A Local’s View of Mont Tremblant: Patrick Bermand, Restaurateur

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Even as a young boy, I always appreciated good food. I was born and raised in a beautiful ski resort town in the Pyrenees region in the south of France. Gathering as a family to share a homemade meal was an important tradition for us.

From my mom and grandma, I learned recipes that had been in our family for generations. With numerous chefs in our family, I was inspired to pursue my passion for cooking.

After studying at a leading hotel and culinary school, I honed my skills at Charles Barrier’s prestigious Michelin three-star restaurant in Tours. The Michelin Star is the Oscar of the fine dining world. When Montreal hosted the 1976 Olympics, the bilingual Canadian metropolis became a top travel destination. It seemed that everyone in France was talking about Montreal. As a young man at the start of his career, the adventure of moving to Canada was tempting. In 1978, I said ‘au revoir’ to my home country and moved to Quebec.

I mastered my culinary technique at Thursday’s in Montreal, one of the best restaurants in the city and an institution in the 1980s. I also sampled life on Canada’s West Coast, sharpening my chef skills at Al Porto Ristorante, an Italian restaurant founded by the legendary Umberto.

 

A CHEF’S LIFE IN MONT TREMBLANT

In 1992, I arrived in Mont Tremblant as part of a group of young entrepreneurs. At the time, Intrawest (a resort development and management company) was investing major funds into developing Mont Tremblant into a thriving, all-seasons resort. I plunged into the restaurant industry as a co-owner of the popular Resto-Bar Le Shack, followed by seven years as the owner and operator of Auberge Sauvignon, a charming restaurant and small inn. In 2003, my wife, Maude, and I transformed the beautiful Maison du Bonheur into the Patrick Bermand Restaurant. We’ve been sizzling the Mont Tremblant dining scene for the past 11 years.

Our cuisine is simple, just like I believe life should be. At the Patrick Bermand Restaurant, we serve exquisite fish and meat dishes that are prepared with premium products. The quality of our products is paramount. Every week, I drive 600km to the market in Montreal to pick up fresh produce. We use only the best suppliers for fish, veal, butter and other ingredients. Our signature dishes include six-week aged, bone-in filet mignon steak, filet mignon tartare, organic milk-fed veal chop, Chilean sea bass roasted in vodka and old-fashioned style premium rack of lamb, to name a few. We also do a gourmet spin on Quebec comfort food — lobster poutine.

Complimenting Mont Tremblant’s abundant nature and rich forests, our restaurant is housed in a traditional timber home. Featuring wood beams and hardwood floors, the interior is cozy yet elegant. In the summer, our guests dine on our private patio amidst the whispering trees. Our chic wine bar is a perfect place to unwind and connect with friends after a day on the slopes or the golf course. We also offer a catering service for groups between 15-200 people, including family reunions, dinner parties, weddings and special events. We customize the menu based on your food preferences and budget.

For me, the greatest pleasure in life is enjoying a good meal with the people I love. This is also my inspiration as a chef. I enjoy seeing people have a good time with friends and family while savouring a delicious meal. As a chef, you can definitely find me in the kitchen. As a restaurant owner, I am involved in every aspect of our business. I like to be slap bang in the middle of the action.

Mont Tremblant is an incredible place to live. Surrounded by the densely-forested Laurentians, beautiful Lac Tremblant lies in the valley below Mont Tremblant Ski Resort. From late spring to early autumn, my family and I enjoy swimming, boating and water sports. With two nearby golf courses, Mont Tremblant is a popular destination for golfers too. My favourite way to start my work day is after an early morning round of golf.

The gentle mountains in the surrounding area and Mont Tremblant National Park offer superb hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The hiking at Mont Tremblant Resort is amazing too, especially in autumn when the landscape shines with breathtaking hues of red, orange and gold.

In the winter, my family loves to ski. Repeatedly voted the best ski resort in Eastern North America by Ski Canada Magazine, Mont Tremblant Ski Resort boasts 654 acres of terrific skiing. The resort offers excellent ski programs for kids. Located on the highest peak in the Laurentians, Mont Tremblant is known for producing some world-class skiers. Fifteen years ago, our community united to raise funds to support a local boy who had a dream of racing for the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. Today, Erik Guay is one of the fastest ski racers in the world, boasting 21 World Cup podiums, a World Championship gold medal and a spot on Team Canada at the Sochi Olympics.

Mont Tremblant is a great place to raise kids. Our children, who are six and nine years old, have grown up appreciating the outdoors. They attend a good school with an excellent sports program. My kids ski and participate in summer camps. The lifestyle, the natural beauty and the community in Mont Tremblant are outstanding. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to run a successful restaurant in such a remarkably beautiful place. My family has a great life here. We couldn’t be happier.