The food industry is tough. I know because I used to have a food business. That was pre-covid. It must be much much much tougher now.
This brings us to the topic of this blog, a restaurant in Quebec City called L’Affaire est Ketchup. I learned about this place from watching an old episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. The name, according to the server, is an old French Canadian saying which roughly translates to “put ketchup on it, and it will be fine”.
There are a number of interesting things about this place. For starters, they are cooking off of residential stoves. Not only that, they are electric, with coils!
For that alone, I give a lot of respect to the chef. Its tough to cook on those things let alone in a restaurant setting. Next, from what I could tell, there was only one person in the kitchen doing all the cooking. This probably means he is in there prepping, buying food and doing everything else needed to run a kitchen too – all by himself!
Here was the menu for the evening; it looks like they had a day menu too which means 2x the work.
Our server on the other hand, was the only one in the front of the house. This means she serves, takes orders, cleans the place, handles reservations, and we observed her washing dishes in between serving dishes. Massive respect. This is the definition of passion and hard work. She did all of this with a smile and FANTASTIC service. Now for the food. I started with the Ris de veau – sweetbreads. I don’t normally like sweetbreads but the way she described them seemed so delicious. They were cooked with a lot of butter and were good.
For my main I had the bison. I don’t eat bison enough to know whether it was cooked well or not, but it tasted good.
For dessert, I had a selection of local cheese.
Watching the evening unfold, I was amazed and inspired by the hard work of the two people running the restaurant. The food was good, and came out on time to each table. The service was fantastic, including the advice we got on wines. The cooking is rustic. If you are in QC, you should definitely go to this restaurant and show your support. Just incredible.