“Before all else, I am a cook.”
Yvon Creton and sons, Maxime et Raphaël, offer classic French cuisine inspired, locally sourced eats at their new restaurant, Le Gladstone.
Starting at 14 years of age, Yvon Creton began going to the local markets to help farmers unload their products. He did it not for money, but for farm fresh food.
“It was my first introduction to many amazing local products and the people growing them.”
After arriving in Montreal from France with plans to open a restaurant, he was surprised to learn the level of control that regional distributors have over local food. He began his own search for local producers.
“I have always been a kind of visionary when it comes to food and restaurants. I know food has to come straight from the source. I have travelled a lot and discovered many new tastes. I enjoyed these discoveries. But you have to use local products from local producers. It is really the only thing that makes good culinary sense.”
What does local mean? “I want to make sure that when we say we are using local we mean food that is truly local. I want to be able to talk directly to those who have put their hands in the earth and have a passion for what they do.”
On fresh ingredients, Yvon explains “Many of my cooks tell me that they have rarely worked with products as fresh as what we use here. We don’t do frozen. When something fresh is out we are just out. Even the smell of fresh ingredients is something that reassures the clients. It is a familiar smell and it is comforting. I think it brings back fond memories of times and things they might have forgotten.”
What brings people to Le Gladstone? “What you see is what you get. Who we are as a team, the way we work, the passion we have for our work, it all comes out through our food. This is brought to life by the ingredients we use. It is about making people feel good about the food and happy to be here, both staff and customers.”
How to create a restaurant that is sure to please, Yvon tells us “I only hire people with experience who have a passion for this job. People for whom this is not just a side job. The cooks, the wait staff, everyone. I only work with people who love this work. That way we all believe and trust in each other and what we are trying to achieve.”
How does a commitment to local mean for the culinary community? “ I really believe that the products we use, our primary ingredients, are what keep good chefs here. Lots of Montreal restaurants are doing amazing work with local food, but it is not always these restaurants that we are hearing about. It is too often the ones selling an image, not the ones working to make truly good food.”