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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

TV | Chefs stay tuned

It’s 2009. Chuck Hughes is going to record Chuck’s birthdayhis first TV project, when a stylist writes him off stage: “You’ll have to get yourself a long-sleeved sweater to cover your tattoos. You will not go on TV the same!”

Posted at 7:00 am.

Marc-Andre Lemieux

Marc-Andre Lemieux
The press

Then 33 years old, the chef and co-owner of the Guard Manger welcomed this request with dismay. Fortunately, the situation is resolved a few minutes later, when the maker of the program intervenes to allow Chuck to continue shooting in a t-shirt, tattoos well exposed.

“Some people at the time still had this somewhat French idea of ​​a chef, with the white toque, the apron, etc. But I said, “If you look in the kitchen, you’ll see there are a lot more people like me,” Chuck Hughes said in an interview.

This anecdote shows how much the public image of chefs has changed in Quebec in recent decades. An evolution that is partly due to the colossal airtime allotted to them.

Their media ubiquity continues this spring. A single glance at the TV guide is enough to realize this.

For two weeks the Vrai platform has been relaying Welcome to Chucka series filmed at Chuck Hughes’ family home in the Eastern Townships, in which he cooks dishes with local produce.

Since Monday, TVA has been broadcasting the first season of Wood heads, a competition led by Mathieu Baron and judged by Martin Picard who – in the woods – brings together 10 chefs from Quebec. The second season will be aired exclusively on True from April 12th.

On May 10, Quebecor’s video-on-demand service will present the new Restore popup with Hakim Chajar, the winner of Chefs in 2014.

Tv | Chefs Stay Tuned


The host of ChefsÉlyse Marquis, with Normand Laprise, Isabelle Deschamps Plante, Pasquale Vari, Jean-Luc Boulay and Colombe St-Pierre

Speaking of Chefsthe reality show launched by Élyse Marquis will be re-broadcast on ICI Télé on 18 April with Colombe St-Pierre replacing Daniel Vézina.

In English Canada Food Network has been hosting for several days Wall of Bakersan amateur pastry competition with a panel of 12 Canadian chefs, including Ricardo Larrivee and Patrice Demers.

Tv | Chefs Stay Tuned


Wall of Bakers with Ricardo and Patrice Demers

One can also mention Help requested with Louis-François Marcotte (ICI Tou.tv Extra), A chef at the cabin (Tele-Quebec), Five chefs in my kitchen with Marina Orsini (ICI Télé), Potluck Station with Stefano Faita (Zest), The foodies prediction with Martin Juneau (Zeste) and Three times a day & you with Marilou (VAT).

A brilliant progress

At the forefront of the phenomenon since his debut at the Josée di Stasio show on Télé-Québec in 2003, Patrice Demers speaks of a meteoric rise.

“When I started, we only saw Daniel Vézina and Normand Laprise,” the pastry chef recalled in an interview. Zoom. In the street they were the only two chiefs that Monsieur and Madame Almal could name. Now it’s completely different. »

Today, co-owner of Patrice Pâtissier, a counter, training workshop and restaurant in Montreal’s Little Burgundy district, welcomes the entrepreneur to the spread of cooking programs as they contribute to the “democratization of gastronomy”.

Tv | Chefs Stay Tuned


Patrice Demers

Currently young people are watching cooking shows, they are making recipes, they are fascinated … It’s great! I meet them regularly. They come to visit the store [située rue Notre-Dame Ouest à Montréal]. And sometimes older people tell me that they listened to my program on Canal Vie [Les desserts de Patrice] with their parents when they were children.

Patrice Demers

This subject is close to his heart because in the mid-1990s, while in high school, it was while watching television that Patrice Demers discovered his calling. Because culinary programs in Quebec were scarcer, he turned to Julia Child and Jacques Torres, who were present on several American channels.

“In Quebec, it really is Daniel Vézina’s program on Radio Canada [Attention c’est chaud, de 1996 à 1999] which impressed me. It was a click for me. It opened something. It showed me that we can practice this profession at home. »

Strive first to be a TV chef

The media rise of chefs has changed the Quebec culinary industry, says Chuck Hughes. The more the years go by, the more the animator of Chuck and the first people’s kitchena bilingual series showcasing different indigenous cultures on APTN feels the pull of the spotlight with new recruits.

“Before, the chiefs were guys who stayed behind. Today it is not really like that anymore. The new generations sometimes strive to be chefs on TV before they are good chefs. I find it sad. Because I, when I started doing a little television, I was 29-30 years old. I already had 15 years of restaurant experience. Carrots, I cut some. Clap, I ate it. »

Today TV producers call me to hear if I have a good chef for them. But what they mean is if I’m a good TV guy.

Chuck Hughes

Ricardo identifies two categories of TV chefs: those who want to convey their knowledge, and those who want more entertainment. By appearing in the credits of competitions such as Wall of Bakersthe latter contributed to the rise of the culinary genre, believes the host of Ricardo by Radio Canada and Ricardo and friends on Food Network.

“It allows you to reach a larger audience, because [comme téléspectateur], even if you do not like cooking, you may want to listen to it for entertainment. »

The careers of chefs who benefit from a television showcase are obviously positively impacted. Ricardo, who has run his daily newspaper at Radio Canada since 2002, knows something about it.

Tv | Chefs Stay Tuned



Television has always been important. Its impact is enormous.


Patrice Demers can divide his professional career into two: before Josée di Stasio, when he worked at Les Chèvres restaurant, and after Josée di Stasio.

“In the media, this is what started it all for me. They started inviting me to other shows, I was offered book projects … From a more personal point of view, it allowed me to discover that I like the teaching side. Both my parents are teachers. It has to run through my veins. »

“When you own a business, TV offers visibility that is not negligible,” adds the pastry chef.

Same story on the part of Chuck Hughes.

“TV allowed me to add a string to my bow, sums up the head of the Guard Manger. Today I do more TV than I cook. It gave me other opportunities. It’s still crazy when I think about it. Initially, my goal was to open a small restaurant with 40 seats. »

Series Welcome to Chuck is presented on True. Food Network offers Wall of Bakers Mondays at 10:00.

World Nation News Desk
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