North America’s biggest festival for active foodies, Tremblant Gourmand combines great food experiences, with active activities for those that like a balance of both. This one-week long festival runs in September each year in Mount Tremblant, Quebec and sees approximately 65,000 attendees over the course of the eight days. The festival brings several vendors who set up tents within the pedestrian village at the base of Mount Tremblant, and even on the mountain itself. It also runs several active fitness activities like yoga classes and hikes, and has chef demonstrations, and local restaurants all participating in different ways.
When I was in Tremblant this past weekend, I had a chance to experience Gourmand and some of the activities from the long list they were hosting. On Friday, I arrived in Tremblant, and although it was a bit quieter due to it being back to school time, it only got busier as the day progressed.
Upon arrival, my group and I headed to catch a demonstration by famous Quebecois chef, Anne Desjardins at Place St-Bernard (the main square of the pedestrian village, and main stage for the event). Anne led us through how to make beef tataki, which shockingly was way easier than it’s fancy name.
A Signature Experience at Laurent Louis featuring Calvados
In the evening, we headed for a Signature Experience at restaurant, Laurent Louis. The Signature Experience’s of the event are essentially additional things you can buy tickets for on top of your regular event ticket for Tremblant Gourmand. These include mainly dining experiences at local participating restaurants and are often themed. For example, La Forge offers a Kobegyu, Caviar and Cognac event and Casey’s ran a rib fest. These events range anywhere from $25 CDN to $300 CDN a ticket.
Laurent Louis’ signature experience was in partnership with one of Quebec’s favourite beverages, Calvados. Prior to this event, I had no idea what this apple brandy was, let alone tasted it, but by the end of dinner I had my fair share of taste tests. Alongside a delicious three-course meal, we had tastings of the different Calvados liquors. I had the filet mignon with a Calvados crème brulee for dessert but everyone’s food at our table was a work of art and didn’t disappoint our pallets either.
A Gourmet Mountain Hike
Saturday, our second day at the event, we went on the gourmet mountain hike which takes place on weekdays and weekends throughout the week. This hike begins at the foot of the gondola and brings you to seven gourmet experiences along the marked route up the mountain. Warning: This hike isn’t extremely challenging, but for those that aren’t in good shape, you may struggle a bit.
The stops on the hike brought us not only panoramic views of the colourful pedestrian village of Tremblant, but also delicious gourmet stops among nature. I must admit, hiking is a lot easier when you know there’s food along the way. The stops we made were (in no particular order):
Bouef Canadien: A Canadian beef stopover at the base of the mountain where we tried some yummy homemade mini beef sliders.
The Quebec Egg Producers: A yummy egg flan made with maple syrup.
The St-Méthode Bakery: What better way to enjoy a hike than stop for a “healthy” grilled cheese with tomato, arugula and yummy Quebec cheese?
Haiku: A taste of coconut and aloe waters to hydrate.
Note: There was a beer stop that we missed due to our tight schedule!
Rib Fest Signature Experience
With the hike ending, and with full bellies, we headed to Casey’s for rib fest, because why stop eating now? Rib fest was a Signature Experience ($25/ticket) and included a rack of ribs, corn bread, corn and coleslaw. To be honest, after the gourmet hike on the mountain, lunch wasn’t really necessary because we all felt a little too full after this meal.
Pedestrian Village Gourmet Stations
After our rib lunch, we headed to explore all the stalls in the pedestrian village. This festival brings in so many exhibitors. Booths ranged from tasty samples of gourmet food, products, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and food-related supplies for sale (like kitchen supplies from Després Laporte). You could also find different demonstrations and presentations throughout the festival, like a candy sushi workshop, a hot fudge demonstration, and several lessons with famous chefs (note: many of these are in French only). One of the highlights for me was stopping by the Maison Orphée salad bar where we had the chance to make our own salad dressings to bring home!
The thing I loved about this festival is that many food festivals I’ve been too, you have to purchase an entire meal at the stalls/food trucks you want to try. When you’re eating big portions, it makes it hard to try everything. At Tremblant Gourmand, you can buy tickets/passes that give you unlimited or a specific amount of samples throughout your time there. Tickets range from $15 CDN to $40 CDN or $50 CDN for the entire week.
Overall, this event left me incredibly full and satisfied. The festival was seriously fun for all-ages and was a great activity to get yourself out of the house as the crisp fall weather starts to come in.
Disclaimer: I visited Tremblant with the help of the Quebec and The Laurentians Tourism Boards. I only recommend things that I enjoyed, and think other travellers would also enjoy. All opinions in this piece are my own and 110% honest.