«C’est moi le chef!»: colourful cuisine in Montreal


“C’est moi le chef!” is more than just a cooking workshop. This gourmet project for children aged 6 years or older covers every step of the process, from the field to their plate. An introduction to a workshop that is a real hit with parents and their children, and the woman who came up with the idea, Karine Desserre-Pezé.

The “C’est moi le chef!” project, which receives support from the Louis Bonduelle Foundation, encourages children and their parents to discover local and seasonal products, cooking tasty meals without food waste, under the watchful eye of a renowned Montreal chef. Karine Desserre-Pezé, a busy mum with two children, came up with the idea. She had already had a lot of experience in health and nutrition marketing communication, and her professional experience helped her a lot when she decided establish “1, 2, 3… je cuisine!”. The mission of this non-profit organisation is to inspire families to cook together, during fun and educational activities that focus on the pleasure and discovery of cooking and ingredients. An interview with Karine Desserre-Pezé, who told us more about “C’est moi le chef!”, the first of the organisation’s activities for the public.

The idea behind “C’est moi le chef !”»

The ingredients for the workshop: a popular venue in Montreal, the Jean-Talon market, where many local growers come to sell their produce. The MC: a renowned Montreal chef. The organisation works with different chefs for every workshop. What they all have in common is that they are passionate about local products and want to share their passion and their approach to cooking with children.

A local grower: to promote Quebec produce, to encourage children to use their senses and to explain the diversity (shapes, tastes, textures…). And finally: children between the ages of 6 and 15 years, who are curious, motivated, entertained, who pay attention to the chef’s tips about the taste and appearance of the recipe they will be cooking from start to end, while their parents look on in awe. The recipes are all easy and can be prepared in no time at all. They are also tasty and cheap. “Vegetables play a key role in what we do”, Karine Pezé explains. “We also take advantage of the opportunity to raise people’s awareness about food waste by showing them how they can use the whole vegetables (seeds, stalks…) wherever possible.”

How is the project going?

To date, 5 workshops have been organised, one Sunday a month. And Montreal families were quick to sign up for “C’est moi le chef!”, which is a hit with children and parents alike, with more and more families joining in the fun. The children like discovering products and learning how to cook. The parents enjoy the opportunity to spend time with their children.

The workshop format is also a hit: all the recipes are simple ones that you can prepare every day, using seasonal products. “Our approach is both useful and educational, and is instrumental in children’s development. It is a great way of countering food neophobia, as we showed during one of the workshops on cabbage, which is a vegetable with a very strong taste, and which children are therefore quick to dismiss.” The idea has taken seed in other words, and other projects are being developed. The organisation hopes to organise these workshops in other markets, to work with local influencers or even publish a cookbook. Other ideas include a scientific assessment with a Montreal university, an annual festive event or even the establishment of a community of chefs who are all eager to share their passion and may therefore inspire future chefs.

Read the second part of the interview with
Karine Desserre-Pezé here
to find out why vegetables are so well suited to this approach

Two workshops are organised, for children between the ages of 6 and 11, with a parent/adult and for young people aged 12 years or over. Chef Olivier Perret, of the restaurant Le Renoir, Sofitel Montreal and the godfather of “C’est moi le chef!” will once again be sharing his passion for maple-based products from Quebec. You can join in the fun by registering for a workshop using the following links: