Baloney tartare

Dany Marquis

Baloney Tartar

During the holiday season, I discovered chef shows. From “ It’s going to heat up ” to “ Master chef Australia ”, I devour the concept, entertaining and educational. I learn little tips that we can apply during meal preparation. I also like the rigor that the leaders impose on their minions, their demands. And since I love to eat, I have to cook well since good restaurants are rare in my neck of the woods.

This week we had a discussion about this that made me think and saddened me. This reflection came just after reading the article which reported the closure of the “Café de la petite école” in Nouvelle. We said to ourselves that good restaurants are disappearing. In a region where we all dream of being a civil servant, the work required to run a restaurant discourages many.

But what I believe is killing the majority of businesses is the cost of food. The chef starts with a menu, in his image, without compromise, where everything is made by hand. A base of sauce, pasta, nothing commercial. But there you go, all that is expensive, and we are in Gaspésie, I can tell you that from January to March, the food economy slows down. Margins are therefore reduced to zero (often at a loss), employees are reduced, we beat each other every hour. We give it our all, we thrive on customer compliments, but the bank account is slowly emptying from summer sales. Our leader continues to give of himself.

Meanwhile, “family” restaurants reign supreme in the center of every small town. On the menu, frozen, ready-to-cook, fried, their concern is not to cook well, but to remain open. In the latest magazine of the Association of Restaurateurs of Quebec a text spoke of this subject. A quote from a restaurant expert:

“You don’t need to know how to cook to run a restaurant, you need to know how to count. » And let me tell you, he's right.

We often talk about management on a dime. Example, an 8 oz glass for a coffee, does not cost $0.08 (I forgot the exact price) but $0.0754. No choice. If I come back to our leader, there comes a time when we have to do something, either increase sales or reduce the cost of food. And since we are in cities with very low populations, we cannot increase traffic, at least we are limited. For the other option, the “real” ones will refuse to fall into the specials, baloney and fries daily menus. There is always the option of working without pay, but who could blame the chef for not being able to pay for his hydro with a beef tartare or Native American salmon? Then comes a time when we throw in the towel. I am exaggerating a little, but the closure of the Little School represents for me a social and cultural impoverishment. A collective failure. I even feel a little guilty, maybe I didn't go as often as I would have liked... anyway, it's over.

Thanks to Paul Hachey and Geneviève Philippe for increasing Gaspésie gross national happiness during this time and making me love cod tongues.

I have a lot of respect for what you did.


1 comment

  • Paul Hachey

    Merci Dany,ton texte me touche beaucoup,le compromis du baloney me fait rire ce matin et j’en ai bien besoin!!!Je renaitrai de mes cendres et ce ne sera pas pour proposer du fast food !!!Le café est mort,la bonne cuisine demeure vivante et fière.
    Paul Hachey

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