One of the neatest restaurants in Quebec, Les Jardins Sauvages, is owned and operated by Chef Nancy Hinton and forager/farmer François Brouillard. Aside from being a country eatery, they create and sell a line of products derived from wild plants and mushrooms at a farmer’s market stall at Marché Jean Talon in Montreal.
One of the 2010 winners of the University of Guelph Innovation Award, Chef Nancy Hinton hails from Newfoundland and trained under the tutelage of Quebec’s star Chef Anne Desjardins. She writes: I first set foot into his ‘table champêtre’ in ’93 as a guest chef, when it was a casual meeting place for friends, foodies and chefs, a laboratory of sorts. For the following years, I would take my autumn vacation time to stage our wild mushroom event, which has since become a wild success. At the end of 2005, I took the reins of his kitchen, readily realizing that there was no better place to cook. Low key, but real, with quality at my fingertips. This was slow food, terroir, locavore and ecolo - before and beyond all the buzz words. I was embracing the philosophy, while for François, it was just the way you did things. As a team, we now showcase these local and unique ingredients in tasting menus on the weekends. The menu changes weekly and is a set prix fixe, five to seven courses, bring your own wine.”
Taught by his grandmother, Brouillard has been picking weeds as long as he has been walking and talking. He began selling them using the slightly more attractive term “wild edibles”, as a sideline for his organic farming business. When Normand Laprise of Toqué discovered him at the market in the early 90’s, he encouraged François to focus on the wild stuff and collaborate with chefs. With the help of Normand, Anne Desjardins of L’Eau à la Bouche and Daniel Vézina of Laurie Raphael, the pioneers of Quebec Regional cuisine as we know it, he was the first to put wild edibles from fiddleheads to spruce tips to milkweed pods onto the market and menus of Montreal’s top restaurants. He has now been in business for 25 years.
Food Day Canada 2012 Menu
Wild & stuffed garden vegetables, fresh goat cheese and day lily – bee balm pesto with sea parsley and garlic mustard leaf, smoked lobster mushroom and pickled daisy buds
Hot’n sour duck soup with wild ginger and organic guinea fowl, Maitake mushroom, sea plantago, buckwheat noodles,basil and coriander from the garden
Sea spinach, sea rocket and sea asparagus salad with Canadian sandspurry and lady’s sorrel, fried sturgeon and eel brandade, Nordic shrimp, crinkleroot dressing
Venison from the farm, bolete and sarsaparilla pan sauce, mushroom oil potato parmentier with venison sausage, chanterelles and corn, mustard greens, cattail spear
Option : Québec cheese plate
Selections from La Suisse Normande(100g for two; 7.50$ supplement per person)
Wild blackberry and blueberry tartlet with sweet clover flower frangipane, elderberry panna cotta,milkweed flower jelly and granité
Wild leaf tisane, 3$ supplement
Bring your own wine
75.00$, taxes included, service extra
Your host and forager :
Your chef : Nancy Hinton
Les Jardins Sauvages is one of about 250 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada. Contact them at the number below to reserve a table.
Les Jardins Sauvages est l’un des 250 restaurants à travers tout le Canada qui participent au Journée des terroirs. Contactez Les Jardins Sauvages directement, au numéro ci-dessous, afin de faire votre réservation.
Les Jardins Sauvages
17 Chemin Martin,
Saint-Roch de L’Achigan,
Quebec H4A 2G8
T: 450 588 5125