🍴MEET THE CHEF: Hugo Lavoie-Drouin, Aux Chantignoles at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Québec
Tripveel sat down with Chef Hugo Lavoie-Drouin of Aux Chantignoles at Fairmont Le Château Montebello.
Tripveel: Tell us about your absolute favorite food and why readers should try it if they haven’t already.
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: I love sushi. This is something I often do for dinner on my day off. Easy to eat with all the nutrients that you need in a roll. I find that is the perfect dish!
Tripveel: When did you get your calling to become a chef?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: Growing up, I had the chance of experiencing gastronomy at home because we were often hosting dinner parties for my dad's friends that work in the industry. I idolized them. Their work, their philosophy and their way of life. I could see myself doing something else then follow their footstep. Kitchen life!
Tripveel: What are 3 ingredients you couldn’t live without?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: Love, passion and creativity. These are the 3 ingredients that I always keep in my pantry.
Tripveel: We love plating. Does designing the perfect dish give you a rush?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: When you live your life out of passion and work doing something that you love. Research, experiment, design, sketch and finally creating something great. I get so much happiness doing this. It's such a rewarding feeling!
Tripveel: What’s one of the most creative dishes you’ve created?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: A dessert I did for "The Global Chef Challenge" qualification in Toronto. Sticky Rice with Mango is one of my favorites. It’s a traditional Thai dessert that I deconstructed and brought to a whole new level. The plating really represented me! You can see some of my favorite on my Instagram.
Tripveel: Share your most recent awards/accreditations with us!
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: I graduated in holistic nutrition at the Alternative Medicine College of Canada. It’s a calling I had. Our health is directly linked to what we eat. This is very important to me that the food I make is delicious, appealing and also well balanced, healthy and nutritious. I got awarded The title of "Healthy Chef of the Year 2017."
Tripveel: What’s the latest trend in molecular gastronomy?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: One of the trends now is how to fool the eyes. You think its a dessert but its an appetizer. It's a strawberry but it taste like tomato and basil. Unexpected surprise, we like to play with your mind!
Tripveel: Where have you traveled that inspires you the most?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: Southeast Asia, Thailand in particularly. I lived here for a few years and studied Professional Thai Cooking at the Thai International Food Academy in Bangkok because I was so intrigued by it. The curries, spices, seafood, fruits and aromas. I like fusion cooking!
Tripveel: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: Although I'm not a big cocktail fan, I particularly like anything liquorish tasting like Absinth, Chartreuse or Pernod.
Tripveel: What do you love about being the Executive Chef at Aux Chantignoles at Fairmont Le Château Montebello?
Chef Lavoie-Drouin: I love Montebello. I have developed a very close relationship with our local farmers and artisans. It’s a privilege to work with La ferme du ruisseau noir organic vegetables, La ferme Macedoine Aspergus, Les brasseur de Montebello beer, La ferme floralpe goat cheese. Kenauk honey, gourmet sauvage forest foraging product. We also have a great garden that I like working with during the summer. I have the best ingredients to be able to deliver the best food. What a great feeling to go around the dining room and meet guests after knowing that you made their night memorable.