Through Toqué!, Normand Laprise and Christine Lamarche aimed to create a restaurant based on market-fresh cuisine where the emphasis is placed on local products. In 1993, they took the gamble that led them to becoming both chefs and owners of a gastronomic restaurant, in a city that was then in full recession. They have risen to the challenge by building strong relationships with producers which allow them to provide their customers with the lasting quality of local expertise.
The first Toqué! was on St-Denis street and had 10 employees for a dining room that could accommodate 55 guests. After many renovations and refurbishments, the two partners agreed that the building no longer met their needs. In 2004,Toqué! moved to the heart of the Quartier international, where they would create a custom kitchen for their creative and visionary project.
A leader in Quebec’s gastronomy, the restaurant quickly became a learning center for young cooks. Encouraging research as well as the development of new approaches through a menu that changes daily according to availability, the kitchen has become quite the laboratory!
Thanks to the hard work of its owners and employees, Toqué! has become a landmark in Quebec’s gastronomy, for the last two decades. The restaurant quickly accumulated the highest honors, including the CAA/AAA Five Diamond rating, as well as several reviews from magazines such as Wine Spectator, Gourmet, GQ Magazine and Food & Wine. The restaurant also houses the prestigious banner of Relais & Châteaux since 2006.
In the fall of 2012, Toque! launched its first cookbook entitled Toqué! Les artisans d’une gastronomie Québécoise. This 400-page tome is, of course, about cuisine and the philosophy behind the business, but also about the cooks, farmers, herders, gardeners and producers who have made our land what it is today. Since its release, the book has received a very warm welcome and has been especially awarded on May 3, 2013, from the James Beard Foundation Award for excellence in the category Cooking from a professional Point of view.
In 2010, Brasserie T! was born near the Place des Arts. Offering a more casual cuisine, Brasserie T! shares the same philosophy as that of Toqué! when it comes to professionalism, quality and freshness of the products offered.