Normand Laprise

Speaker, Normand Laprise
Chef owner, Toqué!, Brasserie T!
  • A Relais & Châteaux member since 2006, and part of the Grandes Tables du Monde association since 2014, Toqué! ranks among the country’s two best restaurants since the creation of Canada’s 100 Best.
  • Normand was awarded the Prix Hommage Renaud-Cyr to honour his involvement with Quebec's gardeners, farmers and fishermen (2018), and the Hommage Chapeau Restaurateurs! award from the Foundation of the Association des restaurateurs du Québec (2017).
  • Normand’s 2012 cookbook Toqué!: Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy received multiple awards, including the Marcel-Couture Prize and a James Beard Award.
  • Normand Laprise is the sole Canadian chef sitting on Institut Paul Bocuse’s International Chefs Advisory Board, which he has been a member of since 2015.

Normand is a knight! In 2009, he received the Order of Quebec’s Knight's Badge – the highest distinction awarded by the provincial government – for his contribution to Quebec gastronomy. In 2015, he was also appointed Member of the Order of Canada.

The knight of the exquisite table

Thirty years ago, Normand Laprise launched a gastronomic revolution in Quebec, then in dire need of a jolt of fresh energy. A pioneer of local and seasonal cuisine, the chef and owner of award-winning restaurants Toqué! and Brasserie T! is one of the most respected and decorated figures in the province’s culinary industry. Laprise was born into a family of seven in Kamouraska, on the St. Lawrence River's south shore in Eastern Quebec. Growing up on a farm, he developed great respect for fresh produce early in his childhood. He followed his love of food to the École hôtelière de Charlesbourg culinary school in Quebec City, and after graduation developed his own tastes and a flair for fresh foods under Breton chef Jacques Le Pluart at Le Marie-Clarisse restaurant. This was followed by stints at downtown Montreal’s Le Lutétia restaurant, Hôtel de la Cloche in Dijon, France along with advanced courses in France and elsewhere. In 1989, Laprise took over at Montreal's Citrus restaurant, where he led a young Martin Picard, now Au Pied de Cochon's famed chef and owner. In 1993, despite a recession, he and partner Christine Lamarche opened Toqué! in Montreal, an inventive new restaurant based on market-fresh cuisine. Their gamble paid off with years of continued success and dozens of awards. In 1998, Laprise was hired as a consultant by New York City's Cena restaurant, which garnered three stars from The New York Times. In 2010, he and Christine Lamarche opened Brasserie T!, a splendid laid-back and contemporary addition to Montreal's Quartier des Spectacles. In the fall of 2018, Laprise will open Beau Mont, a Parc-Extension 80-seater equipped with an 8,000 square foot production kitchen. The latter will play a key role in expanding Brasserie T!'s footprint in the Montreal metro area (starting with a second location opening near Hotel ALT in Brossard's DIX30 district), as well as in ensuring increased volume to producers.
“Right now in Quebec and for the next 20 years, there’s a strong cooking philosophy and a lot of opportunities to create great things.”
Normand to Érudit 
  • A Relais & Châteaux member since 2006, and part of the Grandes Tables du Monde association since 2014, Toqué! ranks among the country’s two best restaurants since the creation of Canada’s 100 Best.
  • Normand was awarded the Prix Hommage Renaud-Cyr to honour his involvement with Quebec's gardeners, farmers and fishermen (2018), and the Hommage Chapeau Restaurateurs! award from the Foundation of the Association des restaurateurs du Québec (2017).
  • Normand’s 2012 cookbook Toqué!: Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy received multiple awards, including the Marcel-Couture Prize and a James Beard Award.
  • Normand Laprise is the sole Canadian chef sitting on Institut Paul Bocuse’s International Chefs Advisory Board, which he has been a member of since 2015.

Normand is a knight! In 2009, he received the Order of Quebec’s Knight's Badge – the highest distinction awarded by the provincial government – for his contribution to Quebec gastronomy. In 2015, he was also appointed Member of the Order of Canada.