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Jérôme Ferrer

La Tablée des Chefs and its partners are launching a major mobilization initiative to fill the refrigerators of the food banks of Quebec by preparing more than 1,600,000 meals. The COVID-19 crisis has severely affected the activities of community organizations, many of which have even had to close for lack of resources, adding to the uncertainty experienced by an increasing number of individuals and families who depend on their assistance daily. It is therefore with the sole objective of feeding those who need it that La Tablée des Chefs has brought together this rainbow of stakeholders to give life to Les Cuisines Solidaires.

Vincent White, who oversees promotions for Taverne 1909 signé St-Hubert, said that his Laval kitchen started production on April 15 20,000 meals. The Montreal Bell Centre location will churn out 30,000 meals.

Chiefs mobilize their brigades

Stefano Faita, Caroline McCann, John Winter Russell, Jérôme Ferrer, Frédéric Cyr, Baptiste Peupion, Mario Martel, Éric Gonzalez, Yves Lowe et Ricardo Larrivée are among the many chefs who responded favorably to the call for solidarity, launched in collaboration with Association Restauration Québec. They will mobilize their brigades from next week, reopening for some the kitchens of their restaurants especially for this initiative.

Ivanhoé Cambridge, a real estate subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), will also lend the kitchens of its Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth and Fairmont Le Château Frontenac properties to produce the dishes. Several restaurant groups have also confirmed their participation, including Loto-Québec and Casino de Montréal, Les Rôtisseries St-Hubert, Le Groupe Sportscene, Les Canadiens de Montréal (Groupe CH) and Restaurants Normandin. In exchange for each meal prepared, $ 1 will be paid to these establishments to compensate the cooks and their brigades.

A rainbow coalition

Les Cuisines Solidaires could not have been created so rapidly without the contribution of major partners such as: Fondation Chopin-Péladeau, Québecor, IGA as well as the emergency fund of Centraide, the Government of Quebec and the Food Banks of Quebec.

Other partners are also helping to contribute with financial donations, equipment or food that will be used to make the dishes.

Among them  are:

  • Lassonde Industries
  • Cascades
  • Bonduelle
  • Olymel
  • Producteurs de pommes de terre du Québec et l’Association des emballeurs de pommes de terre du Québec
  • Les Éleveurs de porcs du Québec
  • Cargill
  • SAQ
  • ARQ – Association Restauration Québec
  • CTAQ – Conseil de la transformation alimentaire du Québec
  • QPMA – Québec Produce Marketing Association
  • UPA – Union des producteurs agricoles et ses affiliés
  • Les Emballages Carrousel
  • Gordon Food Service
  • Valero Energy
  • Courchesne Larose
  • Alimentation Couche-Tard
  • Ogilvy
  • And many others

Les Cuisines Solidaires in one look :

  • More than 1,600,000 meals prepared for the Food Banks of Quebec
  • Over 100 participating chefs and cooks
  • Over 500 tonnes of food offered by the entire food industry
  • The Food Banks of Quebec will distribute meals to hundreds of organizations across  Quebec

“Seeing the serious impacts of the crisis in our communities, we looked for a way to help people and imagined a great implication of leaders and actors of the agrifood sector,” said Jean-François Archambault, Managing Director and Founder of La Tablée des Chefs. “The response to our call was immediate: in less than a week, we mobilized generous public and private partners, received confirmations from chefs across the province and the support of many stakeholders in the agrifood industry!”

Added Daniel Tremblay, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Food Banks of Quebec:

“We would like to highlight the exceptional commitment of La Tablée des Chefs, volunteer chefs and partners who mobilized their efforts by cooking and distributing meals for the Food Banks of Quebec. More than 800,000 meals will be redistributed through our Moisson Montréal members, who serve people in need, in all regions of Quebec. Our network needs support to meet the demands that are numerous, in the context of the current crisis, and this initiative represents a major boost.”

Media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau, speaking as the President of Fondation Chopin-Péladeau and President and CEO of Quebecor noted: “The crisis we are going through is causing health concerns, coupled with financial uncertainties and job losses. Quebeckers should not experience food insecurity. Solidarity is part of our DNA. As the Fondation Chopin-Péladeau, Quebecor and the other partners do, we support Les Cuisines Solidaires of La Tablée des Chefs for the benefit of Food Banks in Quebec. More than ever, let’s be united!”

Carl Pichette, Vice President Marketing at IGA said that it is extremely encouraging to see the scale that mobilization has taken in such a short time to support the urgent needs of food banks of Quebec. “As a loyal partner of La Tablée des Chefs for five years, it was only natural for IGA to join the Les Cuisines Solidaires project,” he said. “IGA, therefore, joins its voice with those of other partners to encourage all actors in the food industry to embark on this great community movement to help those who need it most.”

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