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18 August 2023

Faux Bergers: A Culinary Gem in the Charlevoix Countryside

Photo by Francis Gagnon c/o Tourism Charlevoix

For me, food is a major pillar of almost every travel experience, as it provides an intimate connection to both the natural and cultural dimensions of a destination. Food has the power to open a window into a place that transcends language or imagery.

It’s also the cause of most of my travel stress. As someone who loves to eat well, I always want to make sure I taste something authentic. This is not always as easy as it sounds.

I remember once travelling in Rome (before smartphones) and walking the streets looking for a restaurant that would give me authentic, Italian pasta. I wanted so badly for it to be the best pasta of my life. After hours of walking, we finally found a small place that looked legit, only to be served a dish of microwaved pasta that was still frozen in the middle. 

Although access to the internet has made it easier to navigate the food scene of a destination, it is still easy to fall prey to flashy marketing ploys that prioritize profit over quality and local integrity. I have become hyper-aware (and slightly paranoid) of anything posturing as an authentic culinary experience.

On a recent trip to Quebec, friends from the region invited me out to dinner to a place they couldn’t stop raving about. And since there’s nothing better than a personal recommendation, I was really excited.

It turned out to be one of the best culinary experiences of my life.

Read this article in our new image-rich format here.

Faux Bergers in Baie-Saint-Paul, Charlevoix

Photo by Francis Gagnon c/o Tourism Charlevoix

Just east of Quebec City is the boucolic region of Charlevoix, known for its strong culinary roots and farm-to-table cuisine. I was visiting Baie-Saint-Paul, a city on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, filled with delightful cafes, a great brewery and some really top-notch restaurants. To get to Faux Bergers — the place my friends so highly recommended — we travelled just slightly north of the city into the Charlevoix coutnryside.

As soon as we arrived at Faux Bergers, I knew my friends were right — we were about to be treated to a truly special experience.

A Culinary Journey Through Charlevoix

The location of Faux Bergers is breathtaking. A drive through the scenic Charlevoix countryside took us to a farm that sits overlooking a beautiful valley. There is a small outdoor terrace and a dining room. Inside, the restaurant is small and intimate, sitting approximately 30 people.

Faux Bergers prides itself on sourcing local and seasonal ingredients, showcasing the vibrant flavors of Quebecois culture. With each dish, there is a celebration of the region’s bountiful produce and the skillful artistry of the chefs. The menu is a testament to their commitment to local, with every bite paying homage to the land and its rich culinary heritage.

The Faux Bergers Experience

Each evening, guests dine on a set menu, created by the chefs to reflect the season. There is nothing to order save for your preference of beverage.

Prior to each course, the chef rings a bell and describes the dish being served. He touches on the ingredients used, how the dish is crafted, the importance of the ingredients and the cultural significance behind them. This is all done in French, however, our server then graciously translated into English for us without seeming to miss a single detail. For me, as an anglophone from western Canada, this really added a cultural depth to the experience. The chefs were not catering to an international audience, but to locals with an experience that was designed to celebrate their culture.  

Each dish was extremely beautiful and seemingly complex in its preparation, yet they were all delicate, approachable and fresh. You can book your dinner with wine pairings, or order drinks a la carte. We chose to try a number of different regional wines from Quebec, which were fantastic. 

But it wasn’t just the food and wine that left a lasting impression; it was the entire experience at Faux Bergers: the attentive and knowledgeable staff guiding me through each course, sharing stories of the local producers and artisans who contribute to the restaurant’s culinary tapestry. Their passion and pride were infectious, adding an extra layer of magic to an already extraordinary evening.

It’s a culinary experience worth travelling for and something I will forever recommend to anyone visiting Quebec City or Charlevoix.

Category: Quebec