E03: Eastern Townships | Falling for Local Flavours with Chef Jean Imbert | QuébecOriginal

The Eastern Townships
is another discovery. It feels so vast,
like there’s something just waiting to be discovered
every couple of miles. You think you travel for the food
but it’s really about the people. The products seem happy, like the people
who are happy to make them. Hello! Jean. How are you?
– Francis. Very well. Welcome to the Eastern Townships.
– It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Incredible. How do you make your food stand out
in the world of cuisine, if not through the ingredients
that go into it? It’s the only way. We’re very lucky around here. There are
a lot of vegetable growers nearby. You like working in this area.
– Yes, it’s easy. What does that mean for a chef?
– It gives my cooking an identity. Francis has everything he needs nearby.
It’s good, eh? He gets what he needs
from a farmer and that also helps him create
his own original cuisine. They are farms
with a human approach. In this case, it’s a family farm
where the next generation is involved. They work really hard
to produce high-quality milk. Animals need to be outdoors,
enjoying the sun and eating fresh grass. They’re going to show you
how to milk a cow. If I’m going to milk the cow,
you’re going to make the cream. What’s great about this cream
is that we don’t add anything to it. So the pressure’s on for me
not to mess up the Chantilly tonight. I think you’ll be fine. I’ll never look at vanilla ice cream
the same way again. You can tell that they are very happy
to make their products. They’re on the farm with their kids, and the kids are running around
in the grass, having fun. And that’s what so nice to see. The people I’ve met
are all passionate. Hello!
– Hello! It’s beautiful here! The garden,
the vines–it’s incredible. It’s funny.
The winemaker makes his wine. He says, “My dream was to own
a small vineyard.” My goal in retirement
was to own a small vineyard. Great! You need to understand the soil,
but you need to learn how to talk to it, how to ask it what it wants,
how it’s doing. It really is an experience to drink
the wine in the middle of the vineyard. Yes.
– It tells a story. Here, I’ll leave you with this to enjoy
with the guinea fowl… Thanks! Where are we going now, Francis? I’m taking you to meet Marie-Thérèse
at Au Pied Levé farm. The animals are
very well treated there. Marie-Thérèse really cares for her
animals. They roam free and eat organic. Welcome to Au Pied Levé! We produce veal, beef, pork,
suckling pig, goat, goose, duck, guinea fowl, wild turkey. You want to try, Jean? I’ve put everything I have into this. You work really hard.
You never take any vacation. We’ll take a break later on.
We’ll enjoy a glass of wine. It’s a lifestyle. It’s all about
the present, to be here in the now. That’s nice.
That makes me think of meditation. That’s… This is life in Québec. Cheers!
– Yes. What I find so remarkable is when
you tell me about your cuisine, and we met the person
who produces the guinea fowl, the person who made the wine,
who made the cream. That’s what I love about cooking.
It’s what I try to do in France, and then to travel halfway
around the world, 7,000 kilometres away,
and find out you do the same, it’s… I don’t know. I feel good.
It reassures me. Chefs are proud to showcase
local ingredients. That’s what makes Québec stand out,
with products that also stand out. Let’s try this.
– The guinea fowl. This is Marie-Thérèse’s guinea fowl. With Jean-Paul’s wine. You add onion, celery. You take a can.
You cook guinea fowl for me. I know I’m going to make
this recipe again. Even the squash with the piercing. I’m going to call it
the pierced squash. The pierced squash.
– The pierced squash, I love that. Francis, by making dishes from his local
cuisine… Oh wow! Magnificent! …he becomes an author
promoting his region… I feel you’re getting hungry! …like a musician or a filmmaker. Actually, when a chef uses
local ingredients in a dish, the dish reflects the region. Don’t tell Francis that I’ve been
digging into everything, or I’ll get an earful later. Thank you, Chef.
– There you go. Here, try this.
You’ll see. This cream is outstanding. I tasted it without knowing who produced
it and in fact, that’s what this was. The cream was a reflection
of the people who made it. The cream was smiling. The cream is exceptional. It’s like we’re eating
the Eastern Townships. They’re passionate people
who want to pass on what they do to their kids,
and they want their kids to do the same. That’s what I felt
in the Eastern Townships. It’s so easy to fall in love with
these authentic and down-to-earth people. Thank you for your nice products!
Congratulations! Cheers! Welcome
to the Eastern Townships. Let’s go. I say welcome,
as if this were my home. Cheers!
– Enjoy.

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