It was at the start of the pandemic that Hugo Saint-Jacques, executive chef since 2015 of the Zeste kitchens and the multifunctional reception room Dock619, had the idea of pictorecipes, these recipes detailed in images that we share on our pages. To support him every week, he is accompanied by two talented colleagues, David Martel, his chef, and Heather Abenosa-Meja, his sous-chef.
We no longer present Hugo Saint-Jacques. The Quebec chef has been a star chef on Les Chefs! in 2010 and 2014, winner of the "Canadian Chef of the Year" award in 2014, and co-owner of the Bazz Java Jazz restaurant for a few years. Today, he dedicates himself body and soul to his role as executive chef of the Zeste kitchens and the Dock619 reception hall. It is also at Dock619 that Station Potluck is filmed, a program he co-hosts with Stefano Faita and Émilie Fournier on Zeste.
An outstanding communicator, Hugo Saint-Jacques had the idea of pictorecipes during the pandemic. "The concept is to image the work methodology," he explains. For people who are intimidated by long recipes, pictorecipes are a way to simplify everything. Plus, we offer a mix of very simple recipes and recipes that are going to take a little more work to reach as many readers as possible. »
Three different cuisines
Since you have to "be well surrounded to make beautiful projects", Hugo Saint-Jacques quickly calls on David Martel and Heather Abenosa-Meja to support him in the creation and writing of the recipes.
At three, the creators offer diverse content. "I was born here and I was nourished by the gastronomy here," reveals Hugo Saint-Jacques. So I love using products from here, even if traveling has really shaped me. »
David Martel, who worked in a restaurant in Tofino before joining Dock619, has a good base of Italian cuisine. "I've always had a yearning for Italian cuisine. These are simple recipes, with good products, quite simply. When you have exceptional products, like here in Quebec, the recipe is self-made. »
Spotted during a cooking class by Hugo Saint-Jacques, Heather Abenosa-Meja, of Filipino origin, has a particular affection for Asian cuisine. “The aromas, the flavors, the umami it gives, it always turned me on! »
The passion for local products
Like any good chef, the trio follows the rhythm of the seasons and showcases our local products. “I am a seafood lover,” reveals Hugo Saint-Jacques. It really is one of my strengths. I also really like Jerusalem artichokes, an extraordinary tuber, so tasty! »
For her part, Heather loves to cook with citrus fruits. "It's great for adding a tart flavor to a sauce or dish. Hugo and David also made me discover local ingredients, such as sea buckthorn berries or boreal spices. »
Finally, David Martel is delighted that asparagus, his favorite vegetable, is currently in season. The signature of local products is therefore found in all three, but in all simplicity.
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