My review will follow the publisher’s blurb. Le Festin de Mathilde is written in french however my review will be in English.
Le Festin de Mathilde est né d’une grande amitié, de voyages, d’un sentiment très fort tout droit sorti de l’excellent film Le Festin de Babette : le pouvoir de rendre heureux, de transformer un repas en histoire d’amour.
C’est à Tadoussac que cela se passe, là où Mireille Perron et le chef Jean-Sébastien Sicard ont choisi de poser leurs sacs à dos, d’établir leur rêve, le restaurant Chez Mathilde. Tadoussac repose dans un décor grandiose. C’est là que la rencontre se poursuit. Là, sur la plage à marée basse, au bord du lac de l’Anse-à-l’eau ou sur la route des Dunes.
Le Festin de Mathilde, c’est un livre pour inviter au voyage, pour se rassasier de grand air et rapprocher entre elles les étoiles, pour illustrer la transcendance, pour faire durer le plaisir et l’amitié. – La Peuplade
We all have our favorite places in the world. It could be a reading nook or a park bench, for me it a place about 2 hours from where I live; Tadoussac. I’ve been returning every year for about five years now. Whenever I need to fill my lungs with fresh air or get away for a while; Tadoussac is where I go.
Last month I travelled to Tadoussac for a weekend vacation. I needed some fresh air but also, I wanted to eat at my favorite restaurant; Chez Mathilde. I wasn’t too sure it would be open for the season, but it was a risk I was willing to take. It wasn’t open yet, they were preparing for their opening in a week’s time. I wasn’t the least bit sad and you’ll learn why a little later in my post.
A few years ago I met the chef from Chez Mathilde while he was doing a cooking demonstration for the “Saveurs Festival”. I was completely taken by his appetite for local food. He spoke of tastes and smells and used his hands to express everything with even more passion! Jean-Sebastien Sicard had this energy about him that was infectious. The way he loved food, the way he loved to talk about it. Not to mention how approachable and genuine he was.
One year I finally got the nerve to talk with him and his amazing wife after one of the cooking demonstrations. We got to talking about wild mushrooms (a passion of his) and vacuum cooking (a recent purchase of mine). Later that year, I met up with them in Quebec City where they were at a culinary/craft event selling some of their amazing charcuterie. I also picked up a few other goodies they had, just in time for Christmas.
I was thrilled to learn that a book was coming out to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Chez Mathilde. As fate sometimes works in mysterious ways, instead of having the meal I’d hoped for last month, I was ecstatic to find myself with a signed copy of Jean-Sebastien’s book; Le Festin de Mathilde.
The book is not only about gastronomy but a celebration of what Chez Mathilde is and the people and place behind it. The photography is amazing (and believe me, I know amazing photography). It is full of passion and energy, it is a tribute to everyone involved in making Chez Mathilde what it has become. It tells a story, not only in words but in imagery. Oh, there are recipes in there as well. I for one will be making Le Petit Pot de Chocolat very, very soon.
So, tucked away in a little place called Tadoussac, you will find the most passionate, talented and authentic of chefs, Jean-Sebastien Sicard and his amazing team. Eat at his table, enjoy the ambiance Chez Mathilde has to offer. My piece of advice? — reserve your table in advance and you won’t be disappointed. Yes, it is a little out of the way but well worth the detour. And if you don’t have room for desert, a copy of Le Festin de Mathilde will also hit the spot.
So, last month I wasn’t the least bit frustrated of not being able to eat at Chez Mathilde. I was leaving with a signed copy of Le Festin de Mathilde (the first, out of the box signed copy.. I wanted to cry !!) This book will always have a place of privilege on my shelves.
This is a great video (in French) of Jean-Sebastien Sicard talking about Chez Mathilde — HERE
Le Festin de Mathilde is available in French only.
Le Festin de Mathilde published by La Peuplade
Simon Philippe Turcot (Text)
Sophie Gagnon-Bergeron (Photography)
200 pages, 978-2-924519-51-6