Meet French Chef Stéphane Modat of Champlain restaurant at Fairmont le Château Frontenac

France.fr met with Stéphane Modat, a French Chef originally from Perpignan in Occitanie. He is one of the biggest Chefs of his generation and is based in Quebec city for a decade.

A few words on Chef Modat...

Established in Quebec City for more than 10 years, Chef Modat has been cooking in many prestigious French restaurants. Upon his arrival in Quebec City, he worked for three years alongside Yvan Lebrun at the restaurant L'Initiale. After five years of innovative creativity, Stéphane left to explore various areas of gastronomy in search of new inspirations. His passion would therefore take him to many countries and cities worldwide.

Since then, he has devoted himself to culinary creation with François Chartier, with whom he formed the new Mc2 duo and signed the successful books "Les Recettes de Papilles et Molécules™"as well as "the Papilles pour tous™". Chef Modat is now the head Chef at Champlain restaurant at the renown Fairmont le Château Frontenac in Quebec City.

What motivated you to become a restaurateur and what were your first influences?

I've always wanted to be a restaurateur. I was probably influenced by my grandparents who used to prepare food all day long. I also like to receive people and be able to make everybody happy in a short time. I'm not a chef of wild game cuisine, but I am a huge defender of local product. I love local produce and its richness!

What elements of French and Mediterranean cuisine inspire you today in the preparation of your dishes?

I sometimes use French techniques, particularly around anchovies and ancestral techniques from the Mediterranean basin. To make my dishes, I always manage to find the ingredients, even if sometimes I have to manage and find ways to keep the most difficult products, such as morels, longer.

Share with us some examples of dishes from your restaurant that are popular in France and in Quebec.

I cook at Champlain, where all the dishes generally work well. To give you an example of a dish that represents the local culture, I make a deer tartar with daisy buds and wild mushrooms. It is quite a unique tartar!

Which activities would you recommend to a traveller visiting France and Perpignan?

Perpignan is located near the Mediterranean Sea. So you can enjoy the beach easily (that's what I miss the most). I love to visit the vineyards and walk around. This allows you to go further into the hinterland, explore small villages, immerse in the local culture and products, and discover the know-how of each region.

Destination Perpignan between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees...

Perpignan is a city located in Occitanie - Sud de France.

Labelled since 2000 as a "City of Art and History", Perpignan has a rich historical heritage with Catalan origins. Perpignan natives' attachment to the Catalan language and flag, as well as to traditions are still alive. For example, Sardana dance is performed in the squares of the historic centre during cultural festivals, which testifies the originality and particularity of the city located at the foot of the Pyrenees and on the Mediterranean coast.

Its city centre is a vast open-air museum that tells the story of the Golden Age of the Gothic period. The Palace of the Kings of Majorca illustrates the splendour of the city when it was the continental capital of this ephemeral kingdom (1276 - 1344) which saw Perpignan shine over the Mediterranean.

Did you know that in 2019, Perpignan is nominated "European City of Wine"? It is the first French city to receive this honorary title, a great opportunity for the Catalan territory to promote its tourism worldwide.

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For more information on Fairmont le Château Frontenac : https://www.fairmont.fr/frontenac-quebec/ (External link)

For more information on Chef Stéphane Modat: http://www.stephanemodat.com/fr/biographie/ (External link)

For more information on Occitanie - Sud de France region:
https://ca.france.fr/en/occitanie-south-of-france
https://www.perpignantourisme.com/gb (External link)