La Relève: The ITHQ’s gourmet teaching restaurant

La Relève: Encouraging learning at the ITHQ’s gourmet teaching restaurant

The name alone of the ITHQ teaching restaurant, “La Relève Gourmande”, says it all. This address offers an affordable experience while encouraging the learning and development of culinary up-and-comers who work and study there, and who will soon showcase their skills in the restaurant industry upon completing the program.

Last year, the ITHQ celebrated its 50th anniversary. Over the years, important names in Quebec’s culinary landscape have passed through the doors of this institution. Since the beginning of the ITHQ, the teaching restaurant La Relève Gourmande has served as a practice area for students. First-year students prepare dishes and desserts as well as serve them.

Excellent value

As for the menu, it is the professors who develop it every three weeks. The menu is designed in such a way so that the students can practice the techniques they have learned in class. The students regularly change stations to perfect all facets of the cooking profession. Five main courses are offered, including a vegetarian dish, a fish dish (daily arrival), and a braise. The table d’hôte formula includes a starter, among a choice of 4, a main course, and a coffee or tea. The formula costs between $12 and $17; it is also possible to add a dessert for $3 more. The daily dessert offering is rounded out with a sweet creation that students have made in class. The quality-price ratio, and the mastery of techniques make the experience as a whole very enjoyable.

In the dining room, the students are supervised by a professor who ensures that the service runs smoothly. The waiters are friendly and attentive. The learning continues throughout the session. They learn that service and the restaurant industry is a way of life, not just a summer job. Between the explanation of the menu, advice on wine, and service of the dishes, everything is done in a friendly atmosphere that is conducive to learning. Please note that no tip is required since the students are in training and the service starts at a fixed time.

Fine dining without the price tag

The restaurant is located on the second floor of the ITHQ building. With a simple decor, the room can accommodate 60 people and up to 120 when expanded. The sommelier professors orchestrate a basic wine list where a large number of varietals are present. A few classic cocktails are offered, as well as a creation prepared by a student bartender.

Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Friday throughout the school year, the ITHQ’s La Relève Gourmande teaching restaurant is a good opportunity to encourage students in their learning, in addition to enjoying fine cuisine at an attractive price.


Photography by La Relève gourmande de l'ITHQ



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