Normand Laprise, the Relais and Châteaux Grand Chef of Toqué!, is now a member of the Order of Canada.
Governor General David Johnston presented the honour to Laprise, as well as 34 other new members and nine officers, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Sept. 23.
The Order of Canada, one of the nation’s highest civilian honours, was created in 1967 to recognize exceptional achievement and dedication to the community and service to the nation.
During the ceremony, Laprise was recognized as an authority and pioneer of Quebec gastronomy. He is credited with reinventing traditional cuisine by featuring local products and combining the familiar with the unexpected in each dish he creates.
As well, Laprise is a mentor to the next generation of chefs and serves as spokesperson for La Tablée des Chefs, an organization tasked with feeding underprivileged families and delivering culinary education to youth.
Laprise opened Toqué! with business partner Christine Lamarche in Montreal about 22 years ago. He is also co-owner of Brasserie T!.
“I am truly honored to receive this distinction to be shared with everyone who have accompanied me during my career, in particular, my associate Christine Lamarche of restaurant Toqué! and Brasserie T! along with the immediate members of my brigade as well as past members and with the artisans who have supported me in my quest to give Québec cuisine a strong identity,” Laprise said following the announcement of his appointment.
Alongside the Order of Canada, Laprise is a Knight of the National Order of Quebec, a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and the recipient of Grand Prix du Tourisme Québécois – Tourism Personality of 2014.