-Philippe is a passionate supporter of the culinary talent from his home region. “When I go into a kitchen abroad, I always bring products from this region. At Noma, I brought a “can” of the best maple syrup we have. I make a point to showcase our region and get producers out of their own area.” – translated excerpt from LeDroit.
Jean-Philippe was well supported by Yannick Lasalle, Chef at Les Fougères and 2019 winner of the Canadian Culinary Championships, and Benjamin Oddo, Chef and owner of la Maison Oddo and awarded best pastry chef in Quebec in 2021. Both men received the “Personality of the year” prize from Le Rendez-vous des saveurs.
Jazz and gastronomy were a perfect match with the group Le Delphinus, under the artistic direction of André Massicotte. On Friday night, a select number if contest winners won an exclusive wine tasting with Mario Pelchat presented by Zibi and LeDroit.