This is Patrice Plante.
Patrice is 38 years old and is from Limoilou in Quebec City. He is the father of Simone, an 8 months old adorable baby and Mezcal, a very energetic black dog. Pat studied web programming and multimedia integration. He also started a bachelors in graphic design but eventually realized that he wasn’t going to use it so focused on his career instead.
Patrice’s road to cocktails was, at the very least, singular.
When he was younger, Pat spent most of him time in libraries or playing dungeon and dragon. He was overweight, extremely shy and very nerdy. He spent most of his 20’s employed by the government, making web sites in a cubicle office. When he turned 27 years old, he had a cathartic moment and went through an existential questioning phase. He realized that he’d been working for the government for 8 years and that he wasn’t happy. Consequently, he decided to act up on it.
He created a magazine called Québec t’aime, where he would go around Quebec city and showcase people and business that he liked but that were still unknown. And that’s how he started to fall in love with the restaurant industry. He became food critic for the newspaper Voir and realized that he found what he truly wanted to do: he wanted to be a chef! He went to cooking school and then really and truly fell in love with the industry.
He founded Trippes et Caviar in Montreal. What started as a pop up quickly turned out to become a fully operating restaurant. That’s when he moved the big city. The more he spent time at his restaurant, the more he was actually always leaving the kitchen to do the service. He realized that he enjoy serving more than cooking, but still continued his cooking class. One night, he served the sommelier of a famous restaurant that came to talk to him after service. He told him that his wine pairing was out of this world horrid. Truth be told, he never really paid attention to wine at this point. He cared about the food and the experience. Hence he took the critic well and reflected on it. At that time, no one was doing cocktail pairing so that’s the direction they decided to take. He didn’t know anything about cocktail so hired a consultant to help him.
Then one morning, after a big night out at the restaurant, he went brunching with his mates and was served an Old Fashioned at 9:30am. It was the first time he actually had a classic cocktail. And something resonated deep inside. A few days later, he was flying to India with his best friend and read his first cocktail book. When he came back from his trip, he went to the cooking school and quit. He had finally discovered what he wanted to do. At that point, he was 30 years old. The idea to start as a bar back and climb the ladder seemed kind of outdated given his age so he decided to go a different way. He googled the world’s best 50 bars, loaded up his government employee credit card limit and took a trip around the world to sit at the best bars, drink the best cocktails and ask as many questions as he could.
Shortly after he came back, everything led to another. He opened l’Atelier, Quebec’s first cocktail bar in 2012. Six months later he was on TV and had his weekly cocktail chronicle. He started to talk about cocktails on the radio. He was invited to his first cocktail competitions and won a lot of them. In 2014 he was publishing his first cocktail book. And eventually he came to a point where he had two choices.
He could either open his own bar. A very niche and specialized cocktail bar that would be one of the world’s best bars. Or, he could pursue the tangent he was already on and focus making the world of cocktails accessible and understandable for as many people as possible, which is already what he’d been doing with his tv and radio shows and his book. He opted for the second choice and founded his own company, Monsieur Cocktail, whose mission is to democratize cocktails for everyone.
Overall, Patrice made a flamboyant and successful career for himself. He paved the way to a now flourishing cocktail scene in Quebec City and highly contributed to its takeoff. Like we said earlier, his road to cocktails was, at the very least, singular. But it sure was effective!
A little bit more about...
The three words that describe him best: nerd – kind – energetic
One thing he has done on his life bucket-list: Skydiving. One night he was partying with his workmates from l’Atelier and they all made a vow to go skydiving the next day. Regardless of how hangover they were, all thirteen of them showed up and jumped from the sky.
One thing he has yet to achieve: A lot of travel related projects. Driving around the Americas in an Air Stream. Travel the wineries in France. Go to Australia. And more.
His life moto: Comes from the Bushido code. Life is in every breath, every cup of tea. It reminds him to stay in the present and that present is already past.
Involvement in the community: He is involved on many levels but finds he is lacking time to do as much as he would like. However, every year Monsieur Cocktail organizes something called Cocktails and Dreams and donates between 50 000$ to 60 000$ for children with cystic fibrosis and research.