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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
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Chef Francois Pellerin, Executive Chef
Le Fourquet Fourchette
Chambly, Quebec, Canada

Located on the shores of the Richelieu River, within view of the old stones of Fort Chambly, visitors to Le Fourquet Fourchette enjoy both exquisite beer and artisanal cheeses, specialty foods, and fresh Quebec cuisine a la biere. Chef Francois Pellerin, Fourquet Fourchette, Chambly Quebec

For beer is the unifying theme for the French-Canadian cuisine that chef Francois Pellerin serves at Fourquet Fouchette. His goal is to create flavorful foods to match the character of Unibroue's award-winning ales.

Unibroue's head brewer, Paul Arnott, came to Canada from Belgium, where he worked for 10 years at Chimay. With his appreciation for the marriage of beer and food so legendary in Belgium, Arnott has created more interesting (and very food friendly) beers in recent years.

The Ephemere line of bieres sur lees (unfiltered and unpasteurized ales) made with pulverized musts of fresh fruits in season (peach, cranberry and apple) is available on draft at Fourquet Fourchette - wonderful ales to pair with farmstead cheeses.

Just a mile from the Unibroue brewery, Fourquet Fourchette occupies three levels of a completely renovated turn-of-the-century building. The main floor welcomes guests into the "Brou-tique" that sells specialty foods such as Moutard du Fin du Monde, or a vinegar made with Maudite.

Three dining halls on all three level -- the 'Spices Hall', the 'Abbey Hall' and the 'Jean Talon Hall' - are decked out for events, weddings, and weekend performing arts. The Abbey Hall displays beer-themed woodwork.

Inspired by both Quebecois and Indian cuisines, chef Francois Pellerin creates dishes such as pemmican a la Fringante and caribou pot pie with Maudite.

I was lucky to taste the home-smoked salmon marinated in Fin du Monde, ale-cured meats, a rich pate, salad greens dressed with Blanche du Chambly, and exquisite aged goat's milk cheeses. In summer, grilled items dominate the menu. platter of house-smoked salmon, Fouquet Fourchette

These include dishes such as venison sausages with dried blueberries, grilled kebabs of venison marinated in La Terrible (Unibroue's black Belgian ale "biere noir extra forte" soon to be released in the US), and steaks with a peppercorn sauce a la Trois Pistoles.

The large kitchen, newly renovated in 2002, puts forth superior quality foods, many hand-made or smoked in their tiny smokehouse on the property. Chef Pellerin employs more than 30 people in the kitchen during the height of the season, when kayakers and bicyclists enjoy the waterfront of the Richelieu. Tourists visit the historic Fort Chambly, and the park is home to a large food and beer festival over the first weekend in September.

Pellerin has worked at large hotels and resorts in Canada, Belgium and North Africa, and also taught in cooking schools, so he is comfortable guiding operations for three dining rooms and the take-out counter. Pastries, such as a maple syrup tart with Raftman, make popular to-go items.

"I like to add complementary spices to sauces made with beer," says chef Pellerin. "And the flavors of the yeast and brewing ingredients will inspire the choice of other ingredients." Favorite spices for cooking with Unibroue beers include star anise or juniper berries for the strong game meats marinated in the rich dark ales, and grated orange zest and crushed coriander seeds for sauces with the unfiltered wheat ales. Cheese board, Fourquet Fourchette's "broutique"

Pellerin is hard at work on creating a beer-cheese pairing menu. Cheeses sold through the "Broutique" represent the highest quality of cheesemaking: Blue Benedictin, a pasteurized cow's milk cheese from Abbaye Saint-Benoit, Austin and Chevre Noir, goats' milk cheese from Fromagerie Tournevent, Chesterville.

"Beer is perfect for pairing with cheeses," Pellerin says, "because the carbonation creates an explosion on the palate, and the beer is less acidic than wine. The malt flavor accents the cheese flavor in the same way that a good hearth bread does." And Pellerin is an outstanding baker as well. The nine-grain biscuits served with the pemmican are worth ordering extra to take home. The restaurant also offers guided tours of the Unibroue brewery and is available to be rented out for business meetings, receptions and private parties.

Le Fourquet Fourchette
Bieres et cuisines de la Neuve France
1887, avenue Bourgogne
Chambly Quebec
tel. 450-447-6370



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