Patrice Demers and Marie-Josée Beaudoin in Brooklyn
Patrice Demers and Marie-Josée Beaudoin are celebrities in terms of food and drink. He cooks in ways we only dream of; she – in addition to being THE woman behind L’homme – possesses that rare gift of making perfect wine suggestions of bottles you’d never discover otherwise.
Back home, in Quebec and the Rest of Canada combined, they both have more definitive star status. Their last public presence in Montreal was Patrice Pâtissier on Notre-Dame Street West. From 2014 to 2022, they delighted gourmets and winos, and earned countless admirers.
In the spring of 2022, to everyone’s surprise, they announced the imminent closure of their Montreal business. At the same time, they talked about their next professional experience. Since May 2, they’ve been making people happy in Brooklyn, where they’ve taken over the reins of the restaurant Fulgurances Laundromat. They’ll be there until June 24, so make the most of it!
While in New York, Tastet wanted to know a little more about the star couple we love so much. Here are a few questions and their answers, which we hope you’ll find equally interesting and entertaining:
Where were you born?
Marie-Josée: Arthabaska, my family lived in Princeville at the time.
What’s your first memory of cooking?
Marie-Josée: My grandmother Juliette cooking in her little pink kitchen in Yamachiche for the whole family.
Patrice: Helping my mother peel apples to make pies.
What was your favourite childhood dish?
Marie-Josée: Shepherd’s pie and St-Hubert chicken
For Marie-Josée: The first wine that intrigued you?
A Meursault from Chartron Trébuchet that my father let me taste when I was 15!
For Marie-Josée: Where and when did you decide to become a sommelier?
My father bought a restaurant when I was 12, and I worked there every summer from the time I was 14. After high school, I knew I wanted to study at the ITHQ and work in the restaurant business. I’ve never worked anywhere but a restaurant or hotel for a day in my life!
For Patrice: Where and when did you decide to become a chef?
On a university bench on my first day of psychology, where I realized that I really wanted to cook, and that my passion for restaurants was definitely greater than my passion for psychology.
Despite the success, why close Patrice Pâtissier?
Marie-Josée: Because, despite the success, profitability was difficult, the labour shortage was causing us headaches, and we didn’t want to continue working so many hours with a very average quality of life.
Patrice: To have more freedom, to be closer to my passion for the restaurant business and to be able to cook savoury again.
Why leave Montreal?
Marie-Josée: Because New York is my favourite city, I feel at home when I’m there, and it’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often to be offered to come and work there for 8 weeks.
Patrice: To live a unique experience for a few weeks and prove to myself that I also have my place as a chef.
Marie-Josée: Because we liked the concept right away, and the team is very welcoming and very human. It allows us to prove to ourselves that we’re still capable of challenging ourselves. And, as the Sinatra song says: “If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere!”
Patrice: Because it’s an incredible springboard for testing new recipes, exchanging ideas with hyper-motivated chefs and serving my cuisine to an international clientele with a passion for gastronomy.
Today, what’s your favourite dish and wine?
Marie-Josée: Pasta cacio e pepe! Champagne, again and again!
Patrice: I have a weakness for sweetbreads and a strong preference for white wines from Burgundy and Jura.
What’s your daily routine here?
Marie-Josée: I love my days in New York, especially the daily chores like going to the grocery store, doing my laundry at the laundromat, and getting tea and pastries in the morning!
Patrice: The days are pretty intense, with four of us in the kitchen preparing and serving a “Tasting Menu” of more than 6 courses, for up to 60 customers a night. Knowing that we’re only here for eight weeks, I make the most of every service by giving it my all.
After June 24?
Marie-Josée: We’re looking forward to a small project, and we’ve realized that Patrice and I complement each other really well, and that the two of us can accomplish a lot, so we’re aiming for a better balance between our professional and personal lives. To be continued…
Patrice: Definitely a new project in Montreal, on a smaller scale, that will allow me to bring all my passions together.
Written by Jean-Philippe Tastet
Photography by Gabriel DeRossi