Frères Jacques Pâté

Tony's Pâté

Original Recipe from France


Winnipeg free press

It’s pâté time Savoury local spread infused with generations of family tradition By: David Sanderson The owner of a Winnipeg shop that carries a wide selection of locally made foodstuffs posed a question on social media recently, asking how people enjoy pâté, a delicacy with French roots that has reportedly been around since the Middle Ages. The query was inspired by Frères Jacques, a St. Vital-based venture that turns out two flavours of the savoury spread, both of which the store stocks. The most intriguing response came from a person who likes to partner their pâté with bologna, cucumber, radish, carrots, cilantro and mayo, and tuck the lot inside a freshly baked baguette to create a banh mi of sorts. That definitely sounds appetizing, says Frères Jacques’s founder Larry Jacques, but if you’re seeking his opinion, pâté goes best on charcuterie boards, which became all the rage at the height of the pandemic. When it’s hot and humid outside and nobody is in the mood to cook, a platter laden with cheese, fruit, crackers and a whack of pâté is just what the doctor ordered, contends the director-of-sales-turned entrepreneur. You won’t find it on the list of ingredients, but in addition to pork loin, garlic, pepper and parsley, Jacques’s signature variety, called Tony’s Pâté for his late father, also contains a heaping helping of nostalgia. Jacques, one of eight siblings, seven of them brothers, says his Quebec-born father wasn’t a gourmet chef, not even close. If there was one dish he was adept at, mind you, it was pâté made from scratch, using a recipe developed by his own father, Jacques’ grandfather, decades earlier. “Dad, who passed away in 1989 at the age of 65, used to make (pâté) for company and special occasions, and I remember people bugging him, saying, ‘Tony, this so good, you should be selling it in stores,’” says Jacques, who was born in Lorette and grew up in Windsor Park. “Except with eight mouths to feed, it wasn’t like he could afford to do the necessary marketing and stuff. He would just say thanks, and that he was glad they liked it.” Jacques guesses it was around 15 years ago when he first considered introducing the rest of the world to his dad’s beloved pâté. He was living and working in Calgary at the time, and after preparing batch after batch to ensure it compared favourably to what he’d grown up consuming, he did some poking around to determine if there was any interest in what he’d arrived at. There was little to none, which he attributed to what he feels was a lack of French culture in the Alberta city, so he parked his plan. In 2018, by which time he and his wife had returned to Winnipeg, Jacques decided to revisit the idea. He spent till the end of that year determining what would be required in terms of packaging and labelling. Next, after registering his more-than-fitting business name, he set about promoting Frères Jacques the old-fashioned way, by showing up at a retailer’s front door and stating, “Here’s what I’m selling, I think you’re going to like it.” Local Meats and Frozen Treats on St. Anne’s Road was the first store in the city to carry Tony’s Pâté, quickly followed by Fromagerie Bothwell, at 136 Provencher Blvd., which opened in the spring of 2019. “I believe it was Larry’s wife who came into the store, with the pâté sample, which we immediately fell in love with,” says Jean-Marc Champagne, Fromagerie Bothwell’s owner. “Now, when customers purchase Tony’s Pâté for the first time, we’ll see them a week or two later, and they’ll be raving about how good it is, and that it reminded them of the pâté their mother or grandmother used to make.” Champagne, who, as owner of a fromagerie, is probably a bit biased, agrees with Jacques’s earlier assertion that pâté pairs perfectly with victuals such as cheese. “I experimented with many (cheeses) and really like how his pâté and our smooth-textured Muenster cheese complement one another. Anytime I make a cheese board, I make sure to include both,” he says. In 2019, around the same time Jacques was just starting to get his pâté into stores, he learned the Alberta-based company he was working for full-time was closing its Winnipeg office. If he wanted to maintain his position, he would have to head west, again, he was told. The thought didn’t appeal to him or his wife, mainly for family reasons, so he let his bosses know he would be staying put, to devote his full attention to his fledgling enterprise. He became more and more convinced he’d made the right decision in the ensuing months. Additional retailers, including De Luca’s and Calabria Market, were ordering his pâté for their shelves and he was also becoming a fixture at well-attended events such as the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market. Then COVID struck. Because not everybody is familiar with pâté, and because many people have negative opinions about it owing to the controversial foie gras variety (no, he wasn’t fattening up ducks or geese in his backyard, he’d tell anybody who asked), he had been relying heavily on sampling to generate interest. “My success rate, by sampling, was 85 to 90 per cent, so my initial thinking, to put it bluntly, was, ‘I’m screwed,’” he says. Even after markets were allowed to reopen in May 2020, there were so many pandemic-related regulations in place that he still wasn’t sure what he’d do, going forward. Finally, after consulting with health inspectors, he was given permission to hand out pre-packaged, individual containers of his pâté, which, to be on the safe side, he continues to do, to this day. In addition to pork, Jacques also offers a smoked trout variety, which he debuted last fall. He’d always thought pâté and smoked fish, be it salmon, trout or goldeye, were a great match. He reached out to the owner of Mariner Neptune Fish and Seafood on Dufferin Avenue to ask if he could supply him what he’d need in the way of ingredients, and just like that, he had another hit on his hands. On a sombre note, Jacques’s eldest brother died earlier this year. At a family memorial held last month, two of his older brothers took him aside, to let him know how proud they are of what he’s accomplished with their father’s recipe. To hear that was better than any five-star review he could ever receive, he says with a faint smile. As for his dad, he’s fairly certain he’s paying attention from somewhere, and is also pleased with what he’s managed to achieve thus far. “There have definitely been occasions when it felt like he was right there, looking over my shoulder,” he says, taking a sip of coffee. “It will be month-end, I’ll have a big bill to pay and somehow I’ll land a new order out of the blue and the bill gets paid. Call it divine intervention or whatever, but hey, I’ll take all the help I can.” For more information, go to - Photo credit: ETHAN CAIRNS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

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Frères Jacques, un pâté de porc, d’histoire et de nostalgie

Frères Jacques, un pâté de porc, d’histoire et de nostalgie PHOTO : RADIO-CANADA / GAVIN BOUTROY Chaque mois, l’entreprise manitobaine Frères Jacques vend proche d'une demi-tonne de pâté. Le propriétaire, Laurent Jacques, raconte la commercialisation réussie d’une vieille recette familiale. C’est en 2016 qu’il a commencé à bâtir son entreprise, mais ce n’est pas avant 2019 que le premier pâté Frères Jacques s’est trouvé sur l’étagère d’un magasin. Je ne savais pas s’il y avait un marché, oui ou non, explique-t-il. Les deux premiers commerces à offrir le produit étaient la Fromagerie Bothwell à Saint-Boniface et Local Meats & Frozen Treats, à Saint-Vital. Aujourd’hui, les produits de Laurent Jacques se trouvent dans une dizaine de magasins. Lui-même se déplace à plusieurs marchés fermiers chaque semaine. En tout, il estime qu’il produit autour de 200 kg de pâté de porc par semaine, pour un total de près d’une demi-tonne par mois. Bien que secrète, la recette de ce pâté est bien simple : il y a beaucoup d’ail, de poivre noir, c’est juste une bonne combinaison, explique Laurent Jacques. Il malaxe le produit dans une cuisine commerciale au deuxième étage d’une église de Winnipeg. Cette recette est détenue par les huit enfants de la famille d’Antonin Jacques, dont Laurent est le 7e. Aujourd’hui éparpillés au Canada et aux États-Unis, les frères et la sœur de Laurent Jacques lui ont donné leur bénédiction. Un mets pour une famille ouvrière de 10 personnes Électricien de profession, Antonin Jacques est arrivé au Manitoba en provenance du Québec après avoir travaillé sur le réseau DEW. Les stations radars reliant l’Alaska à l’Islande ont été construites dans les années 1950 et avaient pour objectif de détecter des bombardiers soviétiques venant du Pôle Nord. Il a marié Yolande, petite-fille du député provincial et juge James Pendergast. Il s’agit d’un nom depuis longtemps familier à tous ceux qui s’intéressent aux choses de l’Ouest, selon sa nécrologie dans Le Devoir du 19 avril 1945. Secrétaire provincial dans le cabinet du gouvernement Greenway du Manitoba, il avait démissionné lors du premier acte de l’abolition du droit à l’éducation française en 1890. Antonin et sa femme se sont installés à Lorette, à environ une demi-heure de la Winnipeg. C’est là que la famille a vécu jusqu’en 1975. Il travaillait comme chef de quart à l’Hôpital Misericordia, situé dans la capitale manitobaine. Quand on vivait à Lorette et que c’était le jour de paye, il n’y avait que des odeurs dans la voiture pour se rendre à l’hôpital, raconte-t-il. La famille a ensuite déménagé au parc Windsor, à Winnipeg. Le pâté, le boudin et la tête de cochon étaient parmi les mets mangés fréquemment par la famille ouvrière de dix personnes. En ce temps-là, mon père faisait le pâté à la maison et chaque fois qu’il en faisait, les voisins qui avaient une compagnie qui faisait du pâté dans les magasins lui demandaient de le vendre, se souvient Laurent Jacques. Mais il avait huit enfants, il n’avait pas d’argent, il n’avait pas le temps, ajoute-t-il. Ça a commencé avec les plus vieux Un client a récemment appelé Laurent Jacques. Il m’a dit : écoute Laurent, je veux t'acheter du pâté et je veux l'acheter directement de toi. J’ai besoin de quatre livres. Je lui dis quatre livres, c’est beaucoup de pâté. Eh bien il a une grosse famille qui veut y goûter! À Lorette, son père et mon père étaient amis et fabriquaient le pâté. Je ne pense pas que papa lui ait passé la recette, poursuit M. Jacques. Après le succès du pâté de porc, il a créé un pâté à la truite fumée, inspiré des mélanges de poisson et de pâtés que sa famille préparait lorsqu’elle avait des invités. Ces deux mets se retrouvent souvent sur des planches de charcuterie, dont la popularité a explosé lors de la pandémie, soutient Laurent Jacques. Ça a commencé avec les vieux de 80, 90 ans et maintenant c’est les jeunes, c’est tout le monde. Le co-propriétaire des Jardins St-Léon, Colin Rémillard, fait le même constat. Les jardins vendent les deux pâtés de Frères Jacques. Instantanément, c’était très populaire avec notre clientèle, affirme-t-il. Il s’agit selon lui d’un très, très bon pâté traditionnel. C’est un style de pâté très populaire chez les clients franco-canadiens. Dans le passé on vendait le pâté Del’s puis ils ont arrêté. C’était une grande perte parce que c’était un pâté dont on vendait des montants assez copieux et là, Laurent est rentré avec son pâté Frères Jacques qui était très semblable et abordable aussi, indique M. Rémillard. Son histoire est assez charmante aussi, note-t-il. Le pâté, un mets transnational Le professeur de littérature anglaise à l’Université de Saint-Boniface, Paul Morris, est un grand amateur de pâté depuis au moins 20 ans. Il fabrique lui-même ses pâtés et possède une petite bibliothèque à ce sujet, mais refuse de se dire expert en la matière. Il affirme que tous les pâtés ont en commun la volonté ou le besoin de préserver de la viande. C’est aussi une façon d’utiliser tous les morceaux. Sur le cochon il n’y a rien qu’on ne peut pas utiliser, surtout si on fait des pâtés, note-t-il. M. Morris ajoute que les pâtés sont traditionnellement un mets de tous les jours, voire un plat des classes populaires. La raison pour laquelle les pâtés, les terrines etc. sont vus plutôt comme un plat bourgeois, c’est parce que ça implique beaucoup de travail, croit le professeur. Le pâté de porc de Frères Jacques porte le nom Tony's Pâté, en hommage à Antonin Jacques. C’est pas forcément difficile, c’est même assez simple, mais c’est un processus, il y a des étapes à suivre et je pense que ça, c’est la raison pour laquelle c’est devenu quelque chose de plus rare et aussi de plus cher, ajoute-t-il. Il incite les gourmands à découvrir les pâtés. Les variétés sont presque sans fin, il y a toujours quelque chose à découvrir, lance M. Morris en notant qu’il existe des pâtés différents rattachés à diverses cultures nationales au Manitoba. Les viandes qui ont été mises dans des pots en verre ou en céramique pour les préserver avec une couche de gras au-dessous, tels que des rillettes, sont populaires dans la province, dit-il. Il existe aussi des pâtés dans un sens plus traditionnel, soit de la viande hachée très finement, presque dans une mousse. Je pense qu’ici au Canada, ça vient de plusieurs traditions nationales. Les Allemands, par exemple, ont le Leberwurst. La tourtière, en quelque sorte, est une forme de pâté en croûte, note-t-il aussi. J’aime la dimension transculturelle des pâtés : c’est un peu la même chose dans des pays différents, déclare Paul Morris. Gavin Boutroy (accéder à la page de l'auteur) Gavin Boutroy

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Colin Remillard is the co-owner of Jardins St-Léon Gardens, an al fresco market at 419 St. Mary’s Rd. He and his brother Luc have been carrying Frères Jacques’s pâté since 2020, and he feels the product came along at the right time. “It had a lovely flavour and consistency, was locally made and was of a high quality, which meant we were very tempted by the product, right off the bat,” Remillard says. “Plus, it was reminiscent of the delicious Del’s local pâté brand we sold, many years ago.” Calling pâté a niche product, he goes on to say the delicacy is immensely popular with the local French-Canadian community, which his business caters to. (Spend five minutes there, and you’re almost guaranteed to be humming along to whatever French artist is playing in the background.) “Spread that delicious stuff on a baguette with salted Notre-Dame Butter, and you’ve got yourself an instant picnic favourite,” he says. “Our French-Canadian customers were delighted to see a traditional pâté on our shelves, once again.” PHOTO : RADIO-CANADA / GAVIN BOUTROY

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Let's Pâté

let’s pâté! By Laurie Hughes ciao! / dec/jan/ 2022 Retailers - Their enthusiasm for selling a locally made product propelled him forward. In March 2019, Larry launched Frères Jacques, producer of Tony’s Pâté. Today, Tony’s Pâté is sold at a dozen specialty food stores and St. Norbert Farmers’ Market, where you will find Larry selling direct to shoppers. Tasting it triggers nostalgic memories of family dinners for many samplers, like it does for him. Parents share rave reviews it gets from their children enjoying a smear of it on a cracker. “I love meeting people” states Jacques. When sampling scenarios were disrupted during the pandemic, Larry found a solution by prepackaging samples to preserve his 'try before you buy' experience. This small company belies the production this sole proprietor has managed to achieve to keep up with demand. Everything gets done in a commercial kitchen in Riverview of about 900 square feet. Only a grinder, a convection oven and vacuum sealer are needed – along with determination and grit. Production is time consuming and labour intensive. A typical production day starts at 6:30 am and can easily run twelve hours. Larry starts by chopping onion and garlic before shifting to chopping and grinding meat. Only a few easily pronounceable seasonings are added to his main ingredient, including cultured celery powder to cure the pâté for a 5-week shelf life. In a twelve-hour day, 100 lbs of pork are processed into 175 bricks of pâté. He chuckles, “it is a real labour of love!” For the holiday season, production increases and volume doubles to 200 lbs each week, translating into nearly one half tonne of pork processed per month. From hauling heavy boxes loaded with groceries to chopping, grinding and baking the meat, Tony’s Pâté is the product of one man, except for the help of his wife on packing day. Larry’s exuberance is paying off. A decadent smoked trout spreadable pâté added in 2021 is intended to pair with the pork on a board – and it is winning fast favour. Most sales now include both pâtés. What does the future hold? Expansion is in the works as he prepares to launch a vegetarian mushroom option. Enlisting more stockists is high on his priority list too. As the charcuterie craze continues, Larry sees the hospitality sector as a viable area of growth. Not every restaurant is equipped to make its own artisanal pâté and his is poised to be the perfect solution

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