Chef de cuisine
Éric Fortin fell in love with the profession after participating in an integration evening, in a professional kitchen. He therefore studied there the following year, when he was 16 years old. Originally from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, he began his professional path in a private golf club, the Pinegrove. He will spend 4 summer seasons there which test his versatility, his adaptability and allow him to visit several facets of the profession thanks to the diversity of events held at the club. He then changes his cape and turns to a restaurant that fascinates him more: personalized plate service and where creativity is asked of him. Among other things, he will go behind the scenes at Auberge St-Gabriel, Les Enfants Terribles, Les Sales Gosses and Bistro B in Quebec where a new challenge awaits him, that of the open kitchen. He then returned to his native region to respond to an announcement from the Hôtel de la Rive Gauche which had Jean-François Méthot as its chef at the time. After 4 years as a responsible cook at the Coureur des Bois bistro, he will have the chance to do a season as a chef at the Étamamiou outfitter on the Lower North Shore and continue his journey at Le Coureur. Today, he is a chef and works in tandem with Véronique. If the latter prefers the management side, Eric will be more in front of the stove. For him, this is what makes a winning team: the sharing of knowledge and the desire to see the people of his brigade evolve. There is also the support of the producers of the region and the work of their products with the greatest respect. When not in the heat of the moment, he is almost 100% of the time playing his favorite sport: fishing. Whether it is directly on the Richelieu or in distant camps, winter or summer, he perfects his practice.
Chef de cuisine
Véronique has always loved cooking and what that entails: a great table, well surrounded and the pleasure of what is on the plate. She began humbly at 17, as a student job, in a fast food store in Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu, her hometown. At the same time, in 2004, she began training in establishment cooking at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec. Upon graduation, she went from intern to official employee at the Saint-Mathieu restaurant in Vieux-Beloeil. She worked there for 4 years, touching almost all positions and ending up as deputy chief. There, she learned a lot about the trade, especially thanks to Chef Yanick Leduc, her mentor. After announcing that the establishment was closing, she looked for a job and saw an advertisement for the Hôtel de la Rive Gauche in a newspaper. She applied for it and started in September 2009. At the time, the Chef de la Rive Gauche was Jean-François Méthot, a former colleague of Yanick Leduc at Trois Tilleuls. Véronique is therefore happy under this new management: similar style of management and similar working methods. Once again, the succession of positions offered to him allows him to sharpen his adaptability and versatility. Eager to be well prepared when given more responsibility, she returned to the ITHQ school benches in 2012 to earn a certificate of specialization in restaurant management. Still retaining her love for cooking, she admits to enjoying the management side of the kitchen which allows her, among other things, to gain an overview of the operations of the Left Bank and the Coureur des Bois. For her, working with local products, more specifically from the surrounding region and always with the greatest respect towards them, remains a fundamental element in her philosophy. A true quiet force, she enjoys the adrenaline rush of serving and approaches it with calm and focus. But don’t be fooled, if she has to step in or add her two cents when necessary, you’ll hear her. When not in the heat of the moment, she enjoys relaxing by doing puzzles and downhill skiing down the slopes of nearby mountains.
Restaurant manager coureur des bois et cabane du coureur
Chantal Plourde is the main and original pillar of the entire Rive Gauche restoration team. An undisputed resource person and the one with the best knowledge of the house, she has worked at the hotel for 20 years. Native of the South Shore of Montreal, in Greenfield Park, she spent the summers during her youth in the lower part of the river, where the majority of her family is located. After graduating from high school, she made a list of jobs that could potentially interest her. Every time, the catering profession emerges as the perfect choice for her. Perhaps also, subconsciously, seeing her mother working in the industry that she is heading down this path. She therefore decides to register at the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec for technical training in hotel management. When she left the Institute, a friend suggested that she go with her to Europe, more precisely to Haute-Savoie, where they worked in a hotel and traveled for almost two years. On her return, and a bit by chance, she entered the Left Bank as a waitress in a restaurant. She takes on challenges and demonstrates remarkable versatility: waitress both opening and closing, banquet waitress, restaurant day manager, etc. Little by little, she became a banquet host and eventually for the Coureur des bois. Today, she is the first Maitre d ‘hôtel in charge of the coordination of two establishments of Cogir Restaurants (Le Coureur des Bois and La Cabane du Coureur). For her, it is essential in the integrity of a manager: “never to ask a task of your team that you would not do yourself”. Long hours are often a part of everyday life for restaurant workers, and she strongly believes in supporting her troops until the end. Each person is important and has their qualities and faults. It is therefore imperative to properly organize the members of her team in order to put forward each person’s strengths and to play with their complementarity when composing her brigades. In the end, it is truly humanity that is at the heart of the reasons for which they exercise the profession. An eternal handyman, she finds solutions to everything and is an indispensable member of the organization. When not in the heat of the moment, she enjoys reading a good book and accompanying it with a glass of wine: “So this is paradise,” she said.
Jean-Simon Rioux-Ranger has always been fascinated by his father’s wine collection. Very young, he was exposed to these conversations about the contents of the mysterious bottles decorating the father’s cellar. At the end of his adolescence, he finally goes beyond simple discussions surrounding this fermented juice: he tastes them. His passion for tasting was such that he decided to enroll at the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec in the International Training in Restaurant Service and Sommellerie program. If he already knew a little about the world of wine from his father, it was at the Institute that he made his first steps into dining room service. He completed his training brilliantly and following graduation, he entered the Coureur des Bois in 2015 as a follower. At the same time, he passes the theoretical and practical exams of the Court of Master Sommelier and completes the Introductory and Certified levels. In 2016, he won the Relais et Châteaux scholarship from the ITHQ, which covers almost a year of internships in order to perfect his knowledge and practices of the trade. It notably passes through the University of Wine Suze la Rousse and the renowned Burgundian Maison Lameloise, awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide. That same year, he was accepted for the CMS Advanced level exam. He immediately passes this exam, which consists of three tests: deductive tasting, wine theory and room service. From then on, aged 23, he became the youngest Canadian to obtain this title. When he returns, he is already thinking about the next challenge and how to achieve his professional goals and dreams. Then comes training and competitions of all kinds. For him, it is essential to constantly keep up to date on current trends, new vintages, and new wine regions. Its medium-term goal? Pass the final CMS exam, become a Master Sommelier. In the meantime, he excels in the art of popularizing and making accessible the world of wine, regardless of the level of the public as Head Sommelier at Coureur des Bois. Sometimes introducing anonymous wines to guests, sometimes giving workshops on food and wine pairing and more. When he’s not in the heat of the moment, he enjoys creating playful and informative commentaries with his team on “How to Mortals” or practicing running in order to maintain a balanced life.
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This establishment is part of COGIR restaurants
Web site created by Kim Trudel
Photo credit : Matt Ayotte