Every city has its specialties. Every region has a flavour. Discovering what makes a destination’s culinary scene unique can go a long way toward making any event pop.
And in the case of Québec City, there is plenty to discover.
“Québec City is a North American city with a rich European culinary heritage,” says Chef Jean-Pierre Cloutier, who serves foodies from around the world from the kitchen at the Québec City Convention Centre. “Chefs here are deeply inspired by a rich agricultural history, and work with regional products while adapting traditional techniques.”
Being open and curious by nature, he continues, chefs in Québec have also taken advantage of international influences to learn how to work with new products and incorporate new flavors. “This has created the specificity of a local cuisine with international colours, that honours the taste, flavor and uniqueness of ingredients,” he adds.
It’s this fusion of traditional fare and fresh concepts that make the City stand out for event planners looking to treat their attendees to something they wouldn’t normally experience at home. The region itself is often described as a buffet of renowned dishes and unique ingredients, ranging from natural and organic meats, rich desserts, specialty cheeses, organic oils and condiments, berry-based products, micro-brewery concoctions, and an assortment of popular local recipes.
“Contrary to some areas in the world that specialize in one specific branch of food—say, chocolate or cheese—Québec City provides a smorgasbord of award-winning foodstuffs and terroir products,” says Sandra Hardy, Business Development Director of the Health Food and Nutrition Industry for Québec International.
As for places to eat, the options are equally diverse. From water-side bistros to downtown restaurants, intimate settings to sprawling banquet halls, Québec City’s rich culinary history and wealth of eating options help it to cater to any crowd.
“The quality of the catering service is distinguished, among other things, by the diversity of the offer,” says Cloutier. “Chefs are close to local producers and work with them to individually develop specific products. The proximity and pride of this close collaboration can be tasted in each dish.”
Planning the Meal
The selection of restaurants and venues on offer in Québec City can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important for those considering an event in the City to collaborate with their venue’s foodservice team or Convention Bureau representatives to choose a menu that meets their group’s specific tastes.
According to Cloutier, it is also beneficial to take note of the time of year and ask chefs to show them their seasonal options: “If you want to make a meal memorable for your guests, I would advise planners to request a customized menu that includes as much as possible seasonal and regional products and themes.”
Learning a group’s food sensitivities is equally important. That’s why André Beauchamp, General Manager at Capital HRS, the Québec City Convention Centre’s food and beverage (F&B) partner, encourages planners to give guests a heads up as to their dining plans, identify allergies or restrictions, and communicate them to their chosen restaurants and/or meeting venues.
“Food allergies and dietary restrictions cannot be considered an afterthought or addressed last minute,” Beauchamp cautions. “Both F&B partners and event planners have a common goal: satisfying delegates and keeping them safe. There are no second chances with the food they eat.”
Calling All Food Lovers
There’s a reason Québec City is considered one of the world’s top destinations for foodies. And by working with Convention Bureau reps and chefs, planners can tap into this world-renowned culinary scene to create a truly satisfying event.