and Toqué! passion
Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux – Toqué! restaurant
Co-owner of Brasserie T!
Normand Laprise was born in Kamouraska, near the St. Lawrence River. At an early age, he developed great respect for freshly harvested products from the farm on which he grew up. In 1981, after finishing school at the Charlesbourg Hotel School, he worked alongside great chefs such as Jacques Le Pluart that inspired him while confirming his passion for market-fresh cuisine. He later perfected his art by working with Jean-Pierre Billoux at the Hôtel de la Cloche near Dijon. Finally he returned to the Citrus in Montreal in 1989 and opened Toqué! in 1993 with Christine Lamarche, associate and friend.
For over two decades now, Normand Laprise has been considered as a leader and pioneer when it comes to Quebec’s gastronomy. He has given new meaning to market-fresh cuisine and product quality, thanks to a solid relationship with local producers. In acknowledgement of his work, in June 2009, he was appointed Knight, by the Ordre national du Québec – the highest honour bestowed by the Québec government – for his contribution to Quebec’s gastronomy. In 2012, Macleans named him Chef of the year and he and Christine Lamarche received a doctorat honoris causa from the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec.
Co-owner of Toqué! and Brasserie T!
Montreal-born Christine Lamarche developed an interest in cooking through her mother as she picked and cooked wild mushrooms. After graduating from the Cuisine program at Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec, she worked at Citrus where she met Normand Laprise, with whom she opened Toqué! in 1993. Over time, Christine Lamarche has focused her efforts on the management aspects of the business, a job at which she excels.
In recognition of the restaurant’s legacy to the culinary scene in Quebec, she received, along with her associate Normand Laprise, a doctorat honoris causa from Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec in 2012.