In the kitchen with Élyse Marquisit’s a title that fits her like a glove, the one who hosts the show The bosses!broadcast on Radio-Canada, for several years now.
As a mother, she loves to cook for her daughter, Alice, as well as for her friends, for those she loves, for the pleasure of pleasing. Élyse is also a member of the jury for the competition for the best apple pie in Quebec, which will be held at the Marché des Halles d’Anjou on September 17. She is excited, she says, because a sweet memory reminds her of her grandmother. Greedy portrait of a woman of heart.
In the morning, tea or coffee?
I have a cup of coffee in the morning. Preferably a café latte, which I sip slowly, as I like to get up very early. And the rest of the day is tea. My little everyday tea is lady’s grey. It’s like an earl gray with less power.
My tea for special occasions is a green tea with jasmine.
I really like English tea in restaurants. I went there several times, to the Hotel Reine Élisabeth, to the restaurant Rosélys and to Château Laurier, with my daughter, my mother, my aunt and my cousin. I like the tea ritual, the scones and the little cucumber sandwiches. We feel elsewhere and we want to take our time.
Croissant or oatmeal, fruit…?
Everything ! I love lunches. I would eat lunch three times a day.
Last year I discovered oatmeal that you leave in the fridge all night with chia and lots of fruit. I love it !
I also like to make pancakes and French toast. When my daughter was little, we often made a day backwards with breakfast for dinner.
Sliced bread or baguette?
wand, wand. I buy them very often so I make a lot of bread pudding so I don’t waste them.
Cheese or dessert?
Oh! I’m definitely dessert. I only wanted to eat it. I love all desserts. Especially the frozen ones. My favorite dessert of all time is the citrus blancmange from the restaurant Leméac.
Meat or fish?
I really like fish and I often choose fish when I go to a restaurant. I love discovering new fish and new ways to cook them. On the other hand, I don’t eat seafood at all, I’ve never been attracted to their taste and texture.
With the steak, salad or fries?
Ideally both. But otherwise…fries, matchstick fries, in particular.
Vegetarian or meat?
In recent years I have eaten much less meat. I am not a vegetarian, but I am inclined towards this diet. I try to incorporate tofu and legumes into my diet and I eat a lot of vegetables. I will eat at the country table at the Bika farm in Fisun Ercan. She highlights the vegetables from her garden and products from local producers in her region.
Caramel or chocolate?
Without a doubt, caramel. I love caramel. I would put it everywhere. I also really like white chocolate.
cake or cookie?
Hmm, good question… I make a lot of cookies because they are easier to store and transport. Ever since my daughter was very young, I have been making orange, cranberry and white chocolate brownies. She had a lot of it in her lunches. I have tried a few times to make cookies that are healthier, but each time failed. I also love cakes. My favorite is strawberry shortcake. My friend, Isabelle Deschamps-Plante, makes the most beautiful and the best cakes.
Beer or wine?
I hardly drink alcohol. But I would never say no to a glass of champagne! Or even a meal with food and wine.
I really like the cider from the orchard and the Denis Charbonneau cider house. I go there every year to pick my apples and stock up on good produce.
Tell me about your favorite kitchen accessory and why you chose it?
My favorite side dish is my Le Creuset casserole. This is a gift from my mother and my daughter that I got for Christmas a few years ago. I love him so much. I cook everything in it. My dream would be to one day own several Le Creuset pieces.
Do you have a little ritual when preparing meals? Small glass of wine, background music, do you sing?
I often cook late at night and prepare several dishes at the same time while dancing. I realize that I am quite “academic” when I cook. I have a huge collection of cookbooks and continue to buy them regularly. I love cookbooks and read them like novels, cover to cover. I really understand the basics of cooking, but when I deviate from the original recipe, the result is often disastrous.
A favorite recipe or cookbook?
My most treasured cookbook is The Red Notebook by Josée di Stasio, which she had autographed for me. I read it every year at the beginning of the holiday season.
Tell me about the culinary achievement you are proud of
Me, I’m proud when I manage not to spill. For example, yesterday I made poke bowls and I had some leftover tofu that I turned into tofu rillettes this afternoon. I’m proud of myself when I don’t waste food. I also remember being very proud of my first sushi. When my daughter was little, this was her favorite dish. So I bought a book to learn how to make sushi and I didn’t think I would be able to do it. But with the right ingredients and the right tools, it’s relatively easy.
How did it smell in your home, in the kitchen, when you were little?
It smelled so good in my house when I was little. My mom would make cookies or muffins right before I got home from school, just to make it smell good. I kept this tradition with my daughter when she was in elementary school. When you cook for someone, it’s a way of saying I love you.
Your favorite restaurants?
- There are several of them. I really like Leméac. For a business dinner or a meeting with friends, the salmon stew and for dessert, the citrus blancmange. A delight.
- For special occasions, it happens at Toqué. The kitchen is absolutely perfect every time and the service is impeccable.
- I also really like Beaumont for its fresh produce and creative cuisine.
- Bouillon Bilk is another safe bet. Everything is good there.
- And of course L’Express. You have to have the lemon tartlet for dessert, it’s perfect.
Favorite restaurant outside of Montreal?
I can’t believe I haven’t been to Chez Boulay or Le Saint-Amour yet. I promise myself to go there this year (but not on the same day) (laugh)!
Favorite grocery store?
The steps. I like the Jean-Talon market. I like being close to manufacturers, being able to chat with them and have them talk to me about their products. I also like going to the Halles d’Anjou, it’s a spectacular place, all these produce stalls, pastries, stocking up for the week with vegetables and fruits from Quebec, I love it.
Favorite culinary products?
I really like Quebec fruits and vegetables. For several years I have subscribed to an organic farm: Les jardins d’Arlington. They are located in the Eastern Townships. The owner writes to us every week to describe the contents of our basket and also to tell us about his week. I love them.
Favorite dish in the restaurant
I usually go for fish dishes, especially cod. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with that. In fact, I often choose a dish that takes too long to make at home, such as the ravioli with pumpkin puree and sage butter, a treat.
A culinary crush?
My best culinary memory was a meal at Toqué for my birthday, with food and wine, and where you never knew what dish was coming. I had tears in my eyes with happiness, it was so beautiful and tasty. I will remember it all my life.