Those that have been to Cheval de Jade already know how spectacular the food is. The ambiance, attention to detail and taste make it no surprise that this restaurant is rated 4 diamond. What you may not know is this restaurant is owned and operated by the Chef himself and his partner of 19 years. We were fortunate to sit and chat with the Chef Olivier Tali and the woman behind the chef, his wife, Frederique Pironneau.
Frederique and Olivier, for those of you who know them already, are one of the sweetest couples in Tremblant. They have a passion for the restaurant and their vision is so very clear from the moment you meet them. When they opened this restaurant 15 years ago, they wanted something casual where locals and tourists alike could enjoy spectacular food in a non pretentious, warm environment. Much of their business is from repeat customers who’ve enjoyed the experience with the couple and want more of what they have to offer.
This team of husband and wife work side by side and one without the other would not be complete. Chef Olivier is the artist behind the food, the chef, the master of his kitchen but without hesitation he was quick to tell us how much his wife as well contributes to the success of their business. As Olivier stated, ‘she is the accountant, the marketer, the waitress, the buyer, the sommelier and the mother.’ With their two sons aged 9 and 11, they lead a busy life, but family is their most important value. Working often 6 days a week, 10-12 hour days, having their family organized and near to them is very important.
Every single day they are at the restaurant (which is everyday the restaurant is open) they dine together with their children and staff as a family, before the restaurant opens. The children have grown up as children of ‘restaurateurs’ but as the couple states, they are just like other 9 and 11 year old boys, enjoying sports and other activities. We asked if any of them were hoping to be chefs when they grew up. So far not much has been mentioned but Olivier said with a smile, ‘ nous avons deux garcons tres different quand sa viens a la nourriture, un gourmand et un gourmet’. To translate, their boys view food very differently, one who loves to eat and one who has an eye for taste and flavors, a gourmet.
Like every parent, as they spoke of their children, they smiled and bragged as all parents do. The next time you eat at the restaurant, you can be assured the food will be great, it will be created with artistry and passion and served with love and kindness. If you haven’t been already, go to Cheval de Jade, not only to dine like a king, but to meet this wonderful couple. They will both be there and glad to introduce themselves wholeheartedly.