Farewell to a Grande Dame of Gastronomy

Quebec’s Grande Dame of food journalism and eminent and active member of Slow Food, Mme Françoise Kayler, sadly passed away last week at the age of 81. Mme. Kayler was a highly respected authority on the food products and restaurants of Quebec. She attended the first national meeting of Slow Food Canada in 2005 in Montreal, as well as the 2008 meeting in Toronto, and was a key force in building the Abitibi-Témiscamingue convivium, led by Ghislan Trudel.

Born outside of Paris, Mme Kayler moved to Montreal with her Quebec-born husband in 1951. Her career in journalism started with a column in the ladies and social section of the Montreal daily newspaper La Presse. Her great passion for food led her to the job of food critic for La Presse, a position she held for 35 years, contributing more than 300 articles on cuisine, agriculture and gastronomy. Since 2007 Mme Kayler wrote regularly on her blog Gastronote.

On Monday April 26th, Mme Kayler was to preside over a dinner for a culinary scholarship bearing her name, which she created in conjunction with the Fondation de l’Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec. She was a tremendous inspiration and will be sadly missed by all at the Slow Food national meeting later this week in Nova Scotia.

Photo: Françoise Kayler and Johane Germain at the Slow Food Canada meeting in 2009, by M. Jernigan.

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