Nestled in the woods of the Gatineau Hills, Restaurant Les Fougères has won multiple regional and national-level awards since opening in 1993 for its dedication to culinary excellence and the exploration of regional ingredients and flavors.
We are located on the edge of the beautiful village of Chelsea, Quebec, overlooking expansive gardens and woodland – where the passing of the four seasons is minutely registered in the landscape and where our proximity to nature will nourish and heal the soul even before a meal begins!
True hospitality flows in our dining room – Manna Phillips and Louis Parisien wear their hearts on their sleeves with everything they and their team do in creating a warm, non pretentious oasis of calm, refuge, attentiveness, knowledge, and vitality in the dining room.
Our commitment to good, real food made from scratch led us, some years ago, to also open a Gourmet Food Store adjacent to our Restaurant where a large line of our natural prepared foods and other fine foods and ingredients are available to take home. Come shop in the store or check out our on-line store!
We took our commitment to good food a step further in 2013 when we built an artisanal commercial production kitchen behind our Store from which we distribute our natural, artisanal foods to other retailers across the region and beyond. This initiative is part of our crusade to get better quality prepared foods onto grocery store shelves and family tables and to prove that prepared foods do not need to be industrial, unhealthy junk food!
A few years ago we underwent a fundamental renovation of our dining room. From a cozy, piney, alcoved space which had hugged us and our guests for over 25 years ( since we had originally renovated this building from a gas station and home into our restaurant), we stripped everything down and started again from square one.
Our dream was to create an open, airy dining room space which shared and expanded on the principles of the kitchen itself. That is to say we wanted to have the ethos of the dining room redesign to be guided by the sense and possibilities of our terroir and the passage of the seasons just as terroir and season drive the constantly rolling menu at Restaurant Les Fougères.
What flowed from this was removing almost all the walls from the restaurant. Firstly and importantly this included the wall between the dining room and kitchen. This released masses of positive energy flow and relationship building between the kitchen and guests and between the kitchen and dining room.
Secondly, almost all exterior-facing walls were replaced with ground to ceiling windows giving an unfettered view and connection with the land and the moment of the season – be it a magnificent winter storm, daffodils and trilliums through the woods in Spring, full on blooming perennials in mid summer or the gold and red crown of our maple forest in Fall. All exquisite in their own ways and we feel so lucky to have these four distinct seasons and to have a dining room which literally bathes in their changing light and charms.
Our dynamic contractor, Ben Chicione, Maison Chicione Homes (MCH) also took the idea of a terroir/season driven redesign even further by using Pre Cambrian particulate from the nearby Morrison quarry to build “Rammed Earth” features – two walls and a spectacular curved bar in front of the open kitchen. Ben built the curved mould and then poured the particulate, mixed with a little concrete, into the mould layering the naturally tinted particulate as one used to do as a child pouring colored sand in undulating layers in a jar. Ben had sat by the nearby Gatineau River and absorbed the layered look of the river, hills and sky and brilliantly managed to achieve this effect including a bottom layer of pinkish granite depicting the Canadian Shield, then the snow covered Gatineau River, then the Gatineau Hills in silhouette and finally the winter sky above. One can also detect the influence and admiration of the great Québec painter Jean Paul Lemieux and Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal in the rammed earth features in the Les Fougeres dining room.
We are so grateful to Ben and his team for taking so much to heart the notions of trying to reflect our landscape and seasons in our redesign – right down to using our actual terroir to build the rammed earth features as well as making our tables from local maple and black walnut woods and installing beautiful hand blown glass orbs for our lighting made by Jennifer Bennet from nearby Wakefield.
- To achieve and maintain such distinction in food, wine, service, atmosphere and setting that the restaurant gains a first class reputation for gastronomy, gracious and informed hospitality, comfort and beauty which draws new and repeat customers year after year. Similarly, to achieve and maintain such distinction in the quality and integrity of our store and our line of prepared foods that they achieve a reputation which draws an increasingly large base of regular and repeat customers, both at les Fougères and off site markets.
- To achieve the above whilst upholding policies and practices which promote a fair and positive working environment.
- To be aware of and act on our responsibilities as a good corporate citizen by:
- providing a safe, clean and attractive place for guests to enjoy and for employees to work in;
- promoting ecologically and environmentally sound and sustainable management practices and policies at Les Fougères including in our menu and in our surrounding gardens and woods;
- undertaking meaningful involvement of Restaurant Les Fougères in selected charitable activities in our community and region.
Our mission statement is what guides all of our decision-making and represents our core values and goals. If you have chosen to become a member of the Les Fougères team, it is expected that you have reflected on and share these core values and goals and are willing to undertake, with us, the efforts required to give life to our mission statement.
Striving to achieve these objectives is what makes our business succeed and endure. These objectives are also what make us proud of what we do.