Looking for even more inspiration to make the most of the summer bounty (and set some aside)? Head to Kamouraska, at the Société des Plantes, where Patrice Fortier now gives “From the garden to the table” workshops.
Seedsman for 22 years, subject of Julie Perron’s magnificent documentary Le semeur (2013), this genius of delicious plants has a lot of information and tips to pass on. Although he has been spreading his precious seeds of alpine strawberries, Ida Gold tomatoes and yellow carrots from the Doubs to the four corners of Quebec (and further afield) for a long time, Patrice Fortier was slow in spreading his knowledge of culture AND cooking more formally. old varieties that he masters.
The workshops for eight people are sessions of approximately three hours, divided between theory, guided tour of the garden, transformation of the star products in the kitchen and tasting. “We walk in the garden and we approach the plants as they present themselves to us in a course”, explains the seeder.
June, for example, is “the height of edible foliage”. And we are not talking here about lettuce, but orach, poppy, purslane, fat cabbage, amaranth, Caucasian spinach, catchfly, to name a few. “We eat a lot of weeding and thinning,” Patrice Fortier tells us. Young linden leaves are also eaten in salads. »
In August, the tomato is declined to who better better. Eggplants, peppers and other fruit vegetables are processed, mallow also has its heyday. “In September, I always make fermented chili sauces, nothing to bite the taste buds. We just had some this afternoon with a dish of rice and beans. I also like to make pepper powders. Each aromatic pepper has its particularity and its color – yellow, orange, red. I dehydrate them, then grind them as I go to put some sunshine on the plates! »
In short, each month has its treasures and its original ways of showcasing them.
“For me, these workshops are also like memos that force me to do things that I might otherwise forget. June is the time to pick nettles, for example. And you can do it three times in the summer. Often, I go straight. »
Between the garden and the kitchen, Patrice Fortier is not stingy with his stuff, even though he often has to hold himself back. “I teach people not to cut rhubarb with a knife. You simply have to pull towards the base of the petiole. The large fibrous branches, we do not pick them. Better to leave them there to do photosynthesis. These are tricks of the trade that aren’t always in the books. Grandma stuff. And I’m the grandmother! he says, laughing.