Just steps from our favourite hotel in Old Québec City (where we’re holding our Classical Pursuits Québec Literary Seminar in September), is our favourite purveyor of café au lait, this side of Paris. Café-boulangerie Paillard has a fascinating story that shows that passion has no age limit.
The owner, Yves Simard (pictured above), at an age and stage in life (70 years old with a 50-year career in restaurants) when others might be enjoying a well-earned retirement, discovered a passion for bread. The kind of artisan baguette didn’t exist in Québec at the time, so Yves set off to Paris where he met with the virtuosic baker Dominique Saibon of Paris’ Le Boulanger de Monge who agreed to come to Québec to train bread makers. He even brought along some of his own yeast to help the project rise! And so began the perfect meeting of North-American ‘know-how' and French artisanal flair.
Café-boulangerie Paillard is where we go for a perfect café au lait (and yes we also order a croissant, one of their many baguettes, maybe a ‘petit pain’, perhaps a ‘brioche’......)