Although it’s not new, the farm-to-table restaurant concept is becoming increasingly popular.
Going back to the origins, to where food is produced, visiting the fields, savoring dishes with hyper-local ingredients: these are all notions that seduce and challenge us.
And, let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with combining a trip to the countryside with a gourmet meal.
Au Pâturage – Espaces Gourmands, located in Sainte-Perpétue in the Centre-du-Québec region, is a perfect example of this concept.
Hosting a few media members in mid-June, we had the chance to visit the site and, above all, taste what goes on in the kitchen.
Au Pâturage is the brainchild of chef Chloé Ouellet, whose cuisine is seasonal, local and, above all, driven by personal values.
One of the restaurant’s primary aims is to democratize gastronomy and make it accessible to all, even outside major urban centers.
From farm to table
Open for 4 years, it’s only in the last 2 that they have been growing their own vegetables, herbs and other plants on site.
The entire harvest is dedicated to the restaurant, while proteins and other ingredients are sourced from local producers.
With some 300 plant varieties under cultivation, this year is all about research and development in the fields and greenhouses.
They want to explore various processing and preservation techniques, such as fermentation, canning and drying, the goal being to supply the restaurant year-round.
Saffron, mushrooms, tomatoes, several varieties of greens and vegetables are on trial.
The menu will change every week, depending on the harvest.
As the chef explained to us during our visit, that’s the beauty of a menu based on seasonality, but it’s also a challenge in the kitchen to constantly renew oneself.
So, while from time to time, some dishes may not be her favorites, they will all respect her values of sustainability and seasonality.
The terrace, one of the most beautiful in the Centre-du-Québec region we were told upon arrival (and we believe them), as well as the dining room, can each accommodate 55 guests.
But there will never be more than 55 customers at a time, to make sure there’s room inside in case of bad weather.
To keep in touch with people on the terrace, Chloé Ouellet has also added a beautiful outdoor kitchen with a brand-new wood-fired oven.
The magnificent terrace also becomes a 4th garden in summer, surrounded by garden box of herbs and flowers.
A creative and seasonal cuisine
The chef’s creativity is reflected in the dishes, which are tasty and flavorful.
Here are a few photos of the dishes served at this meal, to inspire you since the menu is constantly evolving, just like the harvests.
The different areas of Au Pâturage
Au Pâturage also plays with the concept of spaces.
Espace caviste, with privately imported gems from Quebec and elsewhere, available for purchase to consume on the premises or to take home.
There’s also a catering area, a terrace and an indoor area that doubles as a dining room and can also be hired out for private events.
Au Pâturage in brief
The menu is fixed (3 courses on Thursday, 5 courses on Friday and Saturday evenings).
An aperitif option can also be added, on weekends from 5pm, which includes a tour of the gardens and greenhouse, a drink and appetizers.
On Sundays, brunch is offered.
An address to add to your itinerary if you’re visiting Centre-du-Québec this summer, just a 1h30 drive from Montreal or 25 minutes from Drummondville.
Au Pâturage – Espaces Gourmands
2581, rang Saint-Joseph, Sainte-Perpétue, QC J0C 1R0