Delight your tastebuds with a Quebec culinary tour that showcases locally produced, artisan-crafted food and beverages. While you're playing chef at Atelier & Saveurs in Quebec City, enjoying breakfast aboard the luxury Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix and sipping Omerto's handcrafted tomato wine, you'll discover just how flavorful this Canadian province really is.
Quebec dairy Laterie Charlevoix makes a variety of cheeses — Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray
Operating since 1871, floor-to-ceiling food emporium J.A. Moisan is North America’s oldest grocery store. Employees wearing dapper bowler hats speak English and rapid-fire French, while selling artisan microbrews, cheeses and deli meats. It’s also a great place to find fresh produce, gorgeous baked goods and much more. Walking away empty-handed is impossible.
Grocery store J.A. Moisan in Quebec City — Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray
Atelier & Saveurs
Lessons at Atelier & Saveurs - a cooking school full of French flare - may begin with a "Yummy Cosmo" demonstration before guests don aprons and choose utensils in the stainless steel-filled kitchen. Enticing aromas emerge before the class enjoys rich and beautiful dishes beneath a chandelier crafted from glassware and spoons – a delicious reward for hard work.
Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix
Breakfast on this luxury train begins with jam and fresh cream amid linens, silverware and china. Reflecting seasonal crops while spotlighting passionate local growers and producers, multi-course meals may include fresh-baked goods and herb-flecked eggs. During the two-hour trip, guests also enjoy rare views of the St. Lawrence River coastline.
Saint-Pierre, Ȋle d’Orléans
Cabane a sucre L’En-Tailleur
There’s nothing better than maple candy made from syrup poured across crushed ice and rolled onto a stick. Eight generations have collected and processed maple sap at this family-owned "sugar shack," where metal pails adorn trees and a massive cauldron stands ready. There’s a small museum inside a log building and a gift shop full of maple and other gourmet foods.
Ateliers & Saveurs — Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray
Cassis Monna & Filles
Using black currants from their own orchard, this family’s signature Crème de Cassis won a 1995 Gold Medal in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Three additional wine varietals are also sold amid a compact tasting room with wall-spanning shelves. The family offers cassis syrup and vinaigrette, too. A small outdoor pavilion provides gorgeous pastoral views.
The world’s first commercially produced aperitif tomato wine evolved from a 1938 recipe made by four generations of a Belgian family, and it was brought to Quebec by Pascal Miche. Organic heirloom tomatoes and the tweaked recipe have resulted in high alcohol content, pale orange color and sweet yet strong flavor. Stainless steel tanks and a tiny tasting room are part of the tour.
Omerto — Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray
Le Moulin De La Remy
This 1827 flour mill was recently restored to include a massive mill wheel. Intoxicating aromas waft from a white and blue building, where a shop sells freshly baked baguettes, nut and fruit breads and plain and flavored croissants or brioche. Home bakers can also purchase freshly milled flour.
Operated by four generations of the Labbé family, this dairy makes terrific cheddar and other cheeses. The company’s green initiatives include a sustainable development system and a project to save the Canadienne cow breed from extinction. Visitors may also view cheese production, meet craftsmen and discover antique tools of the traditional trade.
Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix — Photo courtesy of Lisa Waterman Gray
La Maison d’Affinage Maurice DuFour Inc. / Famille Migneron Charlevoix
At this cozy cheese house - with a clear view of the basement cheese room - a certified agronomist and meticulous aging result in rich and satisfying varieties. Several unusual cheeses include blue cheese made from ewe’s milk and Brie with a firm rind and a semi-runny texture – even when refrigerated.
La Ferme Basque de Charlevoix
Slow Food members, this couple from France’s Basque region have become enthusiastic Quebec producers of foie gras on their small farm – a staple in the region’s gourmet cuisine. Raising their own ducks assures that animals receive humane care and the company's foie gras, pâté and confit are of the highest quality.