Chouquette: Our new favourite pastry shop in Quebec City

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Chouquette opened in the neighbourhood of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, in Quebec City, last fall. This charming pastry shop is run by a friendly couple of pastry chefs, Rachel Parenteau and Olivier Verdot.

The pair met in 2018 at Rhubarbe in Montreal. Olivier had just arrived from his native France, where he trained at Debrie in Montbéliard, and he quickly caught Rachel’s eye, who took him under her wing. A few years later, with a few more experiences under their belts (the Arhoma bakery in Hochelaga for him, Lecavalier Petrone and Patrice Pâtissier for her), the Montrealer and the Frenchman decided to strike out on their own and flew to Quebec.

“We were looking for a better quality of life, closer to nature, more affordable and on a human scale,” says Rachel. “We chose the Saint-Jean Baptiste district because we lived there and because it’s the perfect place for Chouquette to shine,” she continues.

The name Chouquette, a classic French pastry rooted in Olivier’s childhood memories, was quickly chosen. “We were looking for a simple, fun name and something that referred to the French patisserie from which we draw our inspiration. When Olivier was younger, when his grandmother visited, she always brought a big bag of chouquettes. It’s synonymous with happiness and comfort for him”, says the head pastry chef.

Chouquettes, etc.

Unsurprisingly, the house speciality is chouquettes, delicious little balls of puff pastry sprinkled with pearl sugar. You can buy them plain (at $0.50 each!), but we strongly advise you to try the filled chouquettes, whose flavours vary according to the mood of the owners. During the summer, the beautiful fruits of the Île d’Orléans are showcased: when we visited, it was strawberries and rhubarb. But since opening, one flavour has almost always been on display: salted caramel chouquettes. Never one to shy away from something, we tried them for you and can tell you that we understand why! It’s not complicated, Chouquette’s chouquettes are so delicious that some customers even come from Montreal to buy them, Rachel tells us!

But the charming pastry shop doesn’t just make chouquettes. Éclairs, cakes, tarts and decadent chocolate biscuits also line the display. And let’s not forget the famous mille-feuille, which Rachel describes to us with infectious enthusiasm: “Creamy with Madagascar vanilla whipped cream, Tonka bean caramel and a caramelised puff pastry”. Yum! We also cannot forget the delicious viennoiseries, which are also all worth trying. And finally, for the holiday season, Chouquette also prepares magnificent Yule logs and equally delicious galettes des rois. We advise you to reserve yours early, as they tend to go quickly – and with good reason!

The beautiful space, designed by Florence Clermont, has around fifteen seats for eating in or simply enjoying a coffee. Speaking of which, the coffee they serve comes from Fantôme Café, which will surely delight lovers of third-wave coffee.

So, the next time you’re passing through Quebec in the near future, please bring us back a little box of chouquettes – we miss them already!

Enjoy your discovery!

Photography by Mikael Lebleu

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