Posts tagged “Chicoutimi”

coucher du soleil

By Gaëtan Vaudry

When you visit Chicoutimi, especially on the famous Racine Street, you can't miss the equally renowned Bistro D. Owned by businessman David Rousseau, this establishment aims to blend French, Italian, and Asian influences, delighting a loyal clientele with delicious traditional dishes made with the finest local and seasonal ingredients.

Bistro D has been a shining star in downtown Chicoutimi for several years, and its little sisters, the Sandwicherie and the Salaison du Bistro D, are no less impressive. The pride of its owner and founder, the Salaison du Bistro D offers superior quality charcuteries: "Each piece of meat is hand-prepared, artisanally," emphasizes David Rousseau. "We subtly add spices and herbs, creating a feast for the senses." The Salaison du Bistro D boasts a variety of excellent products, including dry sausages, lonzu, salami, chaudin, coppa, bresaola, ventrèche, and many more.

Bistro D2 Bistro D3 Bistro D5

In the high season, many French tourists make a detour to the Salaison du Bistro D. A Parisian customer recently stated: "I must declare my love: for 2 years in Quebec, I've been searching for a sausage reminiscent of those I had in France. I just found it in my local grocery, and it's a delight. Oh, how I missed it!" Such comments proudly flood the social media pages of Monsieur D's charcuteries, available at various points of sale in Quebec. Monsieur D's charcuteries were even semi-finalists at the 2023 Agri-Food Grand Prix Gala, in the Maxi and Provigo Public's Choice Award category. Quite an achievement!

Where David and his team truly stand out is in their precious partnerships with artisans from Saguenay. For instance, they created a sausage with beer and pork from the Villoise Farm in Saint-Gédéon, and sausages with Beemer Vodka, in collaboration with Morille Québec, offered by the Beemer Distillery in Roberval.

Bistro D2

If you try a dish at Bistro D, a friendly staff member will be able to suggest a variety of privately imported wines, carefully selected to enhance the flavors of your plate.

Bistro D / The Sandwicherie / The Salaison du Bistro D
381, Racine Street East, Chicoutimi
418 973-4668
Bistro D / The Sandwicherie Facebook Page
The Salaison du Bistro D Facebook Page

By Gaëtan Vaudry
Photo: Héliotrope Editions

At just 31 years of age, his name is already on everyone's lips. Born in Montreal, but a Chicoutimi adoptee by choice, Kevin Lambert is a prolific author collecting the most prestigious awards.

His mantelpiece is already overflowing with numerous accolades, including the best thesis in Arts and Humanities from the University of Montreal, the Pierre L'Hérault Emerging Critic Award, the Discovery Award at the Saguenay−Lac-Saint-Jean Book Fair, the Sade Prize, the CALQ (Quebec Council of Arts and Letters) Prize, the Ringuet Prize, the December Prize, and the 2023 Médicis Prize... to name a few!

Graduating from the University of Montreal with a master's and a doctorate, the writer published his first novel You Will Love What You Have Killed in 2017. In this story set in an unhealthy and morbid Chicoutimi, Kevin Lambert uses hatred as a literary tone and sharply criticizes the xenophobia and homophobia that still prevails in Quebec. The young man already managed to turn many heads, mainly those in the Quebec literary scene. This success set the stage for his second novel, Querelle of Roberval, published a year later. This work - renamed Querelle by his French publisher - narrating the struggle of the workers at the Roberval sawmill against their employer, received a multitude of awards and acknowledgements, propelling Kevin Lambert's name beyond our borders.


Many will remember that in July 2023, Kevin Lambert did not appreciate Quebec's Prime Minister, François Legault, highlighting his latest work Let Our Joy Remain on Twitter. The author fiercely replied to the CAQ leader's literary critique on social media: "Mr. Legault, in the midst of a housing crisis, while your government works to undermine the last bastions protecting us from extreme gentrification in Montreal, promoting my book is pitiful (...) What bothered me was not so much the fact that he reads books that are far from his political ideas or echo chamber, but the interpretation he made of my book in the context of the housing crisis." The two men would subsequently exchange a few messages.

Openly gay, Kevin Lambert, in an interview with La Presse and director René-Richard Cyr in 2021, asserts his desire to contribute to the homosexual affirmation movement in his works: "I like being part of the LGBTQ category," he emphasizes. According to him, the cultural industry imposes changes, adjustments: "Categories don't bother me at all. It's a big machine, the cultural industry, it takes time to move, but it moves.

On November 9, 2023, Kevin Lambert received the Médicis Prize for Let Our Joy Remain, a French literary award established in 1958, intended to honor a novel, a narrative, a collection of short stories, by an author who is beginning or does not yet have a reputation corresponding to their talent. The Médicis comes with a prize of 1000 euros, roughly less than 1500 dollars.

By Gaëtan Vaudry

During our brief stay in the city of Saguenay, it was impossible not to visit Café Cambio on Racine Est Street four or five times. First, to enjoy the atmosphere of this downtown Chicoutimi solidarity cooperative, but also to savor delicious, affordable health-conscious dishes featuring products from several local producers.

As soon as she speaks about the products found at this fair trade and organic micro-roastery, founded in March 2005, Virginie Simard-Dufour's eyes light up. She speaks of the relentless teamwork of 32 members, including 10 worker members: "Under the label, we embody a vision, that of a better world, a world where farmers and workers sit at the negotiation table on equal footing," proudly highlights the service manager, restaurant and barista of the place.

Café Cambio, a popular spot for many students from the Cégep de Chicoutimi and the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), also serves as a venue for many young artists from Saguenay. The establishment regularly hosts art exhibitions and small acoustic concerts featuring emerging music.

During my visit last November, I had the chance to enjoy excellent dishes at the establishment, initiated by two childhood friends from Montreal, Guylaine Pelletier and Geneviève Demers. For starters, a delightful mushroom soup, comforting in this season. I continued with the spicy Bedi panini (Cajun-spiced chicken, caramelized onions, spinach, mozzarella, and veganaise), served with salad, corn chips, and salsa. We concluded with the dessert of the day, all accompanied by one of their excellent fair-trade coffees. To my great surprise, the bill for this delicious three-course meal was very affordable!

Moreover, what struck me most during my first visit was their "Pay It Forward" concept, where customers can anonymously donate a soup or coffee to someone in need. Knowing that the homelessness situation is worsening in downtown Chicoutimi, this admirable gesture of generosity is particularly meaningful.

Café Cambio's coffee and products are available at several outlets in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, including Chicoutimi, Jonquière, La Baie, Saint-Ambroise/Saint-Honoré, MRC Lac-Saint-Jean-Est, MRC Domaine-du-Roy, Bas-Saguenay, Saint-Fulgence/Sainte-Rose-Sacré-Cœur, Tadoussac, Les Bergeronnes, Les Escoumins, and even the Côte-Nord!

Café Cambio
414, Rue Racine Est, Chicoutimi
418 549-7830

By Gaëtan Vaudry

Before arriving in the city of La Baie, I had not even heard of Jean-Jules Soucy. However, it wasn't long before I was introduced to this artist, the pride of the entire Saguenay region. Born in 1951 in La Baie, where he has always lived and worked, he earned a Bachelor's degree in the teaching of visual arts from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC) in 1976. A diligent worker, he showcased his work both in Quebec and internationally.

In 1993, Jean-Jules Soucy exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal, presenting Stressed Carpet, a piece composed of 60,000 liters of folded milk cartons, collected from all over Quebec! But it was in 2000 that the artist made significant waves when he unveiled the Pyramid of Ha! Ha! in La Baie. This installation was made up of 3,000 traffic signs, commemorating the Saguenay Flood of 1996.

Soucy2 Soucy3 Soucy4

In 2008, Jean-Jules Soucy received the Arts and Letters Council of Quebec Award for visual and media arts. 13 years later, his career was celebrated in his native region at the Order of the Blueberry ceremony, where he was inducted as a member. The Bay's pride's career has also been the subject of numerous documentaries and reports, notably the 1994 film Art is Not Without Soucy by filmmaker Bruno Carrière.

My reason for discussing the great Jean-Jules Soucy is that I had the opportunity to view the exhibition "What to Offer in Case of Water," presented by the Espace Séquence of the BANG Contemporary Art Centre in Chicoutimi. The exhibition features a selection of colorful and humorous works by the artist, who passed away in July 2022. These works, dating from the 1970s to the present, are available thanks to his sister, artist and scenographer Hélène Soucy, who began restoring them in the past year. I greatly enjoyed this vibrant exhibition. I discovered an artist with a sharp sense of humor, a master of wordplay. The exhibition is on display at the Centre BANG until December 23. A must-see!

Espace Séquence of the Centre BANG
132, East Racine Street, Chicoutimi
418 549-7830

By Gaëtan Vaudry

According to Marie Lerdu, the lodging manager, the project to restore this 1960s motel was a bit of a wild idea. Nevertheless, this initiative has borne fruit, as today, the Auberge Camp de Base, located at the entrance to L'Anse Saint-Jean in the heart of the Bas Saguenay valley, has quickly become a true hub of village life.

In addition to efficiently managing the lodging aspect of the establishment (9 rooms, a dormitory, a communal kitchen, and several camping areas), the team at Auberge Camp de Base also offers a resto-bar highlighting local products, including meats and fish smoked on-site. After a few weeks of rest, the resto-bar team is back for the colorful winter season. On the menu, a complete tourist experience in the Bas-Saguenay area, in partnership with Mont-Édouard, Entre Chien et Loups, and Saguenay Adventures. Indulge in one of the excursion packages that connect you with 40 malamute dogs in the heart of the Fjord-du-Saguenay mountains, or enjoy essential days of alpine skiing, snowshoeing, Fatbike, and cross-country skiing.

Upon returning to Auberge Camp de Base, you can relax and enjoy a unique culinary experience, as the establishment is certified as a flavor ambassador by Zone Boréale, placing great importance on the origin of its local or regional products: "Although the place attracts a large number of tourists throughout the year, we have the reputation of being a social gathering place for village residents," shares Marie Lerdu. "The mix of tourists and our residents creates very warm evenings. That's why we've just made some renovations, allowing us to offer several themed evenings to our customers." In the coming months, Auberge Camp de Base will offer art openings, song performances, improvisation, and even board game nights.

Open from Thursday to Saturday starting at 4 PM, the resto-bar at Auberge Camp de Base invites you to its Holiday season party on the upcoming Saturday, December 16, starting at 6 PM. The group Les Quêteux du Lac-St-Jean will perform traditional call-and-response songs, accompanied by the experienced caller Ghislain Jutras. Tickets priced at $18 are available on site. The upcoming evenings' programming will be available through the official Facebook page of the inn:

Furthermore, the management of Auberge Camp de Base is delighted to participate as an official exhibitor at the European Christmas Market of Saguenay, held from November 30 to December 3 and from December 7 to 10 at Place du Citoyen in Chicoutimi. On-site, over 32 exhibitors, mulled wine, and hundreds of gift ideas, all in an enchanting and magical Christmas setting.

Auberge Camp de Base
5, rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste

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