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24 - À table !

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Priscilla Plamondon-Lalancette

Quebec’s new culinary landscape

Le Temps des médias n° 24, Printemps-Été 2015, p. 146-164.


French gastronomy reigned in La Belle Province for almost four centuries before being dethroned by a Quebec gastronomy. This culture change started with the “Quiet Revolution” and the Montreal Universal Exhibition of 1967. The construction of a new Quebec national identity then came through the affirmation of historical, cultural, linguistic and political differences of the only francophone stronghold in America, including its gastronomy. As Quebecers are neither French nor totally Canadian, they faced a double challenge of emancipation. First, they valued their French culinary heritage to distance themselves from Canadian cuisine which has clear British and American flavours. Then they had to free themselves from French hegemony to affirm their own culinary identity. In the early 1990s, this «declaration of independence» of the first generation of Quebec chefs-owners was echoed in the media. No more copy-paste of classic French dishes! The chefs wanted a cuisine in their image. This culinary renaissance made its way into the public and legitimized the emergence of a Quebec gastronomy, in two decades only. Media took part in the popularization of new culinary trends ; however, they remain areas for debate, even about a so seductive, in principle, topic for many people than the protection and illustration of the Quebec gastronomy.

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