In Montreal, it is associated with Spanish cuisine. But in Kamouraska, where she now lives, it is the Asian cuisine that excites Marie-Fleur St-Pierre. That, and then the producers and artisans behind the little local treasures, such as the ginger from Jardin des Essaimés in Saint-Alexandre and the smoked sturgeon from Poissonnerie Lauzon in Kamouraska.
Marriage may be surprising, but for the chef it is natural. His love for Asian food goes way back. “I really love it! I have nostalgia for my childhood Chinese buffet where I went with my grandmother in Repentigny. We ate wonton soups, crispy noodles… She also cooked little legs in the sweet sauce. I also love to go for a walk in Chinatown”, says the one who learned the basics of this cuisine at the start of her career while assisting Chef Jean Chen at the Culinary Academy.
The stove is not something of a purist. What she likes is working with flavor and texture, marrying traditions and culinary influences according to her wishes to offer comforting dishes.
Change of nature
It was somewhat on a whim that Marie-Fleur St-Pierre decided to move her life – and that of her family – to the Kamouraska region. It all started after receiving a message from Christian Bégin, whom she knew from participating in her show Curious to beginand that she sometimes visited at Saint-Germain-de-Kamouraska, where he had lived for a few years.
The host and actor toyed with the idea of buying an inn and was looking for a chef to run it. “I told him I was game. It’s like I wanted to provoke something, even though I wasn’t sure if I could,” she recalls.
The inn project ultimately fell through, but the opportunity to take over Le Jardin du Bedeau, a grocery store in the village of Kamouraska, presented itself. And it all happened quickly.
One of the reasons why the chef pushed for a change of air was the search for a quality of life more rooted in a certain slowness and the desire to make up for the lost time with her children, which she saw little as she usually worked in the evenings. “I wanted to change my routine, to do a reset. »
Since the duo took over the business in the spring of 2021, the shelves of the grocery store have been filled more than ever with local and regional products: from Saint-Laurent salt to organic ginger syrup from the Coop du Cap in Capau-Renard, in Gaspésie, through the Fou du Cochon sausages, made in La Pocatière. You can find coveted Quebec wines, ciders and beers there: Auval, Chemin des Sept, Lieux Communs, Domaine des Feux Follets, a young winery located in Berthier-sur-Mer. In addition to cooked meals and homemade products made by the chef every week.
Although Marie-Fleur already knew well what the region offers to the taste buds, her move allowed her to discover all the richness of the terroir.
Since living here, I have truly had a veggie epiphany. Eat a carrot and wow, it’s good! The winter carrots from Ferme Pruchière, in Saint-Pacôme, are really good. They also make sea buckthorn. I discovered many gardeners, such as Jardin des Essaimés where I stock up on local ginger, Potager Saint-Denis or Jardins Parallèles.
the village canteen
Dreaming of a region and the great outdoors and living there are two things; those who have chosen to move from the city to the country know something about it. If Marie-Fleur, her husband Alexandre and their two children have adapted well to their new life, there have been more difficult times, she admits. While the village of Kamouraska is very lively in the summer, the area is (very) quiet in the cold season. “My first winter was good. It’s not March anymore where it just kept ending… I was bored so that’s where we decided to go to the canteen! ” says the chef and bursts into laughter.
This canteen is the Asian canteen in the Jardin du Bedeau, a small grocery store located in the heart of the village of Saint-Pascal-de-Kamouraska, where the family has established its quarters. The place offers take-out Asian specialties prepared by the chef, including dumplings and Asian groceries.
Last year, for his very first Christmas in the region, Chef Jardin du Bedeau launched the Christmas buffet, which is back this year. She offers a range of tempting dishes with a high degree of comfort, some inspired by traditional Quebec cuisine, others by classic Asian cuisine, in a festive mix. Some examples: raclette toast with onion, fried wonton with duck, pea soup with smoked sturgeon, bone stew or the vintage sandwich bread.
You can order the Christmas buffet menu until 12 December by phone, messenger or email. There will be a delivery in Quebec on December 17th, then in Montreal on December 18th.