This is Frederic Letourneau.
Frederic is 45 years old. He was born in Sherbrooke, spent 20 years of his life in Montreal and has moved to Quebec City two years ago. He has two children, one is 25 and the other one is six. He speaks French, English and Spanish.
Frederic has been working in this industry since he was 16 years old. He started as a dish washer at the Vieux Clocher de Magog. After doing his time washing dishes, he worked as a cook for a long time. He became was the head chef in various restaurants and eventually discovered the bar industry. He opened his own bar on St-Laurent boulevard in Montreal and ran it for a few years. At some point he decided to sell it and he took one year off in Mexico. After that, he came back to Montreal and started to work as the director of restauration for the city of Montreal. He opened a bar in the botanical gardens and launched the first jazz nights there. Later on, he left the city of Montreal to open a restaurant of his own but he quickly had to close it because he got into a major car accident that obliged him to learn how to live again; to relearn how to talk, how to walk, etc.
When he began to heal from his accident he went to work for Starbucks. After a big concussion like he had, the company’s clear and square work frame was perfect for him. He worked there for a few years. In the meanwhile, his girlfriend wanted to move to Quebec City so he came along.
Today, this girlfriend is gone but Frederic is still in Quebec City. When he heard that Maison Livernois was opening, he loved the project and went to meet the owners to be part of the opening team. It was a super fit.
If you don’t know Maison Livernois, it’s a gin bar that also makes its own gin in Quebec City. Frederic doesn’t properly have a title there as he’s doing a lot of different things. He is the front of the house manager. He is the one in charge of building the back bar. He is a sales rep for their gin. And finally, he is the on-premise gin expert. He trains the staff and guides the customers through the gin flights that they sell there. Surprisingly, when Frederic started to work there, he knew next to nothing about gin. He was mostly a big fan of rum. He tasted and learned progressively and is now extremely knowledgeable in the gin category. He had Baptiste Gissinger as gin mentor, which definitely helped him. If Frederic doesn’t make cocktails, he sure as hell knows more about gin than most bartenders out there and has a very precise and developed palate. He lately started to consult with other bars in Quebec City to train their service staff about gin and is slowly becoming a reference in the city.
All in all, Frederic appears to be one of the hospitality veteran type. His path was a long and sinuous one and today he has more than one trick under his belt. Even after a long career, he still reinvents himself and finds new ways to flourish in the business. If one thing is for sure, it’s that he hasn’t lost his passion for this industry and that it’s very inspiring to see.
A little bit more about...
The three words that’s describe him best: intense - meticulous – always well surrounded
The most magical place he has ever been to: It was a very small Mexican village called Plan de Zaragosa. There was a couple public toilettes lined up next to the tiny church. They didn’t have doors and they were atrociously dirty. However, when you actually sat there, they was a 200 feet drop in front of you that cleared the view you had one of the most magnificent landscapes you could possibly imagine. Just there, while you are taking a shit.
Fun fact about him: He can play music with his teeth.
One thing he has achieved on his life bucket-list: He lived in different countries and traveled a lot.
One advice he offers to younger bartenders: Don’t bullshit people. If you don’t know the answer, say it, go get it and come back with it.