Jacques Boulanger - Set Caterer

How long have you been a chef?

I've been a chef for about 22 years. I started in my hometown of Sherbrooke, QC and I went to Iqaluit after that for about 10 years. I learned how to cook country food (caribou, seal, etc.) at Expo '86 in Vancouver in the Northwest Territories Pavillion. I learned how to cook country food over there.

How did you get involved in this project?

I heard about it from Francis (Choquette), he's one of my best friends. We've know each other from Iqaluit, we lived together there. That's how I met him. So he called me up and wanted to know if I could come.

Tell me about working up North, and the challenges you face here

The biggest challenge is getting the food here on time. Sometimes it takes two or three weeks to get the food here. We have to plan a long time ahead for that. We've got a pretty good system going on now, and it's working pretty well. We really have to think ahead up here, I'm not used to that when I work down South because if I want something, I can get it an hour later. That's the most difficult thing up here, but I'm good, I have a small kitchen here.

Can you describe the types of menus you prepare?

It could be anything. Yesterday we had caribou and pasta. Tonight we're having Arctic Char, and penne with rose sauce, vegetables; I try to put vegetables on the menu everyday, and rice, potatos, just like home.

Can you walk me through a typical day?

By six o'clock I have the coffee ready, things for breakfast like homemade bannock, croissants and fruit. For lunch we send the sandwiches and soup around noon. We go up with the supper to prepare around 2pm, so it will be ready by 4pm. We need at least two hours to get it ready. After they wrap for the day, I take all the dishes and wash them. Sometimes we're not done until 9pm, so it's a long day.

How are things going to work at Siorajuk (the camp)?

We've got a kitchen there, bigger than what we have here, so we'll have more room and storage room. We won't have to transport the food anywhere, we can make the food there and eat it there. That can be a problem too; moving all the food to the site. At Siorajuk, we can eat right there. It will be a little bit easier there. We're going to start shipping food out there tomorrow; frozen of course, to prepare for this weekend.

Any plans for after this film?

I'm going back to my job, I've got a job down South at a golf course. I work at a golf course in Mont Tremblant in Quebec. I'm leaving on the 5th of May and I start on the 6th, so no little vacation for me. I'll be working there until end of season in October. At that time I'll take a vacation.

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