Follow the chief! | In the footsteps of the Montreal of yesteryear

Follow the food and brewing history of Old Montreal with Gov. Claude de Ramezay’s chef on the Follow the Chef! tour, one of the many cultural brewery tours organized by the Montreal Mondial de la Biere team during the summer season.

Posted yesterday at 11am

Pierre Marc Durivage

Pierre Marc Durivage
The press

Montreal, a cultural and gastronomic brewing hub, is bringing back to life this summer the theatrical food history tour offered by Château Ramezay every spring from 2013 to 2018: The Follow the Chef! Tour, held on Thursdays and Fridays in a Formula 5 at 7 to 12 August, is making a comeback thanks to this organization created by the Mondial de la Bière in response to a call for tenders from the city of Montreal that wanted to revitalize the heart of the city affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The circuit Follow the cook! takes tourists past locations that shaped Old Montreal’s culinary history, including Bonsecours Market.

This is how Claude Maupoint, head chef of Governor Claude de Ramezay, acting governor of New France at the beginning of the 18th century, cookse Century, has again been teleported to our time to tell us about his own, this time with more elements tracing the origins of the first breweries in the province.


Ladle in hand, Danilo Vergara plays Claude Maupoint, Governor Claude de Ramezay’s cook.

Soothed by guide Hélène Richard, chef Maupoint, played by Danilo Vergara, still needs a few moments to recover from the shock of the 21st century.e century ; Luckily, he calmed down quickly and willingly interacted with tourists, witnessing with humor what was to be found in Montreal in his day.

In particular, we learn about the role of the markets at that time, the warehouses and “shops” of the port, we discover where the city’s first hotels and restaurants were located – several buildings crossed along the way are pretexts for stories and food stories .

The history of brewing is approached at the end of the tour by tasting a few beers from the bistro-brasserie Les Sœurs Grises on the magnificent terrace of Château Ramezay. The latter overlooks the Governor’s Gardens, which were replanted in the summer of 2000 to reflect the style and content of the gardens of Montreal nobility in the New France period.


The circuit Follow the cook! ends on the terrace of Château Ramezay overlooking the governor’s gardens.

Our guide Hélène Richard tells us that the first brewers in Quebec were probably the Récollets and that the family of Louis Hébert, the first settler in New France, owned a brew kettle in 1622.

In Montreal, Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve also had a brewery in 1650. He brewed a hoppy barley malt, a strong, heavy drink that was expensive to produce but still cheaper than importing.

Hélène Richard, Follow the chef’s guide!

We’re also surprised to learn that Governor Jean Talon’s brewery in Quebec City in 1668 brewed almost 800,000 liters of good quality beer, double the amount that the Molson brewery did in 1810. “Apart from the fact that the brewery of Mr. Talon will close four years after they opened, M continuesme Richard. First, Jean Talon will return to France, then the motherland was not so happy with the fact that his colony was autonomous, preferring that we buy our products there. Which means the beer will really catch on here after the conquest, so it will be up to the English. »

All around beer tourism

“We have long dreamed of beer tourism, our goal was to promote the brewing sector through culture and delicacies,” explains the President of the Mondial de laière, Jeannine Marois, whom we met after the Follow the tour Chief!.


On some excursions we stop to taste the beers from the 4 Origines microbrewery.

In fact, Montréal, the downtown brewing, culture and gourmet city, is offering an impressive array of brew-themed discovery activities this summer. The companies Guidatour and 16/42 Tours offer excursions where you can discover the most beautiful murals in the city center or understand the industrial history of the Lachine Canal and Griffintown. All of this is complemented by tastings at microbreweries encountered along the way, such as Le Cheval Blanc, 4 Origines, and Les Brasseurs de Montréal.

There are also tasting shows in July at Les Sans-Taverne, L’Amère à Boire, Saint-Houblon and Benelux, cruises and even gourmet beer nights at the Sheraton Centre.

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